The Connemara Pony is a distinctive breed with excellent qualities. Strong, intelligent and very hard working, the ponies are well suited to the wild unforgiving landscapes of the Connemara region which gave them their name. Their good disposition and versatility makes them ideal pets, while their powerful build and athleticism makes them good jumpers and great show ponies. Connemara ponies are lively, tend to be long-lived and are excellent mounts for children.

Connemara Pony shows are held worldwide, but the most famous of all is during the Connemara Pony Festival held every August in Clifden. It is a week-long event organised by the world-famous Connemara Pony Breeders Society (CPBS). Visitors are treated to the spectacle of seeing the ponies demonstrate their prowess in trials and competitions, all under the watchful eye of experienced judges, and a win is always a source of great pride for the pony’s dedicated owner. It is a unique experience to see the very best of the breed on display at the Showgrounds in Clifden.

Today, Connemara ponies are bred worldwide. The Connemara breed standards are set by the CPBS and to pass as Grade 1, a pony must undergo careful inspection and meet a series of specific criteria.

Not surprisingly, riding a Connemara Pony is an activity that visitors to Connemara are particularly fond of. Cleggan Beach Riding Centre, Errislannan Manor Riding Centre and The Point Pony Trekking and Horse Riding Centre are three good places to choose from.

Photo: Supreme Champion 2011 at the Connemara Pony Show, Clifden