Montana Horses, Inc.

FOXHUNTING IRELAND
A RIDING ADVENTURE
January 14 - 24, 2018
Brought to you by Red Neck Travels - "Worldly Travel for the Culturally Challenged" 


Ireland – Another Grand Adventure.

 The Red Neck Travels Crew (Worldly Travel for the Culturally Challenged – White Legs, Red Necks) heads out for another fox hunt and riding tromp to Ireland January 14 - 24, 2017.  Someone should warn the Irish!

Join as Montana Horses leads the charge through the best fox hunts and cross country riding in the country!


We’re staying at a gorgeous private estate on Slevoir Bay on the Tipperary Co. side of north Lough Derg (that’s lake for you neophytes) near the Shannon River, smack in the middle of hunt country and classic Irish countryside.  The ten day trip includes six days of riding, including five days of foxhunting with the very best fox hunts and a day of cross country and riding instruction aboard well trained and seasoned mounts at a world-class facility among quaint Irish villages and culture that surround hunt country in the Galway region.  In your spare time (yeah, right) explore the region and take in the area history, pubs, music scene, castles, museums, fishing, golfing, or whatever folly entices us. 

Itinerary (THIS IS LIKELY TO CHANGE LIKE THE WIND):

Sunday, January 14th – Travel

Monday, January 15th – Arrive, settle in the estate. Stock the kitchen, unpack. Find the nearest pub for dinner and celebrate our arrival with craic and Guinness…or scotch...or whiskey. Kick-off dinner celebration.

Tuesday, January 16th – All day.  Meet your horse and fabulous horseman and livery provider, Oliver Walsh at his world-renowned Flowerhill Equestrian Center.  Spend the day in two sessions of cross-country riding and jumping instruction. Get to know your horse and how to jump in Ireland. This is a great opportunity to ride at a little tamer pace than the hunt and we'll do it together to pick you up if you fall in the mud.


The Flowerhill Gang from our 2015 Trip

Wednesday, January 17th –  THE COUNTY ROSCOMMON HUNT -   We’re calling this our home-town hunt, as the huntsman kennels the Co Roscommon hounds at his stable, which also provides our horses and instruction for the week.  Riders will enjoy "mostly good dry land" with stone walls, and an occasional meet with banks, ditches, and hedges.  These hunts start and finish at the pub and the locals turn out in droves to support them.  This is classic Irish fox hunting!

Thursday, January 18th - THE GALWAY BLAZERS.  Why not  the legendary Galway Blazers?  Go big or go home, right? And the infamous Willie Leahy provides our horses. Familiarly known as the Blazers, the hunt originated in 1839. Country hunted is 30 square miles of limestone pasture and dry stone walls with the kennels based at Craughwell, Co. Galway.  Riders will fox hunt, enjoy jumping the famous stone walls, double stone walls, or novices can always find a gap to pass through.



Friday, January 19th - Free Day
We can arrange a tour or excursion for those who wish to see some of the country, and maybe do a little shopping, fishing, and sightseeing.  Or just sit back and relax in front of the fireplace and enjoy the lake and grounds, rest up for the rest of the week.

Saturday, January 20th - THE NORTH TIPPERARY HUNT. With its hedges, walls, and banks we'll be hunting closer to home and with some of our favorite folks.


(North Tipps at Ballycommon, 2015)

Sunday, January 21st -  THE COUNTY ROSCOMMON HUNT Another meet with our newfound friends, of two- and four-legged variety.  New fixture.

Monday, January 22nd – After a week traveling in this gorgeous country, there will no doubt be some must-haves and must-dos that you’ll need to go back for or find.  We’ll all get together for an evening meal back at the house to share photography and stories of adventure, or grab a bite at our new favorite place, and start to see who has room in their bags for the extra wool, tack, raincoats, and mementos from Ireland.  (Horse shipment not included.) We can arrange a tour or excursion for those who wish to see some of the country, like the Cliffs of Moher and a few castles along the way. 

Tuesday, January 23rd – EAST GALWAY HUNT - New hunt country and a brand new hunt highlight this day as we ride along with the East Galway Hunt over bush fences, banks, and a few stone walls.

Wednesday, January 24th – Travel home

See you in Ireland!     ~Renee 

EMAIL US OR CALL 406 285-3541 for more information.



A few photos from some of our previous trips.

COST:  $3500 per person/dbl. occupancy – add $1000 single supplement. 50% due upon booking (non-refundable), balance due December 1. Non-riding option, deduct $2000.  Email reservation request to info@montanahorses.com or call 406 285-3541.

INCLUDES:

Lodging – We're staying in an impeccably restored Italianate Victorian mansion with wonderful views over Slevoir Bay of Lough Derg, Ireland's largest lake. All are just beautiful, renovated and decorated by an Irish designer noted for her comfortable, thoughtful, tasteful traditional interiors. Beyond the incredible decor and architecture, you will appreciate luxuries and comforts such as the heated tiles in the bathrooms, excellent showers, slipper tubs with beautiful views, and of course TV and wifi. Many beautiful bedrooms, most with private bathrooms, offer sleeping arrangements for couples or singles who wish to share accommodations, or just add $1000 for a single supplement and have your own room.  Private sitting areas, pub-style bar, fireplaces, and full use of kitchen and dining areas make this the perfect Irish country getaway. Think Downton Abbey with wifi.

