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Friday 9 December 2016

Saddle up as Horse Show to bring in a huge €45m for city

Pictured is model Gracie and eight-year-old Jack Lennon with 'Ebony Flash Miss' from Callan, Co. Kilkenny at the launch of the 2015 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show
Pictured is model Gracie and eight-year-old Jack Lennon with 'Ebony Flash Miss' from Callan, Co. Kilkenny at the launch of the 2015 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show
Pictured with model Gracie is Emily McQuade from Meath on her Commemara Pony, 'Twilight Oscar', at the launch of the 2015 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show
Pictured with model Gracie is Emily McQuade from Meath on her Commemara Pony, 'Twilight Oscar', at the launch of the 2015 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show
Pictured is model Gracie and eight-year-old Jack Lennon with 'Ebony Flash Miss' from Callan, Co. Kilkenny at the launch of the 2015 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show
Eight-year-old Jack Lennon from Callan, Co. Kilkenny

Horse lovers and socialites alike are saddling up for one of the biggest events of the year in the city.

The Dublin Horse Show, which will run from August 5-9, is expected to bring in €45m to the local economy with over 100,000 horse enthusiasts to come through its gates, the RDS chief executive Michael Duffy has said.

"This is the 142nd Dublin Horse Show so there's an awful lot of history and tradition behind it," Mr Duffy said.

"We're keeping that tradition but always adding new content so you're going to see a lot of the real crowd pleasers like the Aga Khan competition on Friday, the Land Rover Puissance on Saturday, and the Longines International Grand Prix on the Sunday," he added.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Michael Ring also backed the event.

"The show nets almost half of the annual €97m generated by the horse trade in Ireland, with more than 1,500 horses on display throughout the week," he said.

"It's one of the best shows in the world and people come from all over the world to see it. We're a country who have bred horses, know horses and we love our horses and it shows."

Bertram Allen, the fifth highest-ranked show jumper in the world, will be competing again this year, having won last year's Grand Prix.

"I think getting the Aga Khan is the first major goal here. Hopefully we can get a good result that will lead us fighting into Aachen," he said, referencing the Rio 2016 Olympic Games spots up for grabs at the FEI European Championships in Germany next month.

"It's something special and any riders from other countries I've spoken to who have been here say there's something unique about performing at the RDS," he added.

A prize fund of almost €1m has been put up for those participating.

But for those who are not going for the showjumping, there is plenty on offer.

Touted as the 'most glamorous Ladies' Day in Ireland' by organisers, the competition has featured for over 100 years at the RDS, with the winner of this year's 'Best Dressed Lady' striding away with a prize of €10,000.

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