Seeing is believing - especially when it comes to seeing pink horses riding around the fields at Dunluce Castle, closely followed by the ancient Causeway Coast clansman Sorley Boy McDonnell.
But that’s exactly the sight which greeted passers-by last week as the McDonnell clan prepared to “grant safe passage” to Giro d’Italia riders through the ancient McDonnell territories of the Causeway Coast on May 10th.
Sheans Horse Farm and Heritage Centre are using the 2014 Giro d’Italia to promote the story of the Great McDonnell chieftain, Sorley Boy McDonnell.
In collaboration with local interest groups, they will stage themed events all along the Causeway Coastal Route in conjunction with the race.
Sorley Boy McDonnell, one of the last Irish chieftans, held power over all of the castles along Antrim’s Causeway Coast and the Glens of Antrim in the 16th century, from Dunluce to Glenarm as well as Bonamargy Abbey, in Ballycastle, where he is now buried.
Direct descendants of Sorley Boy McDonnell, the McDonnell family of Glenarm (the present Earl of Antrim’s family) on horseback along with horse riders dressed with pink tunics will, from the fields on either side of the main road, make a welcome gesture to the cyclists as they cycle towards Dunluce Castle.
They will then escort them by galloping in the fields along side the cyclists as far as just past the Portballintrae junction.
This theme will be continued along the Causeway Coastal Route with horse riders being posted as look outs all along the route with a group of riders at Kenbane Castle at Ballycastle and Redbay Castle at Waterfoot.
The event finishes at Carnlough beach with the McDonnells proudly waving them farewell having successfully ‘accomplished their mission’. See Shean’s Horse Farm on Facebook for more.