The farm is run by 3 generations of the O'Connor family.
Our stables are situated in the scenic North West of Ireland, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Donegal Bay. Originally from O Connors Island, the family settled in the present mainland homestead in the 1950s. In 1994 the horse breeding and riding stables were added to the cattle farm.
Today there are over 50 horses and ponies that enjoy a life close to nature in the vast fields between Benbulben Mountain and the sea. The nearest beach is only a few minutes ride from the stables.
You can enjoy a fresh canter, a leisurely stroll or a splash in the sea. We offer you the unique opportunity to explore our private island on horseback.
Island View is a small family farm that has grown into an equestrian centre with "old world charm". Bantam hens, runner ducks, rabbits and kittens roam the farm and provide hours of enchantment for our young visitors. Meet Duchess the pug and Rossi the miniature stallion!
".....I've ridden in some spectacular places but cantering along the sand with the Atlantic on one side and the Benbulben Mountain on the other takes some beating. As we rode back across slippery rocks, watching Ursula's cows on her own private island amble down to the beach, the sun broke through the clouds. It was a magical moment." Linsey McNeill in “A green oasis for all the family".
The Island View Crew
Raymond O' Connor
Little big boss and island farmer, Raymond makes sure the farm runs smoothly. He tries to keep jeeps and tractors running, looks after the hay saving and feeding.
Raymond holds the BET (British Equestrian Tourism) Ride Leader, First Aid at Work, British Driving Society Preliminary and Road Safety certificates.
Ursula Schweiger O'Connor (nickname "Uschi")
Born in Bavaria (Germany), Ursula fell in love with the place, married Raymond and settled here. “Center” of all things Island View, be it riders, holiday guests, children, horses, hens, students.... and is in charge of running the yard and office. She looks after the training of horses and riders. Whatever it is you need, Uschi will make it happen for you – with a smile....
She is the first and so far only Centered Riding®Level 2 Instructor recognised by Sally Swift in Ireland.
Ursula holds BET (British Equestrian Tourism) Ride Leader, Centered Riding® Level 2, EFI (Equestrian Federation of Ireland) Level 1 Coach, British Horse Society Road Safety Trainer, British Horse Society and Irish Sports Council Child Protection, British Driving Society Preliminary, Road Safety and Intermediate Certificate and Occupational First Aid Certificates. Ursula is currently training towards her British Driving Society teaching qualification (preliminary teaching test). She is also Failte Ireland’s Regional Ambassador for The Wild Atlantic Way.
Our charming, professional instructor and yard manager. Started with us in spring 2018 and has already accumulated a great following of local children and adults who adore her lessons. Sarah is always on hand to assist and chat to clients, while keeping the yard routine, staff and horse management organised. Sarah is well able to juggle on all fronts so to speak!
An equine science first class honours graduate from University of Limerick, Sarah also holds British Horse Society Assistant Instructor qualifications, Safeguarding 1 and Occupational First Aid Certificates.
Budding horse farmers. Take after their parents Raymond and Uschi.
John- Alfred is an expert bug-hunter and chicken tamer with a passion for farm machinery. He enjoys Pony Club games and hunter trials.
Elisa started riding in nappies and impresses with a supple seat and confidence. She is our rising star in the horse sport arena. Ambitious young rider who loves show jumpingon the national and , occassionally international circuit. She spends hours polishing her horses to achieve “that glitzy” finish. She is also in charge of producing and marketing the home bred sport horses. Elisa recently completed the Pony Club B+ exam and hs joined the rank of instructor in the yard as well as for pny club. She also holds safeguarding 1.
Duchess and Bruce
The cute, wrinkly and always comical welcoming committee. Mother and sun team of pugs. They can be found either snoring and lounging on the couch or jumping around the reception area, looking for children who will rub them.
Behind the scenes is Granny Liz. Baker of divine apple tarts and brown bread that even skinny talk show hosts can't resist! She knows the local history and folklore. Liz is the friendly receptionist and the First Lady at the heart of the family enterprise.
Klara and Daire
Our local assistants in the yard and on treks. They ride with us from when they were little and Island View is almost like a second home to them..... when they are not cruising around the globe working with horses.
They hold Occupational First Aid, BHS Riding and Road Safety and Pony Club C+ Cert.
Our current working students come from Germany, England and Austria. Each with their own skill set and assigned project pony, they have gelled into a hard working and fun loving team.
We take on live-in internship students to work with the horses and to help with looking after customers. First Aid Training, experience in working with horses and riders is essential. Minimum stay is 8 weeks . If you are a pony size rider and not afraid of outdoor work, please feel free to apply. A detailed job description can be found here, please fill in our job interview form if interested.