Dublin Horse Show starts with a bang for Irish team manager
Lord Mayor opts for bike over gold carriage in sympathy with Dublin commuters
Attending the opening day of the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show at the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
The day began with a bang, literally, for Team Ireland’s chef d’equipe Robert Splaine when a component in his empty mini-bar fridge exploded in his hotel room at 5am.
The room he was sharing with his son filled with what he described as a “very pungent odour” and soon the fire engines and ambulances had assembled outside the DT Dublin hotel, better known by its previous name, the Burlington Hotel. “I got quite a fright,” he said at the RDS afterwards.
“We thought: ‘My goodness, what is that?’ and sat bolt upright. But there was no apparent reason for it because nothing was shaking or anything like that, but the noise was very close.”
While the media worked itself into a mini frenzy about the exploding mini-bar, he was more concerned with Ireland’s bid to retain the Aga Khan trophy tomorrow. “It is something you look forward to. It is the home crowd and it is the greatest show in the world – there is no question about that.”
Dublin lord mayor Oisín Quinn enjoyed a less dramatic start to his day. The Lord Mayor of the day traditionally arrives in a rather opulent gold horse-drawn carriage to open the horse show at noon. The photographers were assembled to catch the glamour but, to their disappointment, Quinn came tootling up to the RDS on his bicycle.
“I just felt, given that Dubliners for the last two or three days have had to put up with a [bus] strike . . . if I was to arrive in a gold carriage, drawn by horses with a Garda escort, slowing down traffic, it would just send out the wrong signal,” he explained. “So I came up on the Dublin bike instead, one of Dublin City Council’s most successful schemes, which we will be tripling in size this year,” he said, impressively plugging the scheme without drawing a breath.
The bike was also almost one hour and 20 minutes quicker than the carriage, he noted, giving another good reason for choosing a bike over a carriage.
Springsteen no show
So no gold coach, and no sighting of Bruce Springsteen who was rumoured to have requested a table for his family in the RDS during the show. His daughter Jessica, an accomplished showjumper, bought Darragh Kerins’ mount Lisona earlier this year for what was reported to be a large six-figure sum. We understand her father’s recent run of sold-out shows in Ireland should help defray the cost of the mare.
Perhaps the Springsteens will attend today’s show, which will be the epitome of glamour as it’s Ladies Day with a special prize for the men. The Boss would look fetching in a fedora.