THE prize find for this year’s Dublin Horse Show has increased by €214,000 bringing the total prize fund to €1,235,293, and the prize fund for the international competitions to €909,400 which will ensure world class international competition in the capital this August. The Longines International Grand Prix of Ireland will now offer a prize fund of €350,000, an increase of €150,000, making it the richest Grand Prix prize fund of the eight shows in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Series. The Dublin Stakes, commonly known as the ‘Mini Grand Prix’ also sees an increase from €24,600 to €50,200 giving a total of eight world ranking classes at the Show.
On foot of feedback from riders and producers, the International seven and eight-year-old competition will be split into its respective age groups, and will no longer operate over a handicap system. There will now be three competitions for each age category, culminating in two finals on the Sunday of the Show, each offering a €10,000 prize fund. The overall prize fund for each age category will be €15,000.
Although running a relatively short number of years, the class is now well-established, and attracts high calibre of rider both nationally and internationally who wish to expose their future star horses to competitive international action. Sixteen horse and rider combinations will qualify for the seven-year-olds through the regional qualifiers and 12 qualifier places will be reserved for the eight-year-olds. In addition to the 28 Irish rider and horse combinations who will qualify nationally, each of the eight nations competing in the Nations’ Cup will have the opportunity to bring three young horses for the classes which adds further spectator appeal and an important international competitive element to the competitions.
The ‘Irish-bred restriction’ which applies to the four, five and six-year-old show jumping competitions will revert back to its original conditions this year. Only horses that have been foaled in Ireland will be eligible to compete in the young show jumping horse classes and qualifiers for the Show.
For the past number of years, permission was sought to allow foreign bred four, five and six-year-olds to compete in the Dublin Horse Show young horse jumping classes provided that the horses were ‘entire animals (stallions and mares)’ and ‘were registered and approved/preliminary approved or selected for breeding in an Irish Studbook (approved by the Department of Agriculture)’. This permission will not be renewed for 2019 and these classes will now revert back to the original restriction whereby only horses foaled in Ireland are allowed to compete.
However, in order to avoid discommoding the owners and riders of horses that might have competed in these classes under the previous permission, the rule for the five and six classes will now state ‘the five and six-year-old classes are restricted to animals registered as being bred on the Island of Ireland, and to those entire animals (stallions and mares) bred outside of Ireland that were registered and approved/preliminary approved or selected for breeding in an Irish Studbook (approved by the Department of Agriculture) in 2017 or 2018, and subsequently competed at Dublin Horse Show ‘young horse’ qualifiers in those years’’. This will ensure that such horses continue to be permitted to compete until they have passed through the competition age groups.
SMALL EVENT HORSE CLASS REPLACED
The Small Event Horse class has been replaced by a new class for Junior/Young Rider Event Horses. The new competition will focus on the production of horses suitable for the junior and young rider market. It will also serve to provide an outlet for juniors and young riders to produce their horses, and to encourage producers and trainers to present quality horses, that are rideable and competitive, for youths coming from ponies.
The former Small Event Horse and its precursor, the Young Rider Speed Derby competition, highlighted the talents of young riders such as; Camilla Speirs, Nicky Galligan, Michelle Kenny, Cathal Daniels and Jason Higgins, to name a few, and many of these riders have since achieved international success. The format of the class will be similar to the Five-Year-Old Young Event Horse class, whereby competitors will be required to complete a ridden display, a show jumping phase and a course of cross-country fences. Horses will also be marked on conformation and movement and suitability and potential.
A new and improved Dublin Horse Show website will be another feature of this year’s event. This new mobile friendly site will allow exhibitors to easily scroll through the content on their smartphone or tablet. The revamp was undertaken on foot of analysis of the users of the current site, which revealed that most users are accessing the site via smartphone. While the new site will be optimised for mobile users and will have a visual focus, as opposed to text, it will still contain all the necessary information on the 150+ competitions on offer at the annual Show. The new Dublin Horse Show website will launch at the end of April and coincide with the commencement of the 2019 qualifiers.
Further technical developments include the introduction of an online entry system for the Three-Year-Old Potential Event Horse, the Loose Performance and the Junior Equitation qualifiers. Online entry for the aforementioned qualifiers will be available via the following portal https://www.itsplainsailing.com/club/dhs.
Entries for these qualifiers will no longer be accepted by post, fax or email. Entries for the Junior Equitation will open 10 days before the qualifier and will close the Thursday prior to the qualifier at 5pm, in line with Show Jumping Ireland’s Pony & Young Rider qualifier entry process. Exhibitors will be automatically allocated a start time and a competition number in advance for the Junior Equitation qualifiers.
Entries for the Three-Year-Old qualifiers will also open 10 days in advance of each qualifier and will close at 5pm the day preceding each qualifier. Late entries or entries on the day will not be accepted.
HORSE SHOW ENTRIES
Entries for the 2019 Dublin Horse Show will open on Tuesday, June 4th at 9am and will close on Monday, July 1st at 5pm. All entries must be submitted through the DHS Online Entry System, which can be accessed via the following link; http://entries.dublinhorseshow.com, or through the Dublin Horse Show website. Exhibitors wishing enter for the 2019 Dublin Horse Show must first set up an account using an email address and a password. Once this process is completed and validated, entries can be submitted, and payments made securely by credit or debit card. The system offers the ability to draft and review entries in a personal Horse Show account.
Preparations for this year’s Show are well underway and a full list of qualifiers is now available on the website – dublinhorseshow.com.