President Mary Robinson is just one of the 40,000 visitors attending the week long annual horse fair in Ballinasloe County Galway.
The Ballinasloe Horse Fair dating to the early 1700s, is one of Europe's oldest and biggest horse fairs. It attracts buyers from all over Europe and is worth half a million pounds to the local economy.
Recapturing some old world elegance, President Robinson and her husband Nicholas arrived at the fair in a landau style carriage. The President recalled her family's links with the town and it’s hunting traditions.
My grandmother was master of the Mayo hounds in 1914 and I remember her well riding side saddle, and I think probably sold many a horse here in Ballinasloe.
The Ballinasloe Fair and Festival Secretary Mary Phelan is astounded at some of the prices fetched by horses citing one bought for £37,000 on the way to the event selling for £50,000.
The horse breeding industry is worth close to £70 million to the Irish economy annually.
An RTÉ News report by Jim Fahy broadcast on 30 September 1991.