Deirdre Murtagh goes shopping on her trusty steed, Betsy the Friesian cow.

The Murtagh family live on a farm in Cloghan, five miles away from Mullingar in County Westmeath.

The family purchase their groceries from The Cloughan Inn and it is 11 year old Deirdre Murtagh’s job to go shopping. Her chosen mode of transport for this task is Betsy, a nine month old Fresian calf reared on the Murtagh farm.

The Cloughan Inn does not have a hitching rail so brother Brendan takes care of Betsy while Deirdre makes the purchases. As well as groceries Deirdre always buys a sweet treat for Betsy.

Daddy bought her as a suckling calf and she used to come in every morning to suck the cows and I brought it from there, I used to pet her as she came in.

When Deirdre first got up on Betsy’s back,

She ran a little bit and then she got the hang of it and I started to ride her.

Friends are astonished by the calf and rider and motorists in the area get a shock when they see the duo ambling along the road.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 14 October 1988. The reporter is Colm Connolly.