The Connemara pony is descended, it is said, from horses that Viking soldiers brought to Ireland. Another theory goes that they have Spanish blood, that Irish ponies were cross-bred with Andalusian horses that arrived on Spanish galleons. I was introduced to this exotic and special breed which has forged its own identity and is quite present at the Maam Cross Fair in Maam Cross, Galway Ireland. The horse fair at Maam Cross is one of Ireland's most historic fairs, dating back to a time long forgotten.
The unique one-day fair stems from the tradition of local farmers selling their surplus produce at the crossroads in order to supplement the meager living which they eeked from the rocky Connemara landscape.
Proud, hard-working and with storytelling faces, these Irishmen remind me of my rural roots and I cannot wait to someday return to the West of Ireland. A stop into Peacocke's hotel for a pint of plain is a must as the venue has become synonymous with the fair.