The annual Connemara Pony Show is underway at Clifden in County Galway.

There are more than 7,000 pure-bread Connemara ponies in Ireland and a similar number abroad in counties as far apart as the United States of America and Australia.

Connemara ponies were originally bred for use on small farms in the West of Ireland but have become one of the top pony breeds in the world. The ponies are international best sellers fetching sums from £1,000 to as much as £5,000 each.

Attending the Connemara Pony Show in Clifden County Galway is John Killeen of the Connemara Pony Breeders Society and he explains the wide-reaching appeal of the breed. The pony is popular in the United States, Britain and its reputation is growing in mainland Europe.

Sweden was one of the first countries to import them on any scale, and they started a society there for the registration of Connemara ponies.

Recently the Americans suggested that bigger Connemara ponies be bred to meet the special demands of the United States market, but the Connemara Pony Society flatly rejected the idea and the official height limit for the Connemara Pony remains at 14.2 hands.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 18 August 1977. The reporter is Jim Fahy.