Minister Ring launches the 2015 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show

With over 1,500 superb horses on show, a prize fund of almost 1 million euro, one of the most glamourous Ladies' Days in Ireland and a chance to sample some of the best food and shopping opportunities of the summer, the 142nd edition of the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show has something for everyone. Taking place at the RDS, Ballsbridge from Wednesday, August 4 to Sunday, August 9, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Micheal Ring TD, formally launched the 2015 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show at a reception today (Wednesday, July 15).

Speaking at the launch, Minister Ring emphasised:

“Even after 142 years the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show continues to be Ireland’s leading equestrian event attracting up to 100,000 horse enthusiasts and visitors from home and abroad each year. The show provides a full event programme which is being extended every year, ensuring there is something new for everyone and this year is no exception. I wish everyone taking part in the event every success and hope that those attending, whether from near or from far, enjoy the five days of sport, entertainment and Irish hospitality.”

 From August 5 – 9 the grounds of the RDS will come alive when the best professional riders and horses in international showjumping compete next to a host of national competitors across 132 different classes and competitions. The weekend of the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show will see the Longines International Grand Prix and the Land Rover Puissance decided. As ever, the contest for the Aga Khan Trophy on Friday is one of the highlights of the week and Team Ireland will be one of 8 countries to compete in the Furusiyya FEI Nations’ Cup™.  And these are just some of the international competitions that will take place alongside the many national classes involving horses, ponies and riders of all ages from across Ireland.

Alongside a five-day equestrian programme, the Show has much to offer visitors with over 300 stands offering some of the best in fashion, leather goods, craft, as well as equine products, from both home and abroad. There are food offerings throughout the RDS grounds with a wide selection sure to cater for everyone’s tastes, while children will love the range of fun activities in the Kids’ Zone including magic shows, pony rides and bouncy castles. One of the highlights for many is the exhibition of the RDS National Craft and Student Art Awards which each year displays some of the finest craft and visual art in the country.

Michael Duffy, RDS Chief Executive commented: “Throughout the decades the Horse Show has always been one of the social events of the summer, but it has always been a substantial sporting event too, which in 2015 is reflected in the prize fund of almost €1m for the professional riders. Started in the nineteenth century, the Horse Show was originally founded to encourage and promote the Irish Horse Industry, as one part of the RDS philanthropic aims. Evolving ever since, the 2015 Show continues in this tradition, providing Irish breeders and producers with an international platform to showcase the very best of Irish sport horses.”

 Thursday has been known as Ladies’ Day for well over 100 years at the RDS and the new Ladies’ Day sponsors, Dundrum Town Centre, will make this a year to remember for one lucky winner. One of the premier style events of the summer, Dundrum Town Centre Ladies’ Day takes place on Thursday, August 6 with the ‘Best Dressed Lady’ winner striding away with prize package worth €10,000. Gents won’t be left out with a fantastic prize of a beautiful Louis Copeland suit for ‘Best Dressed Man’. Other prize categories include the ‘Great Lengths Most Creative Hat’, the ‘HP Most Colourful Outfit’ and ‘Longines Elegance is an Attitude’.

 Speaking about the Discover Ireland Horse Show, Head of Dublin for Fáilte Ireland, Orla Carroll said –

“The Discover Ireland Horse Show is an important event in Ireland’s festival calendar which highlights the great equestrian tradition of our nation while delivering overseas visitors and increased economic activity for the city. Sports event tourism is a growing and lucrative market with the potential to increase further visitor numbers to Ireland. As we compete to win more events to our shores, the Dublin Horse Show serves as an annual reminder that Ireland can host exciting and entertaining sporting spectacles with style and professionalism.” 

This year the first ever International Connemara Performance Competition will take place involving teams from Ireland, the UK and France. They will compete based on the format of the highly successful Connemara Performance Hunter Championship. The winners will be decided by the combined total of the three highest scoring ponies on the team – similar to that of International teams in the Nations’ Cup. Anyone who has seen pony games knows just how competitive this new competition will be.