All Systems go for Dublin Horse Show 2011

With three new performance based classes added to the competition schedule, planning is well underway at the RDS for 138th Dublin Horse Show which will take place from the 3rd to the 7th of August, this year.

Connemara Breeders’ Championship

The RDS remains firmly committed to promoting the performance attributes of the
Connemara Pony through the introduction of a new Connemara Performance Breeders’ Championship with a prize fund of €5,000. Breeding for purpose and market requirements are the key to success for any breed, together with the retention of the breed’s unique attributes.

With a prize fund of €10,000 in place for the Connemara Performance Hunter classes, €5,000 for the new Breeders’ Championship class, €1,100 allocated to the In-hand stallion class and approximately €4,000 divided between the four Ridden Connemara Classes, the Connemara section at the 2011 Fáilte Ireland Dublin Horse Show will have a record overall prize fund of €20,000.

The purpose of this new Connemara Pony Breeders’ Championship is to capitalise on the performance successes of Connemara ponies such as Ballyowen Maybelle Molly, winner of an Individual and Team Gold Medal at European Pony Championships in 2009, by showcasing the breeding stock of those breeders dedicated to replicating such success.

The new class will give recognition to Connemara Pony breeders who breed from
performance mares or dam lines suitable to produce top quality foals with performance potential. It will encourage the production of quality young stock which can in time and with suitable nurture achieve success in the various equestrian pony disciplines. It will help ensure a healthy and progressive future for the breed.
The class is aimed at registered Connemara pony mares who are likely to produce
performance ponies and who currently have an athletic foal at foot. Foals must be by a registered Connemara pony stallion.

Four qualifying shows have been selected from which the four highest placed mare and foal combinations from each may enter the final at the Fáilte Ireland Dublin Horse Show. Judging will be based on adjudicating the mare as a progenitor of athletic type foals with obvious performance potential. The mares score will count for 40% of the overall mark given to the combination, with the foals score making up the additional 60%. All mare and foal combinations will be judged on overall type, structure; power, functional conformation, correctness of limbs and movement, balance, cadence, athleticism, elasticity and scope. The judging method used will include a judging or score sheet with will ensure that the mare and foal combinations are measured against a set of fixed potential performance indicators and not directly against each other. The purpose of which is to better determine future performance potential. Conformation will be evaluated first followed by movement, which will be assessed for freedom of shoulder, use of back, engagement of hock, tracking up and straightness of the basic paces. It will be of upmost importance for each exhibitor to ensure that their mare and foal are well used to being shown in hand, and are accustomed to walking and trotting out freely so that they can perform to the best of their ability at both the qualifiers and the Final.

Small Event Horse

Following on from the successful Young Event Horse classes introduced in 2006 and more recently the Connemara Performance Hunter it was decide to introduce a class to cater for the many small horses with eventing potential in the Country. This new class is open to horses bred in Ireland and it will be another showcase for breeders and producers to display their quality stock. Through its marking system, the competition will require that the horses presented, and those that make it through the qualifier system, which we be run in conjunction with the Future Event Horse League, are very rideable and produced to a level suitable for competitive youths and lightweight adults.

Horses must be between 148cm (14.2hh) and 160cm (15.3hh) in height and riders must be aged 14 by the 1 January 2011 to be eligible to compete. Riders who have competed in a CIC**, CCI** or CSI** competition or higher, will not eligible to compete in this class. A total prize fund of €3,000 will be on offer for this new class.

Intermediate Working Hunter Pony

A new class has also been introduced under the Working Hunter Pony section which will take place on the Sunday of the Show, the 7th of August. The Intermediate class will be open to mares, geldings and stallions, 4 years old or over, exceeding 143cm but not exceeding 158cm. Riders must be aged between 14 and 25 years old on the 1 January 2011 to be eligible to compete. The class has been set to a maximum height of 1.10m and width of 1.25m.

Following a review of the Working Hunter Pony section it was decided to increase the heights and widths by 5cms across the board. The RDS Working Hunter Pony classes have enjoyed rejuvenation at the Show over the past couple of years with increasingly colourful, innovative and testing courses. International Course Designer, Kevin Millman has been once again been invited to build the courses for these classes.

Equestrian Mission

The mission of the Fáilte Ireland Dublin Horse Show is to support the Irish Sport Horse breeder and producer through:

• Showcasing the best Irish bred horses
• Developing a market place for Irish bred horses
• Encouraging the highest standards in breeding for purpose, horse welfare, ethical
training and effective horsemanship
• Promoting International jumping by the hosting of a CSIO to Top League standards