EXCITEMENT is building ahead of next week’s Dublin Horse Show which thankfully returns after a two-year gap due to the global pandemic and is shaping up to be a real Ballsbridge thriller on all fronts.

With some 168 classes on the packed five-day schedule, we are all in for a Dublin Horse Show spectacular from August 17th-21st next.

Hats off to the entire RDS team, across all departments, who have worked tirelessly over the past two years to ensure that Dublin returns to the international calendar, bigger and better than ever.

Show Director Pat Hanly, Equestrian Manager Fiona Sheridan and Flor Madden, chair of the RDS Equestrian Committee, backed up by a small army of volunteers, staff and officials, have pulled out all the stops. Ticket sales are reportedly flying out the door, corporate hospitality is sold out, and if the competitive qualifiers are anything to judge by, each win at Dublin will be very hard fought for this year.

The 147th Dublin Horse Show offers a cool €1 million in total prize money next week and will cost the Royal Dublin Society an enormous €6.2 million to stage – a stunning commitment of over a million euros a day to the Irish sport horse industry by what is Ireland’s oldest philantrophic society.

The importance of Dublin Horse Show in staging what is Ireland’s only five-star horse show simply can’t be measured in terms of its vital contribution as a global platform to Irish breeders, owners, riders, producers, and all those involved in the multi-faceted ancilliary equestrian businesses, involved in our 32-country vibrant industry which contributes approximately €1 billion to the country’s economy annually.

From the buzz of the flagship five-star Aga Khan Nations Cup competition to national horse and pony show jumping, the huge array of showing classes, non-stop entertainment and the busy trade show, Dublin Horse Show has it all, uniquely hosted in the beating heart of our capital city for all to visit and enjoy, taking pride of place in our hearts and also occupying centre stage in our national psyche.

Long established for its social and cultural value, Dublin Horse Show – Ireland’s biggest single event of any kind, across any sector – crucially affords all in the Irish sport horse industry the chance to meet, individually and collectively. It’s been two long years since we have had the chance to interact, plenty has happened and there’s much to debate and discuss.

This year also marks the first year for Geraldine Ruane at the helm as RDS Chief Executive and no doubt like all of us, Geraldine will be eagerly watching the Aga Khan Nations Cup, alongside President Michéal D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, hoping that this year will perhaps be the year’s for Michael Blake’s chosen Irish squad. Ireland last won the Aga Khan Trophy in 2015 and with the strong squad of world number four Conor Swail, Shane Sweetnam, Cian O’Connor, Bertram Allen and Max Wachman named, there will be standing room only on Aga Khan day with the stage set for a magnificent Nations Cup battle, featuring seven countries.

Come what may, there’s already so much to be proud of from Ireland’s ultra-talented young show jumping and eventing riders who brought home gold, silver, and bronze medals team and individual medals from the recent FEI European Championships – many congratulations! It was a stunning performance across all squads who, incredibly, snapped up the majority of the medals on offer at the European Championships. They will be honoured next week for their milestone achievement.

On behalf of our own busy team here at The Irish Field, we wish everyone a very successful week at the iconic Dublin Horse Show next week. Drop by our stand, located in its usual place, just inside the front doors of the Main Hall, to say hello. Enjoy every moment of what is guaranteed to be a whirlwind week at the 2022 Dublin Horse Show – jump right in!

Isabel Hurley and Judith Faherty

Editor: Isabel Hurley; Assistant editor: Judith Faherty; Editorial support: Leo Powell, Anne Marie Duff, Dr Sieglinde McGee, Sophie Mellett; Contributors: Margie McLoone, Susan Finnerty, Emer Bermingham, Róisin Sheridan; Cover: Leon Farrell Photocall Ireland; Photography: Laurence Dunne Jumpinaction.net, Sportsfile; Advertising: Brendan McArdle, James Heffernan, Robyn Codd; Production: Domhnall Dervan; Garrett Allen; Anthony Murphy, Alex Conroy. Picture Desk: Philip Doyle, Jerome Dunne; Advertising production: Paul Dowd, Barbara Kilkenny, Brian Morton; Circulation: Margaret O’Connor, David O’Connor. Printed by: The Irish Field for The Irish Agricultural Trust.