From dairy farm to equestrian centre, the story of Geraldine Graham’s Lenamore Stables is wonderful in the telling. It really began well over 100 years ago, when Geraldine’s grandfather stowed away as a ten-year-old on a ship bound for the USA out of Moville.

After 20 years he returned,married and eventually bought the beautiful 40 acres of Lenamore (The Big Meadow) in the shadow of the Donegal Hills and two miles across the border from the heart of Derry City.

Geraldine’s father, who was the youngest of six, inherited the farm, concentrated on dairy and had a milk run into Letterkenny. “When I was very young dad bought me a pony called Trixie, and from that moment I was mad into horses,” she says.

Her next pony Lenamore Lad she bought herself, jumped him in Dublin Horse Show and then sold him to James Kernan’s granddad.


Next for the young Geraldine it was on to Gurteen Agricultural College and a diploma in dairy farming. “But I brought a mare with me and rode with the Ormond Hounds. It was one of the very first horses kept at the college,” she proudly notes.

During a seven year stint with the World Health Organisation in Switzerland she also had the good luck to study riding with the legendary Major Paul Weier. She also made a lot of contacts there that have helped in later horse sales.

When she returned home in 1979, her father was retiring and the farm was left to her.

“I converted it totally from dairy to horses, nothing but horses,” she says with the determined spirit that has guided Lenamore as a multi-discipline riding school, livery yard and sport horse production and sale centre ever since.


That spirit was never more needed than in November 2018, when the beautiful stable block was maliciously damaged by fire. “In the middle of the night I first heard an explosion as my son Kenneth’s horse box went on fire.

With a strong wind blowing the blaze spread to the stables, and despite our best efforts two good horses were burned to death.

But not being the kind of person that would lie down and accept defeat too easily, I immediately got the workers in and within a fortnight we were up and running again.”

With indoor and outdoor arenas plus a cross country course, refurbished stable block and classroom, there is plenty of running being done at an ever-vibrant Lenamore. Son Kenneth, who is now 28, does well with sport horse training and production.

On the day I spoke with Geraldine, Kenneth was busy at Mullingar Show with three international mounts. The Lenamore story continues.