Sarah McRae Thrasher
The Connemara Pony
About This Video
Sarah McRae Thrasher, who has studied, bred, and ridden Connemara ponies for over 12 years, explains the temperament, versatility, and conformation of the largest pony breed. Originating in Ireland, Connemaras come in multiple colors and have long lifespans. Thrasher explained that due to their curiosity, bravery, and willingness to learn new skills quickly, Connemaras are versatile, able to perform in multiple disciplines, and “great partners in all adventures.”
About The Expert
Sarah McRae Thrasher has been an equestrian since the age of seven. Growing up in Strafford, Vt., she has been training with Olympian Denny Emerson for the past 35 years. Thrasher competed at the Preliminary level in Eventing and trained to the Intermediate level with a horse she developed herself.
The path that led Thrasher to the Connemara pony was by pure circumstantial chance. Thrasher’s parents bought her McKeever, a *Texas Hope son, as a present for her 11th birthday. McKeever had the reputation of being a tough ride, but Thrasher eventually competed him in dressage tests and jumper shows. She evented him for several years, and then he went on to teach Charlotte Reed’s granddaughter Bekki to event.
After McKeever, Thrasher stepped up the eventing ladder riding Thoroughbreds and Thoroughbred crosses. After many years, she decided it was time to go back to the Connemaras, and the best days of her horse life began.
In 2006, her breeding career began with the stallion Aluinn Durango. With the decision to breed came the decision to become an ACPS breed inspector, and Thrasher has been inspecting yearly ever since. Being raised in a family breeding Welsh Corgis and Welsh Cobs and registering Nubian goats, Thrasher developed a talent for spotting a well put together, athletic horse.
Thrasher has judged in three Regions in the U.S. She is dedicated to maintaining the breed by breeding conformationally correct, athletic, and willing-minded ponies that everyone would be happy to ride.
For the past seven years, she has been to Ireland to the Connemara Pony Breeders Society’s colt and filly inspections. At the 2019 filly inspections, she was given the opportunity to stand in the ring with the Irish inspectors and witness the inspection of the fillies.
Thrasher has studied conformation for the last 12 years and attended many conformation clinics given by experts. Thrasher feels the best is yet to come, currently training her daughter in presenting ponies, handling ponies, and tactfully riding.