Monday 23 July 2018

Glorious weather adds to Europe's biggest pony show

Millstreet Matters

John Tarrant

Hundreds descended on Millstreet's Green Glens Complex over the bank holiday weekend for the International Owners Pony and Young Riders Charity Show.

Described as Europe's biggest pony show, Millstreet has garnered a deserved reputation as the friendliest equestrian showcase and the latest staging rubberstamped the status of the North Cork location.

Extending the warmest of welcomes for visitors drawn from all over the country, the organisers were boosted on the complex generously donated free of charge by the Duggan family.

The 31st hosting confirmed the ongoing interest in equestrian sport as a recreation amongst children and teenagers evident by close on 3,500 entries accepted for the three day hosting that commenced on Friday and continuing through Saturday with an extended programme on Sunday concluding a memorable staging.

Carrying a prize fund of more than €20,000, favourable weather added to the enjoyment of the extensive programme, sunshine matched by a favourable and autumn breeze much to the delight of participants.

That allowed the majority number of competitions to be run off in outdoor all weather arenas and it created a fantastic atmosphere through the spacious complex and confirmed the status of staging as the biggest pony show of its kind.

Proceeds from the three- day event went towards a series of charities with this year's event expected to reach a cumulative total of €340,000 from the show since its founding.

The show really featured something for everybody in the 70 strong programme. From the Starter Stakes to the Sunday Grand Prix competitions, patrons were never bored and the proceeds helped fund a number of worthy causes. Completing the schedule, the traditional highlight saw those retiring pony riders don various disguises in a fitting fancy dress finale to the hectic weekend programme.

The Green Glens Complex reported a brisk demand for families seeking accommodation and many berthed in their owner transport carriers yet boosting the coffers of local businesses in another hugely successful outing for the event.


Vintage Club event bears fruit for Cancer Connect

A hugely successful Millstreet Vintage Club event bore fruit on the formal presentation of €4,500 to Cancer Connect at a pleasant gathering in Millstreet Parish Centre.

Favoured by the best of weather, the staging was an outstanding success with great support on the the day according to PRO Bernard Crowley.

"Over 150 vehicles were on display, thanks to all the people that brought out their beautiful exhibits from both near and far. We thank each and every one for making the journey, to all the club members who helped out and worked very hard both on the lead up to the event and on the day itself," he said.

The dedicated vintage group behind the staging received outstanding support towards completing a diverse programme hailed Cancer Connect Chairman Neally O'Leary. Cancer Connect has been in operation since 2011. Cancer Connect is a free, flexible and confidential service, that runs five days a week to Cork hospitals. The service is operated entirely by volunteer drivers.

"The service has grown considerably and is now firmly established as a vital support for the many people who avail of the services to get to the Cork Hospitals for either Radiotherapy or Chemotherapy treatment. Its success is boosted by the many people who volunteer and drive the vehicles for free to Cork, the commitment is usually to be available to drive one day in the month if possible", said Neally.

Millstreet Vintage Club Chairman Donie Lucey applauded all involved in the staging and supporting a worthy cause.

"Due to high demand, the Cancer Connect service has widened and is now available to patients in North Cork and is offering transport from Rockchapel, through Newmarket, to Cork hospitals.

"The project was initiated due to the challenges faced by so many people who are diagnosed with cancer and require treatment on a daily basis in Cork City and we were only too delighted to support the venture", he said.

"Without the support of so many people, the Millstreet staging would not be possible, thanks must go to the exhibitors who travelled near and far to support the event.

"Gratitude too to our sponsors for their backing and to our members and volunteers on the day, such is the outstanding success, we're already planning for the 2018 staging", said Donie.

In attendance at the presentation were North Cork representatives on the Cancer Connect grouping Seán McAulliffe and Jim Stack.