The Connemara Pony originates in the region west of Galway City known as Connemara. It is a vast area consisting of uninhabited bogland, rocky fields and with the mountain range of the Twelve Bens as a backdrop. It is pounded by the Atlantic Ocean and swept by gales and rain. It is due to this harsh and rugged environment that the Connemara Pony is the hardy, tough pony that is known and loved worldwide. The rugged underfoot conditions resulted in the sure-footedness and tough hooves which is a characteristic of the pony.
Originally a workhorse on the farms of the area, the pony has developed into the ideal all round family pony, suitable for child or adult and capable of excelling in any equestrian sphere. Clifden is the home of the Connemara Pony Sales and of the Connemara Pony Breeders Society, founded in 1923 to preserve the breed. Since then the popularity of the pony has spread worldwide with Connemara Pony Societies throughout Europe, in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
Every year on the third Thursday of August the Connemara Pony Breeders hold their annual show in the Showgrounds in Clifden, attracting thousands from all over Ireland, Europe and beyond.