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Independent.ie

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Thumbs up on decision to move Horse Show forward

Siobhán English

Published 03/08/2016 | 02:30

Fears that a date change would hit attendances at the Dublin Horse Show proved unfounded and the decision to bring the show forward by two weeks to accommodate riders competing at the Olympics was largely welcomed by the Irish equestrian community.

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While overall figures are believed to be slightly down on previous years, the attendance for the Saturday events was one of the biggest in history.

An emergency system had to be put in place in Simmonscourt to cope with the crowds attending the national show jumping, with the horse lane closed temporarily to relieve the flow during the afternoon.

Traders, too, appreciated the earlier date as it said it allowed them a longer period in August to make plans to attend other shows in Ireland, and the UK.

While Ireland was sadly unable to repeat its 2015 win in the Nations Cup, it proved to be a bumper week for Italian riders who had last won the Aga Khan in 2009.

It was also a good week for Irish individual riders, and Irish-bred horses, in particular the 10-year-old Limestone Grey who amassed three international wins under Italian rider Lorenzo De Luca.

Bred in Limerick by David Moran of Deelside Stud, the son of Try Time was previously ridden here by Francis Connors.

Other individual wins came from the Irish Sport Horse stallion Ardcolum Duke, ridden by Billy Twomey, and Cisero, who claimed a joint win of the Puissance under Shane Breen.

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Each year the Dublin Horse Show strives to support a vital indigenous industry for rural Ireland that is worth €700 million to the economy.

For the last number of years the RDS has actively encouraged high calibre breeding and production through the introduction the Broodmare Futurity, the Performance Irish Draught, the International 7&8 Year Olds and the International Connemara Performance Hunter Class.

Michael Duffy, CEO of the RDS, said: "The mission of the RDS is to see Ireland thrive economically and culturally and, given the importance of the Irish sport horse industry to rural Ireland, the Dublin Horse Show is a crucial aspect of how we fulfil that mission.

"That dedication to the industry is also why the show is run on a not-for-profit basis, with the RDS as the show's biggest financial supporter.

"Today the show not only provides a window for Ireland's best sport horses but, through our development of the show's programme, we are helping to move the industry towards a more sustainable and flourishing model."

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