Irish equestrian talent feted everywhere but here
Show jumping seen as minority interest despite considerable contribution to economy
Cian O’Connor competed on his 13th Aga Khan team in 15 years. He jumped double clear on Friday on his Belgian stallion, Good Luck. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Another year, and another Dublin Horse Show has come and gone, again showcasing the quality of Irish riders and, to an extent, certainly in the show and breeding classes, the quality of the Irish-bred horse.
This year’s entry for the Connemara pony classes was the largest on record. If this information is more for those with a specialist interest, it should be noted that the annual Dublin Horse Show is revered across the equestrian world. It is both domestic, in that it caters for competition riders of all levels, and international in that it also attracts world class riders for international classes.
Aga Khan gloryLonginesShane Breen
Friday’s competition did not disappoint, culminating in a thrilling jump off between a stylish Irish quartet featuring three European stallions and Irish-bred MHS Going Global versus a precise, elegant squad from Italy mounted on two stallions and two geldings. Denis Lynch and his flamboyant stallion All Star 5, made a bold bid to beat the clock but a shock refusal cost Ireland the title.
Piergiorgio Bucci produced an immaculate round to secure victory for the deserving Italian team.
Ireland prominentUnited States
Many of Ireland’s world class show jumping riders are in demand as teachers for aspiring international riders from other countries.
The Irish economy benefits in a range of ways from horses. Racing dominates through high profile performances but also from stud fees. Ironically, Irish international show jumpers look abroad for their horses.
Cian O’Connor was competing on his 13th Aga Khan team in 15 years. He jumped double clear on Friday on his dazzling Belgian stallion, Good Luck. Denis Lynch’s magnificent All Star 5 can best be described as a dashing thing of beauty.
Cause for celebrationBertram Allen
Most of all, never underestimate the large number of Irish people involved in show jumping, from pony club to riding club and amateur riders on to national, international and the elite world class riders. For a “minority” sport, it is very popular.