Aug 05, 2010

RIP *Grange Finn Sparrow - Renowned Eventing Sire

*Grange Finn Sparrow had a fantastic show jumping career in Ireland – he was a two-time Top Scoring Grade A pony while he was there.

The Irish-bred Connemara stallion, *Grange Finn Sparrow, has sadly passed away at the grand old age of 35, leaving behind a legacy of talented offspring who’ve competed at the top levels of eventing for years. You may not have heard of this incredibly athletic little horse, but you’ve probably heard of some of his progeny…

Information about *Grange Finn Sparrow, re-printed from the Nov/Dec ‘08 issue of the American Connemara Pony Society magazine. Thank you to Megan Buchanan Harris for providing this important information!

General Info:

Born in Ireland in 1975, by Coosheen Finn and out of Dun Sparrow, he was bred by Lady Maria Levinge. Originally exported for Ireland to Austria, Pat Lyne credited him (in her book) for successfully introducing the Connemara to Austria. He came to the US in 80's, I think somewhere between '85-'87. Several different children did jumpers with him including Nancy Davidson, Bruce & Carol's daughter. He was also shown in the hunter ring, and would even breed mares back at the barn in between divisions. He hunted with more than 6 hunts in WV, VA and PA, and was hunted by Bruce Davidson. Tootie told me that folks be skeptical that he'd keep up with the hunt, but many times at the end of the day, he (and a couple of his offspring) would be the only ones left in the hunt field, still going strong. She also described the thrill of taking a 4-board fence with him, 10 abreast with local steeplechase horses. He was ridden into his 20's and would often give small children riding lessons. He was pony sized, I believe a little over 14.1.

(Left: Grange competing in show jumping competitions in the mid-90s. Right: Tootie Jones (owner of Grange’s home Swift Level), Grange, and Megan Buchanan Harris in 2006. )


- 1978 In-hand Champion at Clifden.
- 2x Top scoring Grade A Pony in Ireland.
- 2nd Place at his one and only 3-day event at the Preliminary level (in Austria).
- 1995 An Tostal Award Winner (An ACPS award given as recognition of a career of outstanding achievement, both competitive and noncompetitive, of a purebred Connemara stallion.)
- 2008 Tooreen Laddie Award (An ACPS award given to an outstanding Connemara stallion which has made a positive influence on the breed through his offspring.)

Offspring (see photos below):

Windswept (o/o TB mare): competed successfully through Advanced & 3*
Galway Blazer (o/o TB mare): competed successfully through Advanced & 3*; won double gold at the '09 NAYJRC
Briar Fox Mundungus (o/o Appendix mare): competed successfully through Intermediate & 1*
Meadow Sparrow (o/o TB mare): competed successfully through Advanced & 2*
Wil'Ya Love Me (o/o Conn mare): competed successfully through Intermediate & 2*
Nordic Sparrow Hawk (o/o TB mare): competed successfully through Intermediate
Sparrow Cappuccino (o/o Conn mare): competed successfully through Prelim & 1*
Grange Finn Sparrow's Boy (o/o TB mare): competed through Prelim
Sparrow's Gunsmoke (o/o QH mare): competed through Novice
Rivendell's Mr Bubbles (o/o ISH mare): competing at Training
Sparrow's Owen (o/o Appendix mare): competing at Novice
Sparrow's Nio (o/o TB mare): competing at Beginner Novice
Sparrow's Tiptoes (o/o TB mare): competed through Prelim
Speckled Sparrow (o/o Conn mare): competing at Training
Bid a Bit (o/o Conn mare): competed through Training
My Miss Molly (o/o Welsh mare): competed through Novice

All of the above are just 1st generation. There are also a lot of "grand-foal" competing all the way up through Prelim. He also has several offspring that have competed through 3rd/4th level dressage. And a number (especially overseas) that have done AA jumpers. He has also sired a number of top pony hunters. Oh, and he had a grandson that was very competitive in Preliminary level combined driving, the stallion, Morning Glory's Ilyushin.

He's been on the leading sires list for Eventing for years, making the top 10 several times. He's also been on the leading sires list for Hunters.
Check out the Facebook group, "Everyone's Favorite Pony: Grange Finn Sparrow", dedicated solely to this wonderful horse.

At least five of his offspring, and grand-offspring, will be at the AEC this year!

Here are some of *Grange Finn Sparrow’s offspring (in Connemara terms, the * means that he was imported from Ireland):

Wil'Ya Love Me ('Willy')
Meadow Sparrow
Sparrow's TipToes
Rivendell's Mr. Bubbles
Briar Fox Mundungus
Sparrow's Owen
My Finn Romance (a Grange 'grandchild” who had great success in the USEA Future Event Horse series.) Maggie Fan photo.
Sparrows Spring Mist and Sparrows Leis
Erin’s Nighthawk
Morning Glory's Ilyushin
Dutch Sparrow
Fiddler's Glory Boy
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