The Kerry Bog Pony is partner No 6 in the Interreg III Equisave Project. As part of our participation the Society hosted a seminar for the other partners in Glenbeigh in October 2007. Delegates came from France, Spain and Portugal. We had presentations and meetings each morning and then in the afternoon we took our visitors on outings to see Bog Ponies and other items of interest in the surrounding region. On Friday we had two invited speakers who addressed research projects undertaken on the Kerry Bog Pony, funded by the Department of Agriculture and Food. We arranged simultaneous translation for the delegates and invited a number of local owners to come and hear the talks. Dr Francis Kearney from the ICBF and Aisling Heffernan from Weatherbys gave excellent lectures which explained the background research informing the conservation programme for the Kerry Bog Programme.

On the first night John and Olive Mulvihill hosted a reception with Irish Coffees all round at the Red fox Inn. John welcomed everyone and hoped they would enjoy their time in Kerry. One of the highlights of their visit was a night out at the Greyhound Track in Tralee. We also visited a pub for a music session. Kitty and Francis Flynn drove us everywhere in their minibus and were unfailingly efficient, informative and great fun. We took our visitors into the Black Valley to see Gene Tangney's ponies running in a herd on the mountainside and to the Red fox Inn where Michael Teahan and Mary McGrath drove their ponies and carts out on an old bog road laden down with European visitors. We stayed at the Glenbeigh Hotel where the atmosphere was wonderful with excellent food and drink in the bar while the business end of things took place in the dining room. Mrs Mary Keary and her staff were superb and the feedback from the participants has been excellent. It was a hugely successful endeavour and a credit to all concerned.

Equisave finishes at the end of 2007 but exploratory research continues to see if there is a follow up programme that could continue the network of contacts that has been built up under the current project.

Mise en valeur du patrimoine naturel représenté par les races équines locales pour la promotion des territoires de l'Espace Atlantique

INTERREG III is the new community initiative of the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) for the period 2000 to 2006. The Atlantic Area includes Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, France, Spain and Portugal.


The Kerry Bog Pony Co-operative Society Ltd became partner No 6 in the Equisave Project Priority D-1.*

Chairman: Dr Leo Curran (patrickleocurran@eircom.net)Secretary:Mary McGrath (marymcg@indigo.ie)

The Kerry Bog Pony Co-operative Society Ltd is concentrating its efforts on three main areas:

  1. Conservation
  2. Environment
  3. Tourism


The Kerry Bog Pony is an extremely rare breed. It has survived for centuries in the bogs and mountains of Kerry. Mr John Mulvihill, guided by Dr Leo Curran and Dr John Flynn, maintained records for 14 years documenting all known ponies. In 2005 the Kerry Bog was recognized as a "new" breed of pony by the Department of Agriculture and Food and by the European Commission. Inspections were carried out and the first official passports were issued by the Irish Horse Board in 2006. Procedures are now in place to ensure the survival of the breed.


The Society is preparing a report on modified bogland which forms the grazing terrain of a large proportion of the known Kerry Bog Pony herd


The Society's major initiative is the organization of a Festival of Rare Breeds which will take place in Co Kerry and will combine all the objectives of the Equisave project: conservation, environment and tourism. This festival will bring together farmers, conservators and academics to study and promote endangered native and traditional breeds of cattle, sheep, horses etc in order to maintain genetic diversity. It is intended that this will become an annual festival which will endure well beyond the completion of the Equisave Project in 2007.

Our associated partner breeds in Ireland are the Irish Draught Horse and the Connemara Pony.


Le Poney Landais www.poneylandais.comUPRa Mulassieres du Poitou www.racesmulassieresdupoitou.comLe Pottok http://pottok.anp.free.frLe Cabalo Galego www.cabalogalego.comLe Zamorano-Leones www.aszal.comL'Ane de Miranda www.aepga.ptEquisave www.equisave.eu

*Priority D-1

Promotion of Atlantic cultures and heritage and encouragement of cultural creation:

  • Contribution to the development of the culture and heritage of the Atlantic Area
  • Contribution to the sustainable regional development of the Area
  • Attracting Tourists
  • Actions that strengthen collaborations with other INTERREG III areas

The Atlantic Area programme must guarantee a balanced, consistent and sustainable social and economic development of the whole Atlantic Area, achieved particularly through regional development cooperation.


  1. Improvement in the integration of regional development policies, and implementation via an increase in the number of joint strategies targeted on the promotion of the specific assets of this area
  2. Development of a culture of trans-national and inter-regional cooperation, via an increase in the number of partnerships and collaboration procedures: networking of territories and Atlantic actors

To implement this strategy, the regions of the Atlantic Area are encouraged to work together to achieve FOUR SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:

  1. To search for sustainable development schemes in the Atlantic Area via an integrated strategy and development programme, and to harmonise social, economic and environmental objectives beyond national borders; this development strategy must take into account the interdependencies between urban and rural zones, as well as their endogenous features and potentials
  2. To encourage the economic competitiveness and effectiveness of the Atlantic Area in order to overcome the handicaps of its location in relation to the rest of Europe, to help reduce economic disparities, and to promote the integration of workforces and the strengthening of their skills
  3. To ensure that the cultural, historical and environmental assets of the Atlantic area are preserved and protected from anarchic development, and that resources are used rationally
  4. To ecourage the coherence and cohesion of the Atlantic Area, both to affirm its identity as a group of regions and to increase its relations with other regional groups within the European Union with a view to enlargement, the aim being to develop better integration between partners inside and outside the Atlantic Area

Extract from the Operational Programme, Chapter 1.

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