Entries up again for Dublin Horse Show
Organisers hope Gathering will help attract more than 100,000 to five-day show
Holly Duggan (8), from Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, with her pony, Sparkling Silver, at the launch of the 2013 Dublin Horse Show , which will take place at the RDS from August 7th to 11th. Holly will be competing for the first time at the show. Photograph: Alan Betson
Last year’s RDS show ran a week later than normal to cater for the Olympics, but the show returns to its usual slot this year and will open on Wednesday, August 7th, and end on Sunday, August 11th.
Minister for Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said the horse show was one of the biggest events of the summer.
“This year is going to be especially big because it’s the year of the Gathering and there will be lots of extra people coming to visit we hope.”
Ireland’s connection with horses is often used to attract tourists and every year an estimated 72,000 tourists engage in equestrian pursuits when they come here. That activity is worth about €80 million to the economy annually, according to Fáilte Ireland.
This will be the 140th Dublin Horse Show and, as ever, the contest for the Aga Khan trophy is expected to draw the crowds on Friday. Last year was the first time in eight years that the Irish team won the FEI Nations Cup so the home team will be battling to retain the trophy this year.
RDS chief executive Michael Duffy said entries were up by 2 per cent this year, following a 5 per cent increase last year “so that’s really encouraging considering the equestrian industry has been through a difficult enough time”.