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Horse show competition hots up for the Ladies

FASHIONISTAS are pulling out their best outfits and fascinators for Ladies' Day at the Dublin Horse Show.

The second day of the show at the RDS sees the popular Blossom Hill Ladies' Day Best Dressed Competition.

Judged by RTE star Brendan Courtney and singer Sharon Corr, organisers were expecting approximately 500 entries today.

Some 80,000 people are expected to visit the show between now and Sunday.

The show -- now in its 138th year -- kicked off in style yesterday with a team of fearless stunt riders from the Ukraine who performed a series of death-defying mounted routines. Climbing under their horse's bellies, spinning around the world and staging human pyramids, some onlookers didn't know whether to keep watching or turn away.

"The Dublin Horse show is bigger than the Galway Races, because it's a big event for 'non-horsey' people too," said Angel Strickland Fahy, as she escorted her horse Trogan back to his stable after a stellar performance.

"It's a great family day out, there is so much more going on than the show jumping and it is the highlight of the horse lover's year."

Inside the main arena -- along Anglesea Terrace -- a proud and relieved American jockey dismounted her horse after an impressive performance.

"I'm competing in fifteen rounds , and I thoroughly enjoyed my first one today. I will take part in the Nations Cup on Friday and hopefully the Grand Prix on Sunday," said Laura Creagh.

Irish rugby star Tommy Bowe was among the crowds, and said he was having a "great day".

Dragon's Den presenter Gavin Duffy added: "What I love about the horse show is that it's as much about the people as anything else."