THE opening qualifier in the Horse Sport Ireland Horse and Pony Foal Championship will take place this weekend at Newcastle West Show, Co Limerick on Sunday, July 15th.
The Championship for horses has a prize fund of almost €30,000 and this year there will be inaugural sections for Ponies with a prize fund of €10,000.
The aim is to identify, evaluate and reward breeders who have bred a foal that has the potential to be competitive at the highest International level in the disciplines of show jumping or eventing.
There will be five regional qualifiers with separate categories and sections for horses and ponies for potential show jumping foals and potential eventing foals. The qualifiers take place at Newcastle West (July 15th), Creagh EC Ballinasloe (August 13th), Wexford EC (August 20th), Tubberbride, Co. Sligo (September 7th) and Coilog Co Kildare (September 21st).
The qualifiers will see the horse section receiving €3,000 prize money at each of the five regional qualifiers where four foals will be selected for the final - the best show jumping type colt and filly - and the best eventing type colt and filly.
This year there will also be a prize at each of the qualifiers for the best traditionally-bred foal. The ponies have prize money of €1,400 at each of the regional qualifiers and also have show jumping and eventing sections.
At the final in Cavan Equestrian Centre on Friday, October 19th, Champions will be named in both horse and pony sections with a pot of €10,000 for horses and €3,000 for ponies on offer.
There will be a Champion Show Jumping Foal filly and colt for horses and ponies as well as a Champion Eventing Foal filly and colt. There will also be a special prize for the overall best traditionally-bred foal in the horse section.
For further information on this Championship please visit www.horsesportireland.ie