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Sunday 22 October 2017

Thrills and spills at the RDS as 25,000 cheer on home team

The Americian team from left to right, Lillie Keenan, Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut and Elizabeth Madden
The Americian team from left to right, Lillie Keenan, Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut and Elizabeth Madden

More than 25,000 horse-mad spectators trotted through the gates of the RDS for an action-packed day of thrills and spills at the FEI Nations Cup.

However, despite Ireland putting in a strong opening performance, victory in the prestigious competition eventually went to Team USA for their flawless performance.

It was a case of girl power coming to the fore, as the all-female team put paid to their rivals and claimed the coveted Aga Khan Trophy, presented to them yesterday evening by President Michael D Higgins.

Attractions

Despite Ireland finishing up in fifth position, spirits were still high among attendees as they got their weekend off to an early start by checking out some of the attractions on offer at the venue.

Cheering on her brother Cian from the sidelines was model and blogger Pippa O'Connor, who said it was always a nerve-racking experience watching him compete.

Martha Di Gregorio, 6, left, from Dublin and Catherine Cummins, 6, from Wicklow say hello to a horse at the dublin horse show in the RDS
Martha Di Gregorio, 6, left, from Dublin and Catherine Cummins, 6, from Wicklow say hello to a horse at the dublin horse show in the RDS

"I would be nervous watching him but he's a pretty cool character," she said.

Opting to make a family day of it was former Ireland rugby captain Brian O'Driscoll, who was in relaxed form as he mingled with attendees.

With his actress wife Amy Huberman busy filming series two of RTE's Striking Out, O'Driscoll was busy minding the couple's two adorable children Billy (2) and Sadie (4).

Although he said he was just having "a day with the kids", the rugby hero was more than happy to pose for selfies and sign autographs for some awestruck fans.

Also there was Sport Minister Shane Ross, who had a bird's eye view of the action in the main arena as he sat in the President's Box.

Over in Simmonscourt, Lorenzo 'The Flying Frenchman' was attracting a large number of admiring glances as the Gallic charmer performed some daredevil stunts.

Karen Traynor, from Bailieborough
Karen Traynor, from Bailieborough

Away from all the equine action, business was also brisk in the various watering holes around the venue.

It was standing room only in the champagne tent.

Attention will turn today to the Land Rover Puissance, with the Longines International Grand Prix taking place tomorrow.

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