€700m Rural Industry Celebrated Each August in Heart of Dublin
Showcasing the best of the Irish sport horse, the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show, running this year from August 5-9, remains the pinnacle for many in the sport horse industry that is responsible for up to 13,000 jobs, and nearly all of these jobs are in rural Ireland. One of the most important international equestrian events, it is a vital gathering for the equine community who come from the length and breadth of Ireland for the competitive, social and shopping opportunities. With international riders competing next to young riders on their ponies, the Show truly is a celebration of everything equine.
Speaking in the lead-up to this year’s event Michael Duffy CEO RDS said: “The Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show has long been regarded as one of the top showjumping events in the world, and for over 100 years it has been an important social event in the summer calendar. However the RDS is acutely aware of the high importance that many in the Irish equestrian community place upon this event and the importance of the international shop window for Irish bred horses that it provides. For many young riders getting to the National competitions of the Show is their All-Ireland or Olympic games, something we are very proud of. As an organisation that has the cultural and economic wellbeing of the country at our core, we are keen to strengthen the Irish Horse Sport culture and economy, which is a vital contributor to rural Ireland, worth approximately €700m in total.”
This year almost 1,500 horses will take part in 132 competitions over the duration of five days at the RDS grounds in Ballsbridge. Last year Ireland finished down the field in the Furusiyya FEI Nations’ Cup on Friday, but this year with the individual success of Irish riders in Europe hopes are higher. The Land Rover Puissance is always a crowd pleaser and Cork’s Billy Twomey shared the spoils with Micheal Hutchinson from Kilkenny on Saturday of last year. Sunday has the big money prize of the Longines International Grand Prix of Ireland which was won by Wexford’s Bertram Allen, the next Irish star of showjumping? Though not a team competition, Ladies’ Day at the RDS has a new sponsor in Dundrum Town Centre and their €10,000 prize fund is sure to attract some competitive dressing.
But with hundreds of shopping opportunities, numerous food outlets peppered around the grounds, music, kids’ zones there are plenty of reasons to think of going along. And that’s not even considering the RDS Visual Art and Craft Awards Exhibition which showcase the best craft makers and graduating artists every year. This year the RDS National Craft Awards have boosted by additional support from the Year of Design 2015 and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.