Ya see, whenever we go out for a walk (not only because we have to but sometimes when it just seems like a darn good idea) we’re likely to find a horse that’s sociable enough to want to try to eat the kids hair whilst they fawn over said horse as if its a giant baby. Don’t get me wrong; I love the nags and the visits never get old, doubt they could. So when we heard there was a horse FAIR nearby in Ballinasloe, and not just any ordinary horse fair but the oldest annual HF in Europe, replete with amusement rides, curios, music & shenanigans we signed up gleefully for one of the busiest Sundays in recent memory. So….
Where do I start? First, this picture doesn’t do justice…you have to realize there are thousands upon thousands of horses in town for this. The first thing that hits you is the lack of parking ANYWHERE close enough to actually see horse mecca. So I dropped the wife and daughter off & took my boy to troll for spots. That’s when the second thing hits us. Everywhere, everywhere like an evil, stinky explosion of confetti were the biscuits. They don’t care…they drop…they’re horses. I lucked out a little over a mile away and stuck Finn on my shoulders and hit the bricks being extra careful to dance around horse bombs and the impenetrable exchange with someone well traveled who took a liking to me for a minute. The language didn’t sound like Irish plus I can understand a pretty thick accent. I thought I was losing my hearing or my mind when he said “good on ya mate, bye.” I breathed deep clouds of horse as the rest of my family came into view.
Nola welcomes you to the Fair. If you click the link you’ll get the lowdown on the event and the whos and wheres.
There are the girls. Usually about 16 to 20 all with spray tans and outfits that run the range between hoochie and extravagant. Sometimes they dawn big white dresses or fox fur and miniskirts. Then the guys, some looking like Jackie Cooper from the early 40s with their wing tips, side parted hair and riding canes. Each side puts on the show for the other. The girls are looking for husbands. They’re travelers and many of the families are in the horse trade. This is the place to buy and sell. There are also head splitting cherry bombs going off every 2 minutes, clandestine tossings in the amusement area from young troublemakers. The smell of horse and various perfumes, some not so nice colognes, meet with the sound of hard amusement ride autotuned house mixes to produce an experience that cannot be forgotten. I heard this is one of those events where the people are actually happy the Garda are there. It’s an equine Sturgis.
Here you go…horse trailer paddy wagon.
They had dere fun, n tats whut matters!