Tuesday 23 May 2017

Tattersalls 2015... Ultimate outdoor playground

Equestrian talent, food, shops and a children's zone mean there's something for everyone at Tattersalls 2015

Growing popularity: The picnic area is a big hit with families and groups of friends
Growing popularity: The picnic area is a big hit with families and groups of friends
Roger Casey
Making a splash: Watch riders take on the famous water jumps

Roger Casey

Welcome to Tattersalls Ireland, home of one of the largest sporting, social and family -friendly events in Ireland, where we provide the ultimate outdoor playground for all. From those seeking a fun-filled day out with the children to those looking for a relaxed social occasion - and, of course, all equestrian fans, over the bank holiday weekend.

All Under 12s are free and can enjoy our bumper Kids' Zone, pony rides and fairground rides. Parents can have fun too as we have over 80 shops and food stalls in our Shopping Village, as well as our beautiful tea rooms and bistro in the historic Tattersalls Country House.

Our huge picnic area has grown in popularity with families and groups of friends, and it overlooks one of the most exciting areas on the complex where you could see the odd spectacular splash as horses and their riders take on the famous water jumps!

In sporting terms, the Tattersalls International Horse Trials now offer the chance to come and see Olympians, World and European champions compete alongside the cream of Irish equestrian talent both at elite and grass-roots level. This year is all the more exciting as all the athletes are vying for those valuable Olympic places for a ticket to Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

It is difficult in many ways to believe 2015 will be our 10th anniversary of the Tattersalls International Horse Trials and Country Fair.

This event was first held in 2006, had 178 competitors and an attendance of under 4,000 - in the interim it has grown significantly with the 2014 event witnessing 340 competitors from 13 countries. More than 25,000 people visit what has now become an established date in both the sporting and social calendar, and we look forward to hosting our best event yet this weekend. Tattersalls Ireland's reputation as the leading bloodstock auction house is well known, but we are often asked why we host an event such as this here in Ratoath. Essentially there are two important reasons.

Firstly, in addition to being the source of the very best of thoroughbreds in both National Hunt (for example, 10 Cheltenham Festival winners this year were sold by Tattersalls Ireland) and flat (the only Irish sold Royal Ascot winner last year), one of our core objectives is also to develop the site as a centre of equine excellence and this event, along with several other events during the year, helps us meet this objective in an emphatic way.

More importantly, this event was the brainchild of my predecessor George Mernagh, who had the vision and foresight to start this event 10 years ago with the admirable goal of having it develop as a key date in the national and international sporting calendar.

George passed away in 2011 and this event has become a very real way for us to honour his legacy on an annual basis, and we are very proud of what the event has now become.

It could not happen without support from several areas and Tattersalls Ireland must sincerely thank the Irish Sports Council, Horse Sport Ireland, Eventing Ireland, Failte Ireland, and all our generous sponsors and, indeed, everyone that makes a contribution to the event, for their ongoing support, without which an event of this scale and magnitude would not be sustainable.

We look forward to seeing friends both new and old at what is sure to be an absolutely cracking event for all.

Roger Casey is Managing Director of Tattersalls

10 great reasons to  visit Tatts 2015

1 Visitors to the event will have an opportunity to watch fearless Irish and international riders in action from tomorrow, with a country fair starting from Friday, May 29 and running through to Sunday of the June Bank Holiday weekend.

2 All Tattersalls’ established kids entertainment favourites will also be back with a host of new attractions such as a Chair-O-Plane, dodgems, crazy golf and free pony rides. Mums and dads are invited to kick back and relax, while a host of great activities are laid on to keep the kids enthralled.

3The youngest family members can visit the Tayto FREE Toddler Zone where they’ll get the chance to meet Peppa Pig and Splat The Rat. Older kids can enjoy bucking broncos, super bungee trampolines and an action-packed climbing wall in the Kids’ Activity Area.

4Tattersalls’ Shopping Village, which spans out over 2.5ac, will once again play host to Ireland’s leading country chic brands within a wide range of fantastic and eclectic shopping stands.

5The stunning Tattersalls Country House will be once again open to the public, with a pop-up wine bar and bistro offering delightful food in splendid surroundings and only 10 minutes from the M50.

6 There will be live music all weekend in the Gilbert and Wright Living Room to get your toes tapping and keep the good times rolling.

7 The foodies out there certainly won’t be disappointed with an array of artisan stalls offering delicious food from Broughgammon Farm, who specialise in cabrito, free range rose veal, seasonal wild game and hand harvested seaweeds, to the Gourmet Food Bar serving delicious Aberdeen Angus steak burgers and gourmet Irish sausage rolls. Adults and children alike can enjoy the tasty  LaBucca Pizza and finish off with some of Choc-amore’s finest Belgian chocolate draped over fresh fruits and sweets.  

8 We are holding Ireland’s biggest picnic on our rolling estate, so bring along the rugs and the food baskets. Or simply get what you need from our food stalls and avail of our picnic tables and our purpose-built picnic area which is situated next to the most spectacular jumping obstacle on the course — the water complex! You might see one or two riders get a dunking.

9 All dogs are welcome at Tattersalls so don’t leave them at home, bring them along. We have the best and funniest dog show on the Saturday and Sunday and we’re looking for the Most Waggly Tail, Best Tricks, Best Six Legs (dog and owner), Best Fancy Dressed, Most Obedient and Best Overall Dog. This is the friendliest dog show in Ireland.

10 It’s so easy to find us and get here. We’re only 10 minutes off the M50. Take the train from Connolly Station in Dublin to Dunboyne and we’re directly opposite Fairyhouse Racecourse outside Ratoath Village in Meath where Bus Eireann can you drop you off. When you arrive at Tattersalls, you can easily get your entry ticket at the gate or simply go online and book on www.tattshorsetrials.ie to avail of up to 20pc discount.

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