More than 100,000 set to saddle up for Horse Show
Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg, made her Dublin Horse Show debut for Team USA with a clear round yesterday afternoon.
Her famous father may not have been in the stands to cheer her on, but the 32-year-old looked confident in her red blazer as her horse, Caleno 3, glided over the poles, putting her in sixth place at the Irish Sports Council Classic.
More than 100,000 people are expected to descend on the RDS over the coming days with approximately 1,500 horses competing in over 131 competitions.
With the Irish Aga Khan team set to be announced this evening, rider Greg Broderick is in with a good chance after winning The Speed Stakes on day one.
"I was delighted to come out on top. It's like anything, when you win you're very confident and the Aga Khan is hugely important to us so it's good to have that feelgood factor at the start of the week," he told the Herald.
"I just hope I'm part of the team on Friday - I'd be very disappointed to be left out, but I'm hoping I'll make the final four."
With a gaggle of young riders looking for autographs, Greg says he loves mixing with the younger generation.
"There aren't many shows where you have kids competing on ponies in the same show so it's nice to converse with the kids and it spurs them on a bit, like it did when I was younger," he said.
The rain came and went throughout the first day but that didn't dampen the spirits of those in attendance, with punters saying the Horse Show has "an atmosphere like no other".
The RDS has such a pull that even new parents Karina and Conor Maxwell couldn't resist bringing their three-week-old daughter Robyn to check out the festivities.
Baby Robyn has the sport in her veins as not only is she the great-grandniece of horse producer Kieran Ryan, from Oldtown, Co Dublin, but her dad is a top hunt jockey and her mum previously competed at the Dublin Horse Show.
"I haven't missed this for years so I was delighted when Robyn came a week early and we were able to go today," Karina said.
"It's her first big day out since she was born," proud dad Conor adds.
Elsewhere, pals Lisa O'Brien and Louise Lynn, sister of famous milliner Martha, were enjoying a spot of shopping.
"We come every year, we both have horses and I competed here a couple of years ago as well," Lisa said.
"There's loads of shops and so much craic, but I don't think I'll be dressing up for Ladies Day - it'd be a conflict of interest I'd say," Louise laughed.
While it was all about the show-jumping yesterday, the four-legged fillies will be overlooked today as the ladies battle it out for the Best Dressed title.
A prize worth €10,000 is at stake and model and style guru Pippa O'Connor is on the judging panel.
The Shelbourne Hotel will also be holding their Most Stylish Lady competition from 6.30pm tonight with stylist Marietta Doran and designer Niamh O'Neill choosing the winner.