VARADKAR LAUNCHES THE 140TH DISCOVER IRELAND DUBLIN HORSE SHOW

The 2013 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show was formally launched at a reception today by Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar, and takes place from Wednesday, August 7 to Sunday, August 11.

Commenting on the Show, Minister Varadkar said: “The Dublin Horse Show is one of our most important events and a highlight of the sport and tourism year, which regularly attracts around 100,000 visitors. Ireland is a horse-loving country, and the Horse Show allows us to promote our equestrian heritage on the world stage. Once again we can look forward to the nail-biting show jumping events, but the Horse Show also provides a huge economic boost to Dublin and beyond. As one of the many excellent events in Fáilte Ireland’s calendar of festivals and happenings, the Horse Show keeps vital jobs going in the tourism and hospitality sector.”

The 2013 programme of events has something for everyone. Throughout the week, the well-known Osbourne Scurry Racing Group will have spectators on the edge of their seats as pony drivers pull light weight racing carriages and gallop and weave through cones at break neck-speed. The internationally renowned natural horseman, Honza Blaha will also demonstrate his alternative training techniques with performances including dramatic flying lead changes, pirouettes, sliding stop and spins and jumping without any reins.

As ever, the contest for the Aga Khan Trophy is one of the highlights of the week. Team Ireland, proud winners in 2012, look forward to having strong support from the home crowd and retaining the coveted title of Furusiyya FEI Nations’ Cup™ winners.

Michael Duffy, RDS Chief Executive commented: “We are delighted to celebrate this landmark 140th Show with a stronger and more vibrant programme of events. Our entries reflect the importance and continued relevance of the Show to the Irish horse industry and as a core Foundation Activity, the aim of the Show is to support the breeder and producer of Irish bred horses and provide a platform for them.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors, particularly our title sponsor, Fáilte Ireland, whose continued support is vital to the development of the Show. In the year of The Gathering, we look forward to welcoming visitors from all over Ireland and abroad for this marvellous equestrian and social event which is an integral part of the Irish sporting calendar.”

During the five day Show, visitors can also enjoy browsing through the myriad of trade stands and the RDS Food Village while the entertainment for children includes magic shows, jugglers, bouncy castles and pony rides.

For the style conscious, Blossom Hill Ladies’ Day on Thursday, August 8 is an event not to be missed. First prize for the ‘Best Dressed Lady’ is a trip for 2 to New York worth €8,000, with other prizes including a Longines watch for the ‘Elegance is an Attitude’ category and weekends away in Ireland for the ‘Most Colourful outfit’ and the ‘Most Creative Hat’.

Also speaking at the launch, Shaun Quinn, Chief executive, Fáilte Ireland’s said:

“Fáilte Ireland, through Discover Ireland, is pleased to once again support this world-class event. This is an immensely popular annual event and this year’s packed programme will prove a great draw for both Irish people and overseas visitors, from all walks of life. The Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show has ensured that the RDS complex is the focal point of international show jumping during August and, with the broad range of events that will also take place over the duration of the show, a major attraction for both equestrian and non-equestrian visitors alike.“

This year, the prize fund for the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show is over €940,000. There are 125 classes and competitions in total, 80 Showing classes, 31 National Show Jumping classes and 14 International Show Jumping Competitions.

The international jumping competitions include the Furusiyya FEI Nations’ Cup™ presented by Longines competition for the Aga Khan Trophy on Friday, August 9, the Land Rover Puissance on Saturday, August 10 and the Longines International Grand Prix on Sunday, August 11.

For further information and online ticket booking, log on to the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show website at www.dublinhorseshow.com.