On the weekend of 30th of June / 1st of July 2012 the South Tipperary town of Cahir played host to one of the biggest Horse events in Munster: The Cahir Horse Festival. It was a fun weekend for the whole family, whether ‘into the horses’ or just fascinated by other people’s skill and courage when dealing with them.
A plethora of equestrian activity took place, centered around one of the Carriage Driving National Horse Driving Trials events.
The main event took place in the magnificent setting of Cahir Castle Island and the cross-country driven marathon was held at Kedrah Castle, just outside Cahir town.
Dressage to music was demonstrated, along with Pat Parelli natural horsemanship, the relatively new sport of “Le Trec” made a debut in Cahir, while a donkey derby and some carriage racing kept spectators laughing and amazed.
Last year’s first staging of a National Driving Trials in the town of Cahir showed how well received the competitors were! People lined the streets all Saturday and Sunday to see the beautiful carriages parade through the streets and the competitors were delighted to be appreciated for all their efforts and expense.
The 2012 program started at 9am on Saturday until 7pm and resumed at 12 noon on Sunday until 6pm. Various stands and activities also formed part of the event. The official launch of the Butler trail, the Blacksmith’s expo and other craft displays were held around the Castle Car Park (see separate coverage of the Butler Trail launch here).
This was a combined effort of the town of Cahir and the organising committee would like to thank all sponsors and volunteers for their effortd and commitments!)
The photos below were taken at at the event and illustrate the spectacle and the fun despite some variable weather.
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Setting off to enter the Dressage arena through a slightly damp patch of the Inch Field.
The dressage event involves the driving of a sequence of set movements, from memory, in an arena.
Above: Billy Dillon spots the camera and immediately shows a leg - but to no avail.
Left: Mossy Casey directs the crane driver to position the last of the steel sheets in the ford.
Above: There were horses everywhere in town that night. These were on their way to the Enterprise Centre to get some photocopying done.
Left: Checking out the sales in the shops.
Below: Even Paddy McGinty's goat was in town for a pint at the Galtee Inn but found someone sitting in his favourite seat.
Above and Left: The Dressage event requires a great deal of concentration and precision control.
Below: Setting out the cones driving course
Above: The Man in Black recovers quickly to regain second place... but then (left) decides to do some trick riding and loses ground—and finds the ground.
Below: He falls again at the same place he fell on the first lap—there must be a divot there—but again recovers quicky so that he can fall again at the water... jump
What me? Jump that? Are you having a laugh?
I'm going the other way round
The third element of the carriage trials, the Marathon, took place on the Sunday at Kedrah Castle and again on the Inch Field alongside Cahir Castle. There were also plenty of other activities going on throughout the day including the demonstrations of ridden dressage and natural horsemanship. Photos of these appear above so below are pictures of the marathon, which also involves the negotiation of complex obstacles at speed.