Biggest weekend of jumping year very nearly here
WITH the biggest weekend in the Ravensdale Lodge calendar fast approaching, the finishing touches are being laid at the centre in advance of the Longines National Grand Prix show, which is set to be staged from this Friday to Sunday.
This is the fourth year of collaboration between the prestigious Swiss watchmaker and Ravensdale Lodge and the show is now a firm fixture on the Irish show jumping calendar and ranks among the most popular nationally.
As with last year, the show finishes with the feature class of the weekend, the €4,000 Longines 1.40m National Grand Prix on Sunday, but with a total prize fund valued at €12,000 over the three days there is something on offer for every level from 90cm to 1.40m.
In addition to the monetary prize fund, Longines will be generously standing by the tradition of sponsoring prizes in the Grand Prix that are not normally available to riders at national level. The winner of the Grand Prix will be rewarded with a watch from the Longines Conquest collection valued at up to €1,800 and they will also receive a bespoke Longines rug and trophy.
Second and third-placed riders can look forward to a bespoke Longines rug and trophy in addition to the prize fund. As with previous years, every entry into Sunday's Grand Prix will receive a much sought-after Longines gift bag.
Most levels will be catered for over the weekend, with a 90cm class on Friday and Saturday followed by regular 1m, 1.10m & 1.20m classes each day. Other feature classes over the weekend include Leinster Summer Tour classes from 1m to 1.35m, Ballymaloe Pasta Sauces His & Hers 1.10m class and Cavan Classic qualifiers.
This shows reputation and attendances have grown year on year, with a record number of entries in 2013, and the two grass arenas are in superb condition and have been well rested and prepared in advance of the show.
Hopefully the weather will favour the organisers as it has done for the past four years when there was a real summer feel to this top-class event.