RDS Dublin 2019

RDS Visit  2019.    Click on pic. to enlarge
The panoramic equine display of the Dublin Horse Show on the final day, Sunday 11 August, provided a feast of horse and pony viewing that can only be experienced at the RDS. Families were there in their thousands, the band lawn was packed to capacity and occasional free seats were like gold dust. The areas around Rings 1 and 2 were thronged evoking a day-out at the Galway Races. The Pony Club Games, fast and furious, with expert young riders vaulting on to their galloping ponies, was an exciting spectacle, while the sixteen young riders and ponies of Clare Pony Club branches, performed a musical ride in their smart Vienna Spanish Riding School coats and tricorn hats, providing a rare treat for spectators.
The side-saddle intermediate class was the epitome of female elegance on horseback, providing a glimpse back into a style of riding of an earlier age. The Connemara ponies involved stood out as ideal side-saddle mounts. The winner of this class, Tooreeney Lad, a Galway half-bred Connemara by I Love you Melody out of a TB mare, had earlier taken the Show Hunter championship with rider Charlotte Rees who had brought her eleven year old gelding over from England to compete at the RDS.  The third, fourth and fifth places went to purebred Connemaras.
While the Grand Prix international competition was show-jumping at its most professional in the Main arena, the display of Spanish Equestrian artist Santi Serra was horse-management at its most magical; you’ve got to see this performance to appreciate the horse-human understanding involved and to really comprehend something of equine intelligence. The three horses are free of all bridles and saddles and their human master performs barefoot with them and also introduces a dog and two birds of prey into his act.
Over in Simmonscourt the atmosphere was equally buzzy. We sat for a while and watched some of the Riding Club team members display their show-jumping skills. The AIRC is a wonderful institution which ensures that anyone one with an interest in horses and riding may join in and compete and socialize in the wide variety of activities provided by their clubs. They run Eventing, Dressage, Hunter Trials for their members as well as Show-jumping and it was an all-female team who won the RDS show-jumping team event this year.