Fairy tales and hard working pack ponies all part of the annual Connemara Pony Show in Clifden.

More than 400 ponies are taking part in various categories at the 71st annual Connemara Pony Show in Clifden, County Galway.

While the event is organised by the Connemara Breeders Society, folklorist Bina McLoughlin says the first Connemara Pony Shows were staged by the fairies.

In the olden days the horses were seen here galloping at night, from the sea and the people used to watch them by moonlight even in the pagan times and they always said there’d be something here in this special field.

Ten year old Grace Murphy won the Under 13 section with her pony.

I love riding her because she’s just my size, and I like her and I know that I’ll have lots more years on her.

International interest in the Connemara pony has lead to the formation of breading societies around the world. President of the American Connemara Pony Society Mary Rutter says the ponies are becoming more appreciated in the United States and Canada.

The breed is growing in popularity and growing in numbers.

President of the Dutch Connemara Pony Society Joop de Jong says the breeding is getting better in Ireland and they are trying to follow suit in Holland.

President of the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society Eamon Hanan is delighted with the success of the Connemara Pony Show and says it greatly contributes to the local economy.

We have 18 overseas societies and every member of an overseas society is a potential buyer.

A yearling or a two year old pony can fetch between £1,500 and £3,000 and for Val Moran breeding Connemara ponies can be more lucrative than rearing suckler cows.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 18 August 1994. The reporter is Jim Fahy.