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€€70k prize fund on offer at mullingar

Three new international classes have significantly boosted the total prize fund of €70,000 on offer at the 2012 Mullingar Country Fayre and International Horse Festival, which kicks off this Friday, June 1.

The four-day fixture over the bank holiday weekend now boasts an international prize-pot of €37,500, to be divided over nine international classes, including the new 1.25m contests to be held on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

This is in addition to a full programme of national classes, including a leg of the lucrative ISH Studbook Series.

These finals alone on the Sunday are worth €9,500 and make up a great few days of competition for young horses.

Other highlights are the three-year-old loose jumping, the Pegasus Horse Feeds Puissance, worth €2,000, and the €20,000 Grand Prix.

Sponsored by the Mullingar International Supporters Club, in 2011, it was won by Captain David O'Brien. It is hoped that previous overseas winners Scott Brash and Vicky Tulloch will return this year in a bid to reclaim the title.

Aside from the showjumping, there will also be a packed schedule of other equestrian events at the Mullingar International Show, including the hunt chase, and new classes for working hunter horses.

Horse Sport Ireland is running a Western Show on the Monday, with 10 classes on the schedule.

For dog-lovers, the canine high jump is returning, along with the dog show, and those with troublesome dogs can seek the advice and expertise of Alex Petrilli and his King of Paws team.

He will host a series of free clinics on the Sunday.

The Mullingar Fayre was deemed a major success in 2011, and this year will see many new food stalls in the specially-built marquee which will stand adjacent to a large number of equestrian and general trade stands.

"Plans are well advanced now for what is expected to be another super few days of competition, fun and entertainment for all the family.

"We are optimistic that we will attract a larger number of horses than those of 2011 -- some 3,000 -- and spectators. We hosted 10,000 last year," said show organiser Robert Fagan of Mullingar Equestrian Centre.

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