Dublin Horse Show is one of those events which has been on my bucket list for years. I have heard amazing things and friends who have been always sound wistful at the memories that this show evokes.
The show is in the heart of the city and it has the best buzz I have ever experienced at a horse event. The whole site is compact and if you stand in the right spot you can view four rings at the same time. There are bars surrounding the warm up arenas where you can listen to the horse trading and gossip going on and while watching the 3yo class it took roughly 15 minutes of chatting to my neighbour before they tried to sell me a horse. But this is they type of thing I love. Interesting people with a passion for horses.
Today was the young event horse classes and one of the primary reasons I wanted to come. The Young Event horses have to go round a varied and interesting course in the middle of the main arena which tests their bravery and forwardness. Its a proven testing ground for some of the top eventers and being played in the bar was the Badminton winning mare Paulank Brockagh when she competed here as a 5yo. The judges judging today had a fair amount of experience of top horses being Jane Holderness-Roddam, Denny Emerson and Karen O’Connor.
The 4yos jump round a height of 1m and this years winner was My Kilcannon Annie ridden by Jason Higgins. This chestnut mare had a score of 95.45 and scooped the 3000 euro first prize. This mare is by Harlequin Du Carel. In second place was Colacentric another mare this time by the stallion Lancelot. Alyssa O’Neill rode a lovely round to score 94.12 to pick up the 1500 euro runners up prize. In third place was A Sportsfield Rio ridden by Daragh Byrne. This gelding is by Chacoa and scored 93.15.
Several of the horses in the 4yo class were by the stallion Harlequin Du Carel who has offspring performing well in both Showjumping and Eventing.
The 5yos jumped round a course of 1.10m and the class was won by the mare Shanagore Jenga a chestnut mare by West Coast Cavalier. Felicity Ward was the rider who produced the winning performance of 93.48 to win the 3000 euro prize. In Second was another Sportsfield horse, this time it was A Sportsfield Diamond a bay gelding by Heritage Fortunus. Daragh Byrne piloted round Paul Donovans horse to score 93.02. A very close result between first and second. In third place was Cooley Cosmopolitan Diamond a bay gelding by Canturo. Ridden by Irish team rider Sarah Ennis who picked up a score of 93. The judging decisions must have been tight with less than .5 of a mark covering the top 3.
I watched the 3yos class which was interesting. I loved a little Womaniser 3yo who looked an athlete and moved beautifully but he was smaller that the others and not as furnished. The overall champion was Robert Davis’ Emperors Touch by the stallion Emperor Augustus (TB) out of a Touchdown mare. The runner up was Corniche Chill who was a very mature looking 3yo. Corniche Chill is by the stallion Chillout (ISH) out of a Porsche (BWP) mare.
The Irish Draught stallion parade was fascinating as so many different types within one breed. Some of these stallions had jumped 1.30m classes which is pretty impressive. You can also see with the way they behave why they make a great addition to adding a great temperament to a hotter mare.
We watched top riders warm up – you are right next to them wandering past. It was great to watch Bertram Allen warming up his International horse over a very small fence just working on the quality of the canter and the change of the leg. Always coming off the short side.
There are several International showjumping classes going on in the main arena which spends the majority of its year as Leinster’s Rugby stadium. Jessica Springsteen and Georgina Bloomberg are here representing the USA, along with Britain’s Laura Renwick and Robert Smith. Tomorrow is the big class. The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by Longines with Great Britain jumping first. We also hoping to catch the Denny Emerson masterclass.