The Connemara Pony is a small breed of horse that has become synonymous with the West of Ireland. These ponies are strong, hardy, and resilient to the often difficult weather conditions on the Atlantic Coast. The Connemara Pony Breeders Society (CPBS) was established in 1923 with the aim of preserving the breed. The ponies are extremely strong over long distances on rough terrain and make excellent competitors in endurance events. The CPBS decided to host a show of Connemara ponies to highlight the standards of the breed and seek out and recognise the best animals in the country.
The first Connemara Pony show did not actually take place in Clifden at all. Instead it was held in Roundstone on the 15th of August 1924 with 150 Connemara ponies being entered. The opening ceremony inculded a performance from renowned cricket player Prince Ranjitsinhhi who had relocated to Ballynahinch castle. The second show in 1925 was held in Recess. It then moved to Carna where it remained until 1947 when the 24th annual show was held in Clifden which has been the show's home ever since. The show today is an entire festival celebrating the famed Irish breed. Entertainments include music and talks. The show takes place annually on the third Thursday of the month of August.