Friday 28 October 2016

Saddle up for event of the summer

Siobhan English on why Tatts is so special

Published 27/05/2015 | 02:30

Tattersalls features the cream of Irish and foreign equestrian talent
Tattersalls features the cream of Irish and foreign equestrian talent
Zara Phillips
Family fun at Tattersalls
Jewellery at Tattersalls
Formula fun at Tattersalls
Food at Tattersalls
Action from Tattersalls

Do you know your dressage from your showjumping? Or do all horses look the same to you? Well fear not if you know little about horses, or the sport of eventing when heading to the Tattersalls International Horse Trials and Country Fair this weekend.

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That will just mean more time for shopping, eating and drinking at one of the biggest social events on the Irish calendar this summer.

All you really need is a pair of just-in-case wellies, a picnic basket, and a car boot big enough to fit all the bags when you are done combing the fabulous Shopping Village which has everything from adorable baby clothes and jewellery, to hats, jackets and lots more.

For 10 years now, Tattersalls has played host to Ireland's most popular three-day events for riders from all over the country and overseas. Since its inception, it has grown to be the biggest event of its kind in the country, and an important one in the equestrian calendar for some 350 riders each year.

Royal family member and former world champion Zara Phillips is among those who have competed here in the past, but this year's line-up is equally as impressive with such top riders as World No 2 William Fox-Pitt from Great Britain and American legend Bruce Davidson among the confirmed foreign entries.

Of course we have our own well-known riders here too, including Austin O'Connor and Michael Ryan, and what better place to see them all in action than at Tattersalls this weekend.

Be there when they test their horse's obedience in dressage on Thursday and Friday, or bravery on the cross-country event on Saturday when you can mingle with the thousands of spectators as they cheer on the horses and riders over each fence.

Why not meet your friends and family at the water fence, where you have the option to park your car nearby, or stroll further on to check out the stylish new 'Hammock' fence designed this year by internationally-renowned course architect Ian Stark.

Then be sure to return to Tattersalls on Sunday to witness the excitement as riders compete for the many titles on offer during the final showjumping phase in the Main Arena.

Aside from the horse action, Tattersalls has so much more to offer and the Country Fair is, without doubt, the social hub for the entire weekend.

Children, especially, will be spoilt for choice between the Tayto Park Toddler Zone and Activity Area, while the young teenagers can bring along the family pooch for the novelty dog shows both on Saturday and Sunday.

For those not so keen to take along their own picnic, Tattersalls boasts a wide array of food stalls - from burgers to crepes - or if you prefer something a little healthier, there's a great range of other menu options avilable.

Retail therapy is always a good idea so make sure to check out the range of children's equine-themed clothing or perhaps treat yourself to a magnificient wax jacket as the perfect memento to a fun-filled weekend in Meath.

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