RDS set for action-packed Dublin Horse Show with prize fund of over €1.3 million

The countdown is on to Ireland’s biggest annual equestrian event, with the 2023 Dublin Horse Show getting underway this Wednesday August 9th at the famous RDS arena in Ballsbridge.

First held in 1864, the Dublin Horse Show celebrates Ireland’s affinity with the horse, and attracts tens of thousands of visitors from Ireland and abroad. Over 168 National and International competitions with a prize fund of over €1.3 million will take place during the 148th Show, including Friday’s Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup for the Aga Khan Trophy.

The 2023 Dublin Horse Show was launched by Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Speaking at the launch, Minister McConalogue said

“I am delighted to launch the renowned Royal Dublin Society (RDS) Dublin Horse Show. Considered world-wide as one of the top global equestrian events a number of national and international equestrian competitions feature over the five days. Our island is recognised as the ‘land of the horse’ and is the most densely sport horse populated country in Europe. The Dublin Horse Show provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase and market Irish bred horses, their breeders and producers and over the years, many good horses have been sold from Dublin overseas. I am well aware to the significant contribution of the sport horse industry to the Irish economy, and I am committed to providing supports to the sector to allow it grow and flourish into the future.”

Minister McConalogue added:

“The Irish Horse Board (IHB) are contracted to provide a marketing service for the sector and will play an important role in ensuring the reputation of Irish bred and Irish produced horses are celebrated worldwide.”

The action in the main arena at the RDS gets underway on Wednesday, with the Speed Stakes the first international competition, followed that afternoon by the Minerva Stakes and the Sport Ireland Classic. Thursday is Ladies Day at the RDS, with the Speed Derby among the main arena highlights, while various competitions for young horses, ponies and showing classes will continue throughout the many RDS arenas and Simmonscourt arena.

Friday as ever is Aga Khan day at the RDS, with Ireland hoping to retain the trophy that they won when taking victory in the Longines FEI Nations Cup of Ireland last year. Irish team manager Michael Blake has named his Aga Khan squad, which included two Irish-bred horses, from which he will select his final four combinations later in the week.

The Irish Aga Khan squad is as follows:

Derry’s Daniel Coyle riding Legacy, owned by Ariel Grange and Daniel Coyle.
Galway’s Michael Duffy riding Cinca 3, owned by Hibernian Sport Horses Ltd.
Meath’s Cian O’Connor riding Eve D’Ouilly, owned by Nicole Walker.
Kildare’s Michael Pender riding HHS Calais (ISH) , owned by Bravo Hughes Ltd and bred by Ita Brennan
Cork’s Shane Sweetnam riding CSF James Kann Cruz (ISH), owned by Gizmo Partners LLC and bred by Patrick Connolly

Saturday is another action-packed day at the Dublin Horse Show, with the crowd favourite Puissance competition taking centre stage as horses and riders attempt to jump the big red wall. The Dublin Horse Show comes to a close on Sunday with the Parade of Champions, followed by the Longines Grand Prix of Ireland

CSF James Kann Cruz (ISH)
– 2013 gelding by Kannan (KWPN) out of CSF Telly Cruz (ISH) by Cruising (ISH)[TIH]. Breeder: Patrick Connolly. Owner: Gizmo Partners, LLC. Rider: Shane Sweetnam (IRL).
HHS Calais (ISH) – 2011 gelding by Cavalier Royale (HOLST) out of MHS OBOS Cruise (ISH) by OBOS Quality (OLD). Breeder: Ita Brennan, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: Bravo Hughes Ltd. Rider: Michael Pender (IRL).