Sunday, March 2, 2008

Smithfield Horse Market Dublin Ireland

Today, I walked out my front door and found myself in the midst of the Smithfield Horse Fair. Instantly, I was in the company of hundreds of people, hundreds of horses and more than a ton of horse shit. Being a Texan, I felt right at home even though there was a genuine lack of tobacco spit.

For the last two hundred or so years, horse and pony traders (and spectators like myself) have been congregating at the Smithfield Market while skipping church on the first Sunday of every month. People come from all over Dublin to the horse fair for many reasons: to speculate on horses, buy the horses speculated on, hang out, smoke, drink, litter and ride their horses as fast as they can through crowded areas while yelling at innocent by standards, who are obviously in the way.

The Smithfield Horse fair is not organized, it just happens. The lack of organization is obvious. There are no official set of rules, no official start time, no official end time and certainly no officials to officiate. It’s pretty much a free for all.

This was made very clear to me when I witnessed a Dublin youth throw a glass bottle about 15 feet in the air (with a big shit eating grin on his face), which shattered into a million glittering pieces at the hooves of a innocent horse. A man who was holding the reins quickly lifted his arm, pointed his finger and yelled, “Bollox!,” at the boy. It was a pretty futile gesture. The boy smiled, chucked the unfriendly deuce at the man and ran off laughing.

(The boys in the image to the left were not responsible for the bottle chuck and run)

While trekking through the market I met Johnny and his horse named Spot. Johnny was kind enough to let me take his picture and I honestly admit I was surprised at how nice this young man was. After I took the photo, he asked me if he could see the picture. He posed, I clicked and he then looked at the image closely for at least ten seconds. He looked at me and smiled. He was impressed with himself; he knew he looked good. I asked him, "Who looks better, you or Spot?" He said, "Spot!" and I am sure he thought I was an idiot for thinking anything otherwise.

You can be the judge.

Johnny asked me to send the picture to his email and made me repeat his address more than once. His accent was pretty thick, so, Johnny, if your out there, email me and I would be happy to send you a copy. All in all, I can say that Fun was had by most at the Smithfield horse fair.

I'm Out


1 comment:

Beatrice Locatelli said...

Who looks better, you or Spot?" He said, "Spot!