Following last spring/summer’s mixed weather conditions, Robert and his team embarked last September on an ambitious new sand arena. With changing weather patterns, and more frequent heavy downpours, it has become ever more challenging to have a dependable, well functioning sand arena available for national and international competitions.
Applying the latest FEI guidelines, and with 2,000 tonnes of hardcore, 1,500 metres of drainage, 350 metres of PVC fencing, 2,000 tonnes of specially engineered sand, an inestimable no of man and machine hours (and a few sleepless nights), the new Olympic sized sand arena opened to widespread approval at Easter, and has been proving its worth during the recent very wet weather.
Mullingar Equestrian’s new Olympic Sand Arena was therefore an appropriate venue to launch the 2015 Mullingar International Horse Show, now in its eighth year and with bigger and more lucrative classes than ever before. In attendance we had the young pony riders who won through from our Friday evenings’ spring league to earn their opportunity of pairing with a top professional rider in the International-Pony-Pairs-Relay held immediately following the show’s Grand Prix class on Monday 1 June as a charitable fundraiser in aid of the North Westmeath Hospice. Along with representatives of some of the show’s major sponsors whose support contributes so vitally to the show’s success.
A special innovation for this year’s show is the Devenish Nutrition and Horse Sport Ireland sponsored ‘Bet Showjumping Live’ International speed and elimination class scheduled for Sunday afternoon 31 May at 3.00 pm. Four group rounds of 8 pre-qualified pairings will each produce one finalist for the €20,000 jump off.
A ‘racecard’ will be produced showing up-to-date form of each horse/rider combination, and each rider will be readily identified sporting distinctive numbered racing colours. Study the form, take your pick, keep your ears open for the latest word on the ground … and place your bets. Just like the races, and with all the glamour, excitement, thrills and unpredictability of a top-class equestrian event. Mullingar Equestrian Centre will be the place to be this Sunday for horse lovers, glamour queens (and glamour watchers!), toy boys and girls and players alike.
Following the Bet Showjumping Class we will have the dashing French ‘Horseman’ (half horse / half man!) team who will take on the winner of the Bet Showjumping class over the same course. Is it possible? can it be done? only the day will tell … be there!
Monday 1 June promises an equally exciting and glamour packed day with the €24,500 International Grand Prix and Pony Pairs Relay events highlights of the afternoon … not to mention the Dog Show, the Dog High Jump, the dashing Horseman Team (just in case you missed them on Sunday!), the 128 Pony Championship and Amateur Grand Prix finals, children’s pony rides and children’s play area.
Friday 29 & Saturday 30 May: free entry, free parking
Sunday 31 May & Monday 1 June: Adults €10.00, Children Free, Free Parking
Sunday 31 May, Barn Dance (inc Human Puissance (high jump) Competition), 9.00 pm: Adm €15.00