AIRC Festival this weekend

MULLINGAR Equestrian Centre, Co Westmeath will be buzzing again this weekend as it hosts the hugely popular AIRC Riding Clubs Festival. Full coverage in next week’s paper.

IDHBA Show at Abbotstown

THE Dublin Branch of the Irish Draught Horse Breeders Association is holding its summer show at the National Horse Sport Arena, Abbotstown on Sunday, June 25th.

Three broodmare classes are advertised with Horse Sport Ireland sponsoring the two for mares with pure-bred foals at foot where they will be judged as a unit (40% mare, 60% foal). The in-hand section also includes colt and filly foal classes and classes for yearlings, two-year-old fillies and three-year-old fillies.

There are two ridden classes, for four and five-year-olds and for six-year-olds and upwards, and two working hunter classes split along the same age lines. There will be three championships – in-hand, ridden and working hunter. Catalogue entries close on Friday next, June 16th. Entries received after this date will not appear in the catalogue and will incur an extra €5 charge.

Flavours of Fingal dates

EQUESTRIANISM has the opportunity once again to display its best face to a large crowd of spectators at the annual Flavours of Fingal Show which runs over the weekend of July 1st and 2nd at Newbridge House Demesne, just north of Dublin Airport.

There will be show jumping both days and while full details appear on the SJI website, the highlights of Saturday’s programme include the Mervue Leinster summer tour and a 1.35m Grand Prix while Sunday’s action concludes with the 1.40m Gain/Alltech National Grand Prix, supported by Joe Duffy.

This year, there will be two showing rings in use on Saturday. Ring One will stage side-saddle classes (including a Dublin ladies qualifier), small hunters, four-year-old hunters and weight classes. Other ridden classes, including those for Irish Draughts and Connemaras, will be contested in Ring Two where a Dublin racehorse to riding horse qualifier will close out proceedings.

The popular boppers and trotters, local ridden pony classes, will be held on Sunday as will carriage driving classes.

Eventing team named for Aachen

INTERIM eventing High Performance director Dag Albert has selected the Irish team for the Nations Cup at CHIO Aachen in Germany, taking place from June 23rd to July 2nd. The team is Susie Berry with Kilcandra Capitol (owned by John and Debbie Biggins and Truckeast Ltd), Cathal Daniels with Rioghan Rua (owned by Margaret Kinsella), Sarah Ennis with Action Lady M (owned by Andrew Cox) and Joseph Murphy with Calmaro (owned by Claire Mayne, Charlie Mayne, Richard Ames and Annette O’Callaghan).

Speaking on the announcement, Dag Albert said: “I have selected a very accomplished team of riders with a combination of experienced and potentially exciting younger horses for the future.”

World champion DSP Alice retired

THE 2018 show jumping world champion DSP Alice has been retired from the sport. Ridden by Germany’s Simone Blum to win the individual gold medal at Tryon, USA the 16-year-old by Askari mare has been plagued with an injury since 2019. She will be officially retired at CHIO Aachen at the end of the month for a farewell ceremony between the two rounds of the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup, which she won in 2018. “I wouldn’t be where I am now without Alice,” Simone Blum reflected full of gratitude. “She has always been my soulmate. Because she is so unique, we have a very special connection.”

French champion in intensive care

THE 2022 young rider European Champion Zazie Gardeau is in a stable condition in intensive care following a serious fall at Bicton Horse Trials in England two weeks ago, which saw her horse Daiquiri put down. The pair fell at fence seven of the CCI3*-L cross-country course. “The rider was immediately taken care of by the emergency services and then transferred by helicopter to Plymouth hospital,” a spokesperson for the French Equestrian Federation said. In its most recent statement, issued last week, the federation said the 22-year-old was still in intensive care, and that her condition was considered stable.