About the Centre
Willie Leahy has led trails in Connemara for over 40 years and has been involved with horses and the tourist industry for most of his life. Customers return time and again to ride both in Connemara or at Willie’s Dartfield Equestrian Centre. Riding is available to riders of all levels either as a 6 day package on the trails, or by full day, half day and hourly at Dartfield which is the only museum in the world dedicated to the Irish horse and Connemara pony.
Connemara and Coast Trails
About the Activities
The trails are true post to post trails, guided through the mountains and along the Connemara Coastline by Willie Leahy or his professional staff. Ride for 6 – 7 hours daily through the spectacular mountain landscape and along deserted beaches to your mount’s next pasture. Every day start in one place and end the day approximately 20 miles away. See the landscape change as you travel vast distances, becoming one with your surefooted Irish horse or pony, in the spirit of a true explorer.
Dartfield Equestrian Centre
During the winter Willie Leahy is based at his Dartfield Equestrian Centre, a 20,000 sq foot purpose built facility with a cross country course to suit riders of all levels set in 350 acres of parkland. Riders are based in Loughrea and trail ride through the beautiful rural landscape of County Galway. This trail offers plenty of jumping and fast riding for experienced riders, but can be tailored to suit any level.
The Coast Trail (May – October) Aille Cross Trail (October – May) Fox hunting with Galway Blazers Pony rides for children Instruction for all levels Cross country course to suit all levels Horses and Ponies always for sale
Horse Riding Activities
- The Connemara Trail (May – October)
- The Coast Trail (May – October)
- Aille Cross Trail (October – May)
- Fox hunting with Galway Blazers
- Pony rides for children
- Instruction for all levels
- Cross country course to suit all levels
- Horses and Ponies always for sale
- 20,000 sq foot horse museum
- Farm walks
- Nature trail
- Off road driving course
- Golf/cycling etc can be arranged
- Sightseeing within one of the most beautiful areas of Ireland
About the Horses
Willie owns over 400 Irish bred horses and ponies of varying ages and sizes, so you can be sure there will be one to suit you. All the horses and ponies used by Willie have been carefully selected for their superb temperaments and wonderful jumping ability. Horses and ponies sold by Willie can be found in all corners of the globe, competing or being used for pleasure riding. Many of our Connemara ponies are sired by Willie’s own stallion, Gary Hinch Finn, who has twice won the Clifden Connemara show. He is the sire of Kiltartan Easter Prince, one of the top ponies currently on the UK circuit.
About the Facilities and Accommodation
All of the accommodation used has been chosen to combine superb quality and a true Irish welcome. Guests can stay either in a luxurious four star hotel or in friendly and comfortable family run bed and breakfast accommodation.
All our packages include riding, accommodation, transfers during the ride and all meals. Delicious Irish breakfast to set you up for the day, tasty picnic style lunch and dinner eaten either at your accommodation or at one of a selection of restaurants chosen for their high quality cuisine.
We enjoyed every day and the week went by too fast. This really is the best way to see this fantastic landscape.
Britta and Juta, Germany
Thank you for this wonderful time and thank you for showing us Connemara, the most beautiful place in the world.
Thank you for your kindness and attention. It was a pleasure to discover Ireland with you.
Directions to Centre
Dartfield is approximately 4 miles east of Loughrea just off the main Galway to Dublin road. The meeting point for the summer trails is the Meyrick Hotel in the centre of Galway, from where riders are transported to the start of the trail.