Let the Mounted Games begin!
Millstreet rolled out the red carpet this week on welcoming the European Mounted Games Championships on a staging in the Green Glens Internatiional Complex.
The hosting offers a spectacular programme for a recreation that provides opportunities for riders of all ages to enjoy games on horseback.
And Millstreet town and community played its part in the successful hosting with upwards of teams from 14 countries participating.
Mounted Games are played by people of all ages, on ponies up to a height of 15hh, a true test of horsemanship, skill and speed. Mounted Games are exhilarating to watch and a spectacle at many top international shows including the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Horse of The Year Show and The Dublin Horse Show.
It requires a high degree of athletic ability, good riding skills, hand-to-eye coordination, determination, perseverance, and a competitive spirit though requiring an ability to work together with other riders and a willingness to help one another Millstreet Community Council co-ordinated an official opening Parade on Tuesday evening, glorious sunshine added to the occasion with Michael Moynihan performing the official honours amidst a colourful atmosphere.
Apart from activity in the Green Glens Complex, Millstreet organisers plan to put together walk, tours and diverse activities to capture the interest of visiting nations. Cork-based organiser Conor O'Leary states MGA Ireland are delighted to have been selected by the International body to host the 14th European Team Championship and 10th European Individual Championship in 2019.
"Mounted Games are again in Millstreet, this time with a larger competition than before. Involved are over 350 riders from right across Europe, ranging in age from U12 to adult", he said.
"The memories of Millstreet staging the hugely successful World Games in 2016 have created a huge expectation and excitement towards this year's competition.
"In the lead up to the staging, any competition abroad we went to, all they talked about was coming to Millstreet," he said.
Exciting action is promised right through the week before the curtain comes down on proceedings on Saturday.