Giddy Up: 1. Wayne Cronin & Sinead Desmond; 2. Katie Jane Goldin & Brendan Rogers; 3. Sascha Gerathy & 2LT James Heelan. (Pix. Leon Farrell / Photocall)
The iconic 8ft high Puissance Wall on Stephen’s Green drew much attention as the launch of the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show took place at Residence, the nearby private members club. Bedecked in rosettes and silverware from the RDS trophy cabinet the venue was transformed and played a fitting tribute to celebrate this quintessential Dublin event.
The Dublin Horse Show is the largest summer event in Dublin, attracting over 80,000 people to the RDS annually. The 2011 Show runs for five days from Wednesday, 3rd August to Sunday, 7th August. Well famed for holding one of the largest prize purses in the world, total prizes this year will be almost €1m, while the prize fund for the 2011 Longines Grand Prix and the FEI Nations’ Cup, the richest competitions of the show, are €200,000.
As the Discover Ireland Horse Show is on such a large scale the event throws up some interesting statistics: Over 300 exhibitors display their wares every year, a quarter of the whom are from overseas. Approximately 40,000 flowers, of 20 different varieties plus shrubs, baskets and boxes are used to decorate the grounds, many of which are propagated and grown by the Royal Dublin Society’s gardeners. The Horse Show is the only time that every square metre of the 42 acres of the RDS is used simultaneously.
There are numerous events and competitions on each day of the show, some highlights include: Wednesday 3rd - The Fáilte Stakes & The Speed Stakes. Thursday 4th - Blossom Hill Ladies Day, The Speed Derby & The Knight Frank Power & Speed competition. Friday 5th - FEI Nations Cup. Sunday 6th- Landrover Puissance & The Accumulator. Sunday 7th - Speed Championship & The Longines International Grand Prix.