I posted a few photos yesterday while sitting at the airport (see those), but here’s the real report.
The Filte Ireland Dublin Horse Show has been going on for 106 years. Show director Peter Hanly told us the show began as a way to support country’s horse breeders and producers. The competitions, from working hunters to Connemaras and colo(u)red cobs, to mares and foals, highlight the quality animals produced and trained in Ireland.
He said the competition has given rise to the concept of "a Dublin horse"–a phrase used to describe the quality of animal you could compete with here.
The four-day show features more than 1,400 horses and ponies in 12 international show jumping competitions, 35 national jumping competitions, and 95 showing classes. They offer more than Û900,000 in prize money.
I caught the Draught stallions, as well as ladies’ sidesaddle and several other flat classes.
What struck me was the traditional style–this is not a "trendy" show, with the latest in blingy browbands and tail extensions. As you can probably see from the photos, it’s decidedly old school–and I loved it. There’s something right about suits and bowler hats, plain tack, and spotless horses, all displayed on a field of stunningly green turf.
In at least some of the flat classes the riders showed their own mounts before lining up and handing their animals off to an official rider, who then worked each horse in a