Friday 22 November 2019

Bloomberg's daughter to take centre stage at Dublin Horse Show

Cim Christo ridden by Georgina Bloomberg
Cim Christo ridden by Georgina Bloomberg
Georgina at a gala at home in New York
Billionaire and former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg

Claire McCormack

Georgina Bloomberg, the youngest daughter of billionaire and former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg, will showcase her world-class equestrian talents at this year's Dublin Horse Show, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

Representing Team USA, event organisers have ­confirmed that Ms ­Bloomberg will jump during the five-day event that kicks off on Wednesday in the RDS.

It is hoped that ­Georgina's father will travel to the Ballsbridge arena to cheer her on, just as rock superstar Bruce Springsteen did for his daughter, Jessica, at last year's show.

Michael Duffy, chief executive of the RDS, said: "Jessica Springsteen didn't make the team, apparently, but Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of the former mayor of New York, will be in the squad so she will be showjumping, so that will be very exciting".

When asked if her father, the 108th mayor of New York City and one of the richest men in the world, will attend Georgina's competitions, he said: "I don't know if Mr Bloomberg will be here but I believe he is a very proud father so you never know, it's definitely a possibility," he told the Sunday Independent.

Although there is some disappointment that Jessica Springsteen will not return to the RDS this year, the star showjumper recently reflected on last year's show during an interview in the US.

"I competed at the Dublin Horse Show and my dad had played concerts in the same exact venue. It was, like, this cool kind of role reversal," she told USA Today Sports.

Up to 100,000 equestrian enthusiasts and visitors are expected to attend this year's Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show. It's estimated that the event will also ­generate up to €45m in revenue.

With eight international teams arriving from across the globe - including Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and the UK, Mr Duffy believes it could be the most exciting show to date.

"We've about 1,500 horses coming, we're going to have 132 competitions so it's a very special occasion on the international circuit," he said.

"It's probably the most popular for jumpers because of the atmosphere, the crowd and the Irish love for horses and the sport," he said.

Organisers are currently in the final stages of ­preparing the main area, rings, trade stands and stables for the event - ­celebrating its 142nd year.

According to Mr Duffy, the highlights will include the contest for the Aga Khan Trophy on the Friday where teams will compete for a prize fund of €200,000, followed by the Puissance competition on Saturday and the International Grand Prix on Sunday.

More than 80 ­showjumping, showing and pony club classes and expert master classes will run throughout the week.It is also anticipated that hundreds of stylish women will compete for the 'Best Dressed' title, €10,000 and a trip to New York at Ladies' Day on Thursday.

"We mix the entertainment to equestrian and non-equestrian tastes. ­Nearly half those who attend are people who just want to come out for a fun day with their friends ­family and children," said Mr Duffy, adding that 300 trade stands will also be set up. When asked whether it's difficult to hold the event so soon after the Galway Races, Mr Duffy stressed that staple summer contests flatter each other.

"It's a good parallel, Galway is a thoroughbred racing show so those who go there are sport horses so I'm sure many who go to Galway come here as well so they are complementary events," he said, revealing that next year's Dublin Horse Show will be held two weeks earlier than usual due to the Olympics.

Great Irish equestrians Cian O'Connor and Eddie Macken will be in attendance at this week's show.

A special exhibition to the late Irish Olympic rider and course designer Tommy Brennan will also be opened to the invited guests.

Sunday Independent

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