Farm Ireland

Friday 21 October 2016

Capturing the characters and spirit of Ireland's horse fairs

Published 25/11/2015 | 02:30

Horse Fairs of Ireland calendar 2015
Horse Fairs of Ireland calendar 2015

Now in its fourth year, the Horse Fairs of Ireland calendar is proving popular at home and beyond, with copies of the 2016 edition already sold to Australia, the UK, France and the US.

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Siobhan English travelled the roads of Ireland to take the more than 80 black and white images at many of the top fairs, including Ballinasloe, Castleisland, Tallow, Spancil Hill and Borris.

"I met some great characters who had a wealth of knowledge about traditional Irish breeding and the sturdy Irish-bred cobs that are favoured by many buyers travelling to Ireland," she said. "Many of the sellers, and the buyers, have been coming to the same venues for decades to sell their animals. They often were brought along as children when their families went to the same fairs.

"There's a great love for horses and ponies at the fairs."

The calendar is also the only publication to list the provisional dates and venues for some 60 fairs for 2016.

It also carries a poem by Francis Duggan penned about the popular Millstreet Fair.

Born in 1946 Francis grew up in Claraghatlea outside the town.

He began writing poetry in 1973 and in the past 40 years has written some 9,000 individual pieces. In 1989 he relocated to Australia where he still resides.

Priced at €10 the calendar could make a nice seasonal gift for those interested in matters equestrian.

It can be ordered online at via the Country Collection gallery. It is also available from TRI on the Curragh. Alternatively email

Indo Farming


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