Claire Connaghan grew up in Co Donegal, Ireland. She always loved horses and was lucky enough to have a mother who shared that love. The first pony she had was a bay gelding called Rocket, but he wasn’t best suited to young children, so they exchanged him for an older mare called Signet.
Claire’s great-uncle Charlie came to live with them when she was quite young and she spent most weekends and holidays up at “Charlie’s Farm” (minding the cows and horses). Throughout the years they acquired more horses and Claire spent all of her spare time learning from the horses on the farm.
After school Claire went to Kildare to train as a riding school instructor but developed an interested in racehorses and, instead, trained as an assistance racehorse trainer. She worked in the racehorse industry for 10 years before moving to Australia where she worked at the Vinery Stud, prepping yearling for the sales industry and bringing them to the sales.
After several years in Australia, including mustering cattle at a cattle station, she returned home to Ireland and opened a pony trekking and riding school centre – Charlie’s Pony Trekking.