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Spend St. Patrick’s Day on Horseback in Ireland

Millbrook, NY—January 15, 2004—Cross Country International Equestrian Vacations, is now taking reservations for two exciting vacation packages in Ireland during the week of St. Patrick’s Day. These riding packages, coupled with a special $99 fare from Aer Lingus, offer an extraordinary value for an unforgettable experience.

St. Patrick’s Day Galway Ride

The St. Patrick’s Day Galway Ride, March 15-20, 2004, features sights most tourists miss. Guests ride over ancient Celtic trails, through rural farming land in County Clare, and down the streets of local villages. Each night the riders return to their comfortable guesthouse, where they enjoy traditional Irish dinners by the open Irish peat fire.

The morning of March 17, guests are chauffeured into Galway for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. This elaborate parade, in historic Galway city, gives riders a chance to immerse themselves in Irish culture, experience local traditions, and learn about Irish heritage. After the parade, guests are invited to participate in a guided walking tour of the famous medieval city.

The week’s culminating event takes place on March 19. The day starts with an invigorating ride through the Burren, Ireland’s most interesting natural preserve. Riders will conclude their day with a visit to the village of Bunratty, and an elaborate medieval dinner banquet in Bunratty’s 14th century castle, complete with traditional music and dancing entertainment.

Guests on this extraordinary St. Patrick’s Day vacation ride up to four hours per day (excluding March 17) on experienced Irish hunter type horses and Irish Cobs. Paces range from a brisk gallop to a leisurely walk as riders are led through the heather, bog and forest by skilled and knowledgeable guides while experiencing some of the best riding in Ireland.

St. Patrick’s Kinnitty Castle Trail Ride

The St. Patrick’s Kinnitty Castle Trail Ride, March 14-19, 2004, offers riders the chance to spend St. Patrick’s Day riding on the same ground that Ireland’s patron saint traveled in the year 432 AD. The Kinnitty Castle St. Patrick’s Ride includes six nights at the fascinating 11th century Kinnitty Castle, known for its medieval décor, four-poster bedrooms, and roaring fireplaces, all with the luxuries of modern life.

Guests ride well-conditioned Irish Sport Horses along the Bosna River, through the deep forests of the Slieve Bloom Mountains and on to another ancient castle. Depending on weather conditions, guests may tour the eerie Leap Castle. Known as the most haunted castle in Ireland, Leap Castle is the birthplace of anecdotes that are sure to send chills down the spine of even the bravest rider. Guests can learn the history of the historic castle, said to be the home of over 50 ghosts, from the castle’s proprietor himself.

St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated with a large, traditional Irish feast. Guests will enjoy an elaborate dinner in Kinnitty Castle’s banquet hall and entertainment complete with Irish music and set dancing.

When not riding through magical forest and wide-open meadows, or touring haunted castles, guests can unwind with a hot drink in the castle’s cozy library or take advantage of other on-site offerings. Golfing, tennis, hiking, biking, shooting and fishing are also available. Kinnitty Castle is equipped with a modern health facility, tennis courts, two comfortable pubs and beautifully manicured grounds, perfect for an evening stroll.


The cost of the St. Patrick's Day Galway Ride is U.S. $1295 per person and includes five nights accommodation, four days of guided trail riding, all meals, an excursion and banquet at Bunratty Castle.

The cost of the Kinnitty Castle St. Patrick’s Day ride is U.S. $1495 per person and includes five nights accommodation at Kinnitty Castle, breakfast and lunch on riding days, four days of riding, and a banquet dinner on St. Patrick’s Day.

For more information on the St. Patrick’s Day Galway Ride, the Kinnitty Castle St. Patrick’s Ride, or other equestrian vacations, please contact Cross Country International at (800) 828-8768, info@xcintl.com, or by visiting www.equestrianvacations.com. For airfare information, visit Aer Lingus at www.aerlingus.com.


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Updated: October 2005.