Hold your horses: riders giddy-up for show
THE focus will be on Ireland's future equestrian champions at the 140th Dublin Horse Show, as new classes for young riders have been added to the line-up.
Organisers of the RDS event are hoping to encourage more youths to excel in the sport through master classes, demonstrations and competitions.
"The idea is to facilitate children moving from ponies to horses and we've put a lot of emphasis on improving horsemanship for young riders," Michael Duffy, RDS chief executive, told the Irish Independent.
More than 100,000 people are expected to visit the RDS arena from August 7 to 11 to watch 125 contests. But as has become tradition, Ladies' Day will attract the highest footfall. And lined-up to judge the Blossom Hill Best Dressed challenge are 'Love/Hate' actress Susan Loughnane, Irish Independent columnist Rachel Wyse, and designer Louis Copeland, with Brendan Courtney hosting.
Other new additions in the programme include the Osborne Scurry Group, who will perform a series of demonstrations with ponies; and the participation of the Czech Republic's Honza Blaha. Mr Blaha will entertain the crowds with his alternative training techniques.
Mr Duffy is promising a fun-filled week for families without a keen interest for what will take place in the paddocks – with 300 trade stands, a dedicated food village, magic shows, bouncy castles and pony rides completing the diverse programme.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar formally launched the Dublin Horse Show yesterday.