AS the curtain closed on a hugely successful Dublin Horse Show for the Irish sport horse industry, the busy sector is gearing up for yet another bonanza of equestrian action with the looming €100,000 Irish Breeders’ Classic as well as this weekend’s Millstreet International Horse Trials.
Crowds of an estimated 100,000 people went through the gates at Ballsbridge over five thrilling days of non-stop equestrian action and entertainment at Ireland’s only five-star show, which cost the RDS a staggering €6.5 million to stage this year and is estimated to pump over €50 million into the greater Dublin economy.
Rider, producers, owners and breeders are out in force at the Duggan’s family’s Green Glens complex, Co Cork for this weekend’s international eventing fixture. Millstreet is hosting the second of two international horse trials fixtures which has attracted international riders in their droves, including British Olympian Gemma Stevens, Tokyo Olympic medallist Kevin McNabb from Australia, as well as compatriots Bill Levett and Sammi Birch.
The competition includes a CCI4* long and short format and a well-filled CCI3*-S, but it also offers a two-star class for six-year-olds with riders having a final chance to impress new selector Dag Albert ahead of the Le Lion d’Angers selection.
Meanwhile, next Friday sees the start of the hugely prestigious Irish Breeders’ Classic show in Barnadown, Co Wexford. The showcase offers over €100,000 in prize money and Sunday’s five and six-year-old Irish Breeders’ Classic final is the richest young horse class in Europe, offering €45,000.
A new addition this year is the 1.50/1.60m Plusvital Grand Prix on Sunday, with a prize fund of €15,000, while the seven- and eight-year-old final has €10,000 up for grabs.
Horse Sport Ireland’s acting High Performance director for eventing, Dag Albert, is due to announce his final squad for the 2022 FEI World Eventing Championships on Monday, August 29th. The 2022 championship will take place in Pratoni, Italy, from September 15th to 18th, 2022.
The longlist, announced earlier this month, is Susie Berry (Ringwood LB (ISH) and Monbeg By Design), Cathal Daniels (Rioghan Rua (ISH), LEB Lias Jewel (ISH), Barrichello (AES) and CDS Cairnview Romolu (ISH)), Padraig McCarthy (Fallulah and HHS Noble Call (ISH)), Joseph Murphy (Calmaro), Austin O’Connor (Colorado Blue), Elizabeth Power (Senza Fine), Michael Ryan (Barnahown Corn Hill (ISH)), Felicity Ward (Regal Bounty (ISH)), and Sam Watson (SAP Talisman (ISH)).
Many of the combinations compete at Millstreet International this weekend and will hope to catch Albert’s eye. Full reports from Millstreet in next week’s paper.