The world’s most lucrative show-jumping young horse division is held at the Irish Breeders’ Classic. Boleybawn Horses’ Ronan Rothwell started the program in 2012. His main goals were to create an event that would increase interest in Irish-bred horses and draw new investors to the sport.
As a result, the tournament has achieved prominence on a global scale, and numerous previous champions have gone on to have successful careers abroad.
9. Balivor Horse Show
The Ballivor Show debuted in 1971, and 2021 was supposed to be its 50th-anniversary performance. However, like many other events, it was postponed because of the pandemic. The early years were filled with competition at Ballivor from every major rider of the time, including the late Paul Darragh and Eddie Macken, according to 2022 Secretary Philomena Lacy.
8. Bannow and Rathangan
Around 25,000 people strolled through Killag in 2022 as the Bannow and Rathangan Show took centre stage in the beautiful Wexford sunshine. The show, which features a wide range of horse activities from showing to showjumping, is unquestionably one of the largest rural gatherings in the South East. Since 1949, the Bannow and Rathangan Show has been running.
7. Tinahealy Horse Show
The first show, held in 1935, was little more than a gymkhana and was inspired by the locals’ passion for horses. In actuality, a group that at the time held flapper races in Tinahely called the first meeting. The founder members solicited subscriptions at the Tinahely Fair after this meeting. The support was overwhelming, and this first valiant attempt featured a jumping course with six jumps set in a straight line. These modest beginnings gave rise to the event, which is now regarded as one of the nation’s top agricultural spectacles.
6. Ballina Agricultural Show
The Ballina Agricultural Show celebrated its 83rd iteration in 2022 close to the banks of the River Moy in Ballina. The show serves as a significant platform for horse producers from the North West and beyond. There are various different competitions, ranging from Grand Prix showjumping to pony showing. Every year, the event takes place in the showgrounds in the heart of Ballina, giving attendees a wonderful chance to view the best of Irish horses.
5. Cavan Equestrian
The Cavan Equestrian Center, one of the largest and busiest in the nation for show jumping and all other equestrian activities, has a track record of organizing and presenting performance horse and pony sales. The Cavan International Horse Show takes place at the facility in November. There are other events held at the centre throughout the year, but the Cavan International Horse Show is the only one that is held with international classes. In the past, people have travelled to Cavan for this event from the UK, Dubai, America, and all of Europe. Over the course of the show’s week, it has been estimated that almost 100,000 visitors, including spectators and participants, will pass through their doors.
4. Clifden Connemara Show
In the West of Ireland, in the town of Clifden, Co. Galway, a Connemara Pony Show was founded to allow breeders to compete with one another and showcase their stock to the public. This show is still a significant occasion on a local, national, and global scale. Every year on the third Thursday in August, the town of Clifden hosts the Clifden Pony Show.
Connemara, an isolated mountainous region in western Ireland, is the name of the only native pony in Ireland. These Connemara ponies display a level of beauty and athleticism unseen in other mountain ponies, despite having spent decades living in the wild.
3. Millstreet International Horse Show
The Millstreet International Horse Show takes place in the Green Glens Arena complex every August. The term “Green Glens” is drawn from the arena’s owner, Noel C. Duggan’s, favourite song, “The Green Glens of Antrim,” which is a fitting name for the breathtaking location that can be found in Millstreet Parish, Barony of Duhallow, County of Cork, in the centre of Munster.
Over the past 30 years, tens of thousands of people have been mesmerized by the 40 varieties of green that miraculously transform into varied tones of russet golden colour in the fall. Green Glens has hosted such great legends as Eddie Macken and Harvey Smith.
2. Mullingar International Horse Show
With the International Grand Prix Hall of Fame loaded with well-known names, the history books provide a gripping account of the horses and riders who earned their spot on the podium in Mullingar: Alexander Butler, Clem McMahon, Francis Connors, Scott Brash, Vicky Tulloch, Capt. David O’Brien, Joan Greene, Jordan Coyle, and Sophie Dalm (all of whom have won twice) are other winners.
The Mullingar International Horse Show runs on the first weekend in June every year.
1. Dublin Horse Show
On April 16–17, 1864, Dublin hosted the inaugural National Horse Show. The Royal Dublin Society and the Royal Agricultural Society of Ireland jointly organized the event, which took place at the Agricultural Hall in Leinster House, where the RDS is located. 370 horses entered the show, and the Hall was set up like stables. Over 1,500 horses arrive each year to participate in the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS’s Ballsbridge facilities after it assumed full responsibility for the show’s organization in 1868.
One of the earliest “leaping” competitions ever staged took place during the first horse show fully managed by the Society in 1868.  Over time, it has developed into a well-known international show-jumping competition, a significant Irish entertainment event, and a national showing competition. The Show Jumping World Championships were held at the RDS in 1982 and were a part of the Dublin Horse Show.
The horse shows mentioned above are just a few of the many that take place in Ireland every year. These events are not only a great way to see some of the world’s most beautiful horses, but they’re also a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world who share your love of these noble creatures. Whether you’re a seasoned equestrian or a novice horse-lover, these shows are sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience.
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