Listen up as horse whisperer is heading for Dublin Horse Show at RDS

 Ciara O Connor from Gorey, Co Wexford, holding the Aga Khan Trophy at the launch of the Discover Ireland Horse Show. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Ciara O Connor from Gorey, Co Wexford, holding the Aga Khan Trophy at the launch of the Discover Ireland Horse Show. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Wed, Jul 16, 2014, 01:00

Montana horseman Buck Brannaman, who inspired the main character in Nicholas Evans’s novel The Horse Whisperer and the film of the same name with Robert Redford, will perform daily at the Dublin Horse show next month.

Organisers of the 141st Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show, which was launched yesterday at the RDS, are hoping to attract 100,000 visitors to Ballsbridge.

More than 1,300 horses and ponies will compete in 125 competitions for nearly €1 million in prize money this year.

Minister of State for Tourism Michael Ring said the event is great for the country and will draw thousands of visitors from home and abroad.

Showcase event

“This is the showcase event for Ireland’s equestrian tourism product and it gives us an opportunity to show that Ireland can successfully host major sporting events and provides a wonderful experience for spectators and participants alike,” he said, adding that he goes to the show every year.

Organisers promise the show will offer visitors more than just horses. There will also be a kids’ zone, 300 shopping stands and an art and crafts exhibition to showcase the works of Irish craftspeople and art students. A barbershop quartet is scheduled to perform on all five days of the event.

RDS chief executive Michael Duffy said the show was originally held to promote the Irish horse industry.

That tradition will continue this year, as the show “provides Irish breeders and producers with an international platform at which to showcase the very best of Irish-bred horses”, he said.

Ladies’ Day will be on August 7th. The best-dressed lady will win a trip to New York valued at €8,000 and the best-dressed man will win a prize valued at more than €5,000.

There will be other prizes for the most creative hat and the most colourful outfit.

‘Immensely popular’

Fáilte Ireland Dublin’s Orla Carroll said she was pleased to support the “immensely popular” event.

“This year’s packed programme will provide a great draw for both Irish people and overseas visitors, from all walks of life,” she said.

At the launch, two young Irish equestrians posed with their ponies.

Ciara O’Connor (6) of Gorey, Co Wexford, and Amber Marnane (11) from Bansha, Co Tipperary, will compete in events at the show.

Award-winning Irish show jumper Nicola Fitzgibbon was there as well and will compete across classes throughout the show.

The horse show will run from August 6th-10th.