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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One of the (Many) Reasons I Love Ireland: Racing on the Beach

by Fran Jurga | 17 March 2009 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

This video is like a quick trip to Ireland, although I have never actually been there when the beach races were on. The festival you see here is at Glenbeigh on Dingle Bay in County Kerry and is held every August. No, I don't know how long the races are, but I'm sure it is a good distance. 

Glenbeigh is near the place where, in Irish mythology, Oisin and Niamh rode the white horse shod with silver shoes into the sea to journey to that land of eternal youth known as Tir na nOg.

To learn more: Two favorite movies set in this part of Ireland are the heart-wrenching film about Irish rebellion, Ryan's Daughter, from the 1970s and Into the West from the 1980s. The latter is about two Traveler ("gypsy") children who run away from the slums of Dublin with their gallant horse named Tir na nOg, who unbeknownst to them just happens to be a famous show jumper missing from the Dublin Horse Show. They are convinced that they will find cowboys and Indians, or at least the land of Tir na nOg from the Irish legend, if they ride off into the west. 

Click here to read the legend of Tir na nOg...and why it pays to take care of your horse. There are many versions of this legend, but most include references to hooves. In one version, the white mare gets a stone caught in her silver shoe and the hero dismounts to relieve her pain...and instantly ages.

Here's to Ireland--the people and her horses!

1 comment:

Lua Oas Southard said...

Well Fran, I've been to Dingle and seen the bay but it was a month past the race on the beach -- now I want to go back and see it. I loved the Dingle area. And I'm going to see if NetFlix has the movie, Into the West. I know I'll cry, but I think it will be worth shedding a few tears. Thanks for sharing these with us.