Horses play an important part in the life of the Tinahely community and that of the people in the surrounding countryside and villages. Everywhere you go in the area you will see horses and ponies grazing in the fields. There has been a continuity of involvement with horses amongst the local farming community for centuries and all the skills associated with producing a variety of thoroughbred, sports horses and ponies still survive to this day.
The Annual Wicklow County Show organised and run by the Tinahely Agricultural Show Society is held at Fairwood Park just a mile outside the village on August Bank Holiday Monday. The Show has always provided a wonderful showcase for horses bred and produced in the area and attracts a considerable number of entries from the surrounding counties. Many classes are qualifiers for National Competitions. Here you can see everything from brood mares, side saddle classes, draught classes, carriage driving, jumping, working hunter and show classes. For anyone who likes horses, it is the place to be on August Monday.
At Broomfield Equestrian Centre, just a short drive outside the village on the Tinahely/Knockananna Road, there are great opportunities to enjoy equestrian sport at any level. The centre caters for all standards of riders from beginners to advanced. With a large indoor school and even larger outdoor arena along with cross country courses and miles of trekking facilities, visitors and locals alike have the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful outdoor activity in a beautiful setting. For further information contact Pam Horan on 0402 38117 or 087 7513186.
Years of experience in breeding has meant that a variety of horses are produced very successfully in the Tinahely area. There are several established studs and these have produced a string of national hunt and flat race winners.
A young local trainer, Philip Rothwell, whose training yard and gallops are located a short distance from Tinahely, has already made a name for himself both at home and in Britain. He holds a licence to train for both National Hunt and flat racing but mainly specialises in the training for horses for jump racing both at home and abroad.
Hunting is also a big part of life in the area and the Shillelagh District Hunt has been active for well over 50 years attracting local support and visitors from around the country and abroad. The hunt also holds several Point to Point races during the year and these are also very well attended.
The Riding Club Movement is also well represented with two riding clubs operating in the area – The Tinahely Riding Club in Coolboy and the Broomfield Riding Club in Mullans.