Smithfield horse market in Dublin, Ireland, in pictures
Smithfield horse fare pictures
Smithfield horse market is a bustling 400-year-old horse fare in Dublin, Ireland that takes place on the first Sunday of the month, every month.
Hundreds of horse lovers, traders and 'urban cowboy' pony kids from across Ireland fill the square just outside of Dublin city center to take part in the incredible market.
VOTE NOW: Should Smithfield horse market stay open? Click here for web poll
Visit the original Smithfield horse market blog with pictures, video, dates, maps and more!
Also at the fair are tourists, photographers and film-makers who are eager to capture the unique, lively, and traditional Irish atmosphere at the market.
Scroll down for video
This is a selection of some of the most atmospheric pictures of the market that capture the sight, sounds and smell of the horse fair.
The Smithfield horse market is one of the most regularly held equine markets in the world. What makes the fare so unique is that there is no official organisation behind it. Traders simply turn up at the Smithfield square, which has now been re-branded as an upmarket plaza, and begin selling or their animals.
More Smithfield and horse fair hubs
- Smithfield Horse Market in Dublin, Ireland
Smithfield horse fair takes place on the first Sunday of the month. The next market is on April 3rd 2011. It starts from sunrise and finishes by noon. VOTE NOW: Should Smithfield horse market stay open?...
- Animal abuse and cruelty at Smithfield Horse Market in Dublin
There are few places in the world where animal cruelty continues on a regular basis. That makes the unspeakable treatment of ponies at the Smithfield Horse Market in Dublin, Ireland on the first Sunday of...
- Urban horse riding and urban cowboys
Urban horse riding is when children and teenagers keep horses in cities and housing estates in a striking contrast to the green countryside stables where equines are usually kept. These riders have...
- Traditional gypsy horse fairs in the UK
When: June every year Where: Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, Englan How much: Free Appleby Horse Fair is the largest and most well known equine market anywhere in the world. Every year thousands of Romany...
- Appleby Horse Fair for Gypsies and Travellers
Appleby Horse Fair is the largest and most well known equine market anywhere in the world. Every year more than 10,000 gypsies and travellers plus up to 30,000 visitors descend on the small town of...
Buying the creatures are fellow traders, breeders, riding school owners, horse owners who ride for pleasure and children and teenagers from around Ireland who keep the animals as semi-wild pets. These children and teenagers are known as pony kids or urban cowboys.
An attraction for photographers
The Smithfield market over the last few years has become a growing attraction for photographers and film-makers who are keen to challenge themselves and capture the unique atmosphere of the market. On some days, there can easily be up to 30 or 40 amateur photographers mingling among the horses and traders to get a good picture.
Anybody who would like to visit the market to take their own set of pictures is recommended to arrive early and stay until the market disperses at around noon. Many of the Irish people who are part of the market are happy to chat and have their picture taken. Some will pose with their animals for photographers if they are asked before hand.
Horses are wild animals and can kick, rear, buck, spin and bite. So photographers who are visiting the market should always be alert to this kind of behavior from the animals. It is also important to remember that tempers can become frayed between horse traders and between the DSPCA and police who sometimes watch the market.
Tourists visiting Dublin often want to pass through the market as part of their sightseeing trip. The market is truly unique and can give a perspective of 'the real Ireland' away from the bright lights of O'Connell Street and Dublin city centre. For those visitors who are visiting the market it is recommended arriving fairly early at around 9am. The market is easy to reach by taxi and it should cost no more than a few euros. After the market, the streets around Smithfield are fairly deserted apart from the occasional horse and trap rolling by or pony kid trotting their animal, and it may only take around 20 minutes to walk back to Dublin city center.
More by this Author
Abraham Lincoln, John Steinbeck, William Shakespeare, Winston Churchill and more. All the best and most memorable horse quotes from famous people throughout history
The ultimate online encyclopaedia of facts and fun information about horses. Did you know that an ancient law makes it illegal to open an umbrella near a horse in New York city? Or that the oldest pony on record died...
Find out whether the price of the Drawn Blank series of prints by Bob Dylan on the secondary market has gone up - or down - the key factor in whether it is a good investment.