Breeders are busy preparing their show stock for the inaugural Sport Horse Foal Championship which gets underway on Sunday, July 12 at Wexford Equestrian Centre.
The series, which is sponsored by Horse Sport Ireland and boasts a prize fund of €30,000, will culminate in a final at Millstreet International Horse Show from August 11-16.
There will be separate sections for foals with show jumping potential and those bred with the eventing sport horse sector in mind.
There will be €4,000 in prize money on offer at each of the five regional championship, where four foals will be selected for the final. Foals are only permitted to enter one regional championship and must compete in the region in which the owner resides.
They must also be registered in a studbook that is a member of the WBFSH or Weatherbys and must be shown with their dams.
Foals must be a minimum of six weeks old to compete at a regional championship and must be named in order to compete in the final.
In the lead up to this new venture breeders are being asked to ensure that foals are well prepared for the classes and are familiar with a headcollar and leading from a young age.
These classes are not traditional show foal classes. They are for potential performance animals and any evidence of foals having been over-fed or pushed to grow and develop unnaturally, which could be detrimental for their future bone development and general well-being, will be penalised.
Foals will be presented to the judges accompanied by their dam.
During the individual presentation the foal is positioned in front of the judges with a halter.
This is in order to evaluate its posture and conformation.
The mare will be kept at hand during the foal's movement evaluation.
The foal can then be judged freely on walk, trot and canter as indicated by the judges.
The judges will describe the positive attributes of the foals to the audience and provide an assessment as to whether they think the foal is eventer type or show jumper type.
The regional venues, dates and entry details are as follows.
Region 1 - Wicklow, Louth, Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Meath, Westmeath, Dublin: Mullingar Equestrian Centre, July 18. Entires (before July 3) to email@example.com or call Dorothy on 087 2488017
Region 2 - Tipperary, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny; Wexford Equestrian, Tomhaggard, Co. Wexford, July 12. Entries (before June 29) to www.wexfordequestrian.ie or call 087-6613088
Region 3 - Waterford, Kerry, Limerick, Cork; Newcastle West Show, Castlemahon, Co. Limerick; July 19. Entries (before July 3) to Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org or call Donal Lynch on 087 2561813
Region 4 - Mayo, Galway, Clare; Creagh Equestrian Centre, Ballinasloe; July 26. Entries (before July 10) to email@example.com or call 087-2254227
Region 5 - Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan, Longford, Roscommon; Tubberbride Stables, Co. Sligo, July 19. Entries (before July 3) to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 087-6712200
Northern Ireland - The Meadows Equestrian Centre Lurgan, Co. Armagh, August 1. Entries (before July 17) to www.themec.co.uk or call 0044 28 38322417
Further details on are available from www.horsesportireland.ie