Transportation
 – We have our own driver and car for the duration, who will transfer us from airport, to house, to meets, and anywhere our hearts desire. Additionally, we have a car at the estate for quick runs down to the store.

Riding  – Horse hire and capping fees included. We will enjoy six days horseback, five meets with four different hunts, and a preliminary full day of cross country instruction and riding.  (Tips not included: We do suggest a tip for the livery provider, which we can discuss and deliver as a group upon our safe departure.  Additionally, a tip for a guide or groom that has taken care of you for the day is highly recommended of €5-10/day.) 

DOES NOT INCLUDE:  Food, meals/drinks, tips, spending money, additional tours/entries, etc.(Riders: You will be required to buy a round or bottle if you fall off –providing you can still walk and reach for your wallet.) or Airfare – To Shannon, Ireland, departing US January 14th arriving Monday the 15th and returning January 24th, 2018.  To catch our shuttles, please arrive and meet at the Shannon airport on January 15th (United has the best flight options) and plan to depart in the early morning on Wednesday, January 24th.  United connections go through London (LHR), arriving in Shannon at either 11:15a or 4:45p.  THESE FILL FAST! so book your tickets early.  Departures from Shannon also connect in London, departing 7:30a.  Red Neck Travels is very happy to help you make airfare arrangements.  Just call me if you have any questions. 

NON-RIDING OPTION  - Join us for the adventure.  Deduct $2000.     

A few notes about our trip.  This is group travel and it is shaping up to be one of the most fun…and maybe craziest - if that is possible.  Over the years we have planned many amazing group trips, from six to sixty people.  This is a customized itinerary, with private lodging and transport.  We book and reserve everything ourselves through a little planning company I call Red Neck Travels.  I can customize this itinerary to accommodate most people, but am unable to add participants who do not lodge with us.  The lodging defines our trips.  We rent high-end villas and move into a community for the duration, self-cater. 

Shopping, eating and preparing meals is one of the best ways to get to know a region and to have fun as a group.  As a house, we will have at least two group meals, made from food and beverages purchased at local stores and prepared by the group.   In between, there are many local establishments with excellent locally sourced food and wonderful atmosphere. We may choose to enjoy local pubs and restaurants, travel off to distant locations, or gather as a whole or in parts for home-cooked or catered meals in our gorgeous house.  Breakfasts and lunches are always up to you, and we hope you’ll utilize this facility to make it home.  Generally, most Meets begin in a town center at a pub and often the Hunt or pub will provide a small lunch after the hunt. We also generally get together to stock the bar and wine cellar and have cocktail hour nightly.

Transportation to and from our meets and group outings is provided by a van and driver that will provide us with ample room and customized itinerary.  Additionally, I will have a second private car for trips to the village, extra gear, and side jaunts. We are located about an hour to an hour and a half from the Meets each day.  During our free days, you may wish to hire a car or rent one of your own instead of joining the group.  Let me know and I can help make arrangements for you.  

Throughout the week, a supplemental loose itinerary will start to shape up, based upon the interests of the group.  Or not. You will always be welcome to go it alone and choose your own.  We can help with information about the area, but we will never micromanage your time.                

PASSPORTS REQUIRED

WEATHER:  Average Temperature is 48F to 38F and it generally rains every day a little. (No one goes to Ireland for the sunshine.)

CURRENCY & COSTS: Ireland is on the Euro.  The current conversion is $1 = €0.85  Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards are widely accepted, AmEx in most places.  Travelers checks are NOT accepted in most places. We usually use cash, getting a few days’ worth at the convenient exchange kiosk in the airport, then finding a better exchange rate locally at a bank (open 10-4).  Ireland is expensive. There is a 21% VAT (value added tax) on everything you buy! It is included in the price.  You can have it refunded if you save your receipts and do a little paperwork, good idea if you plan to make substantial purchases.  Food is expensive, restaurants can be up to twice as much as here and groceries are also high.  There is NOT a strong tipping culture in Ireland.  10% for table service (unless it is already included in the bill) or personal services is suggested, but it is NOT customary for bartenders or counter service. Use your discretion, but know it is not customary and would not be considered rude if you do not tip. We do suggest a tip for the livery provider, which we can discuss and deliver as a group upon our safe departure.  Additionally, a tip for a guide or groom that has taken care of you for the day is highly recommended of €5-10/day. 
Porters/taxis/tour guides – €1-2 is fine.

CLOTHING/PACKING TIPS: We recommend bringing an extra suitcase for the things you’ll want while there, like wool, rain gear, and tack.  Overweight bags are generally more expensive than just checking another. Riders: We’ll ride English only.  You can bring your own stirrup leathers and irons, rubber riding boots, extra stirrup leather for an “oh-sh*t” strap, tan breeches, black coat (or whatever you have but, NO RED), and hunt cap or helmet.  Remember it is cool and wet.  It drizzles every day, so be prepared to get muddy and wet.  Thankfully, there's a Laundromat close by. 

Our home for the week.

East Galway, Tuamgraney