Dublin Horse Show opening day to draw crowds to RDS

Event features rising talent Bertram Allen and Michael Bloomberg’s daughter Georgina

 

That hardy summer annual, the Dublin Horse Show, gets under way on Wednesday morning at the RDS.

Now in its 142nd year, this fixture of the Irish summer calendar has been postponed only during two World Wars.

The five-day event begins this morning at 8.30am in Ring 2 with the performance Irish draughts and ends on Sunday evening.

A new feature this year will be the international Connemara performance competition on Sunday; a nations’ cup of Connemara ponies featuring teams from Ireland, the UK and France.

The horse show has survived through good times and bad. The barometers of economic progress are apparent in the waiting list for trade stands for the event. There will be about 300 trade stalls this year and the RDS is confident it can surpass the 100,000 spectator mark for the five days, based on bookings.

Last year’s Aga Khan Trophy featured the daughter of a superstar, Jessica Springsteen, whose proud father Bruce watched from the stands as the United States won the blue- ribbon event.

Showjumping

Ms Springsteen has not made the team this time, but Georgina Bloomberg, daugher of the former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg, will be competing for the US.

The 32-year-old has made a name for herself both inside and outside showjumping as an animal-rights campaigner. It is not known yet if her billionaire father will see her compete on Friday.

The crowds will also come to see a home-grown superstar- in-the-making, Bertram Allen. The Wexford-born German resident is one of the most exciting Irish talents in recent decades. At just 20 he already has a slew of wins behind him and is certain to attract the crowds.

The Aga Khan Trophy is of particular significance for Ireland this year as it comes just a few days before the European Championships in Aachen which will determine qualification for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Prize money this year will be approaching the €1 million mark with some €950,000 on offer in 132 classes and competitions.

Ireland will be one of eight teams to compete in the Furusiyya FEI Nations’ Cup with a top prize of €200,000.

The biggest individual event will be the 2015 Longines International Grand Prix of Ireland with a prize fund of €200,000. It was won last year by Allen.

Sunshine forecast

In relation to the weather expected, it looks as if ladies’ day tomorrow will be the best day for the festival, with sunshine forecast. Wednesday is looking decidedly wet.

Both Friday and Saturday should be dry, but rain is forecast for Sunday. Admission tickets can be bought online at dublinhorseshow.com or at the entrance: adults – €21, children; students and OAP tickets – €15; family of two adults and four children – €54 (€50 on Sunday). Season tickets are also available for €54.30.