herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

RDS horse show 'nets €40m for economy'

Rachel Wyse launching the RDS Horse Show. Photo: Mark Condren
Rachel Wyse launching the RDS Horse Show. Photo: Mark Condren

THE Dublin Horse Show is worth €40m to the Irish economy, due to massive investment, organisers have claimed.

The Horse Show, which has been running since the 1860s, will be held for the 140th time this week.

It kicks off on Wednesday and finishes on Sunday in the Dublin 4 venue.

The RDS spends around €4m on the show every year, but has also spent more than €8m over the past five years improving facilities and modernising the venue to 'futureproof' it.

 

Effort

The IT and communications systems have been upgraded and it now has wi-fi to support 20,000 smartphones.

"Total direct expenditure at the show is worth about €18m to the economy, with an added €25m in indirect and induced expenditure, bringing the total benefit to €43m," said RDS chief executive Michael Duffy.

"Over the past five years we have put a lot of effort into developing the show."

Mr Duffy said that this year is lining up to be a bumper festival and there is more emphasis on family entertainment.

"We have made about 40 changes to the equestrian programme to make sure it's relevant, and reconfigured the Simmonscourt area," he told the Sunday Business Post.

Apart from the equestrian events, show-goers will also have music, shopping and food stalls to choose from, as well as children's entertainment.

With over €940,000 in prize money during the five days, visitors are promised top show jumping competitions, including the Longines International Grand Prix, the Land Rover Puissance and the Furusiyya FEI Nations' Cup.

The Blossom Hill-sponsored Ladies' Day will take place on Thursday, with a trip for two to New York worth €8,000 and €1,000 spending money up for grabs. A Louis Copeland suit will be the prize for the 'Best Dressed Man'.

The RDS recorded a €2.1m profit last year and hosts more than 300 events every year.

Outdoor concerts create a big revenue stream, as well as Leinster rugby's home fixtures and the Young Scientists Exhibition.

The RDS is now examining expanding its potential by increasing capacity from 18,500 to 23,000 and for developing naming rights for the venue.

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