Every corporate hospitality package has sold out for the five days of the horse show which opened at the RDS under gloomy skies yesterday.
Grand Stand Tier Tables costing just short of €4,000 for admission for six people all week, plus lunch and seats to watch the showjumping each day, were all taken. So too were all the Ladies' Day packages (€150 each) and the Minerva Suite packages (€155) for the Nations Cup.
said he was delighted with initial sales which presaged well for the rest of the show. “The run-up to the horse show was very encouraging. Ticket sales were very strong. Corporate hospitality sold out weeks ago.
Demand for trade stands has also been very strong. But even during the bad years, the audiences kept increasing. That’s because of the investment in facilities, while making the show more attractive to non-equestrian people.”
This may be the last horse show under the present configuration as ambitious plans have been put forward to build a new stand in the arena.
The day opened with the performance class for draught horses, a test of nerve and poise. Many of the horses seemed spooked by the spider-like fence in the middle of the arena.
The feelgood atmosphere continued in the main arena with home wins in both the international showjumping competitions. Former world champion Dermot Lennon won the Irish Sports Council Classic on the Irish-bred mare Loughview Lou Lou.
Greg Broderick on MHS Automatic won the speed stakes, the first international competition of the show.
The indications seem good for Irish riders ahead of Friday's Aga Khan Trophy.
The poor weather was good news for the stallholders who filled the exhibition halls.
For the first time, the balcony area has been opened to trade stand holders because of demand.
One of the most popular stands belonged to Bua, a new company that used the show to launch its revolutionary new saddle, ergonomically fitted for horse and rider with a cushion of air in between.
"I've lost my voice, I've been talking to so many people," said designer Martin Ryan. "In the last week, our video has been viewed 30,000 times after it appeared in the Innovation section of The Irish Times."
The weather forecast for Ladies’ Day on Thursday is for a much better day. The best dressed lady will receive a prize package worth up to €10,000.
There are also prizes for the most creative hat, the most colourful outfit and the best dressed man. The registration desk is on the Band Lawn.