West Cork has a tradition of great love and affinity for horses. There are many breeders here, ranging from the Irish Draught Horse, through ponies to thoroughbreds. There is the long

established West Carbery Hunt, Point-to-Point, Pony Club, showing, driving and trotters, sulky racing and the very exiting road trotting. There is also a great deal of trotting in the spectacular countryside.

In Ballydehob, there is the famous Road Race at Easter and the Ballydehob Racing Club, with it's fine Race Horses is very involved. The whole community makes sure that this is a great success.

Also, this year there was the Fancy Dress Cheval Ride, in May to raise money for charity, filling the village with a carnival atmosphere as the colourful riders rode to Schull and back.

"Abdullah", whose grand-sire is "Nijinisky" is at Stouke Stud along with others.

At Ballycumisk Riding Stables, Derry Collins welcomes you to a great day out with horses to suit all levels of competence, everything from blood horses to traditional coloured ponies. Ballycumisk is situated on the coast, and the ride takes you along quiet country roads, with breath-taking views of Roaring Water Bay and it's magical islands and the ancient ruin of the O'Mahony castle at Rossbrin. The rich colours of the heather and the gorse and the pure air make this a wonderful experience. The rides of one or two hours long or all day trekking, with a stop for a picnic lunch in the shade of a castle are a must. These rides are accompanied by an experienced rider who will guide you.

Derry also provides riding lessons in his arena with Julia White an experienced teacher. He also has a selection of traps and a ride out on one of these is great fun.

Charlotte Gillespie of Ballydehob Tack Sales will cater for all your equestrian needs from overreach boots to riding hats. Selling from the farm she is open all hours and has been known to open up late Christmas Eve for a last minute emergency, to allow someone to attend the St. Stephen's Day races. Charlotte offers a friendly service and can be reached on 028 37634 or via the Ballycumisk Riding Stables.

Julia White of Pegasus horse training works free-lance providing tailor made training to suit you and your horse. The sensitive nature of  behavioural problems is dealt with by using horse psychology, thus getting to the root of the  matter. Julia teaches at Ballycumisk Riding Stables and can be contacted at 028 22931 or 086 8307743. Her E-mail address is 'mwhite@esatclear.ie'.

Horses and riding

Dunbeacon Equestrian Centre                                                                            tel. 027 61532

Prop. Sally Bolger.

A small friendly yard, professionally run by qualified staff.

B H S, A B R S, and Monty Roberts horsemanship.

A kinder way to ride.

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