The Dublin Horse Show, which is a celebration of Ireland’s love for the horse, is a Dublin institution. Begun in 1864, the Horse Show displays the best show horses and the best international show jumpers. It’s one of Ireland’s largest events, and is the highlight of every summer as Dublin welcomes tens of thousands of people from Ireland and all over the world. This year the Horse Show will take place August 3rd to the 7th, if you are planning on visiting the show and need a hotel, check out the Jurys Inn range of hotels in Dublin.
The only times the Dublin Horse Show did not occur was from 1914 to 1919 due to World War I and from 1940 to 1946 due to World War II. The purse has significantly grown in the years of the Show’s existence, from a total prize fund of £520 to currently the third largest annual prize pool for International Show Jumping in the world. The rules have also become more complicated. The original rules were simple: “The obstacles had to be cleared to the satisfaction of the judges.” Today, things are not nearly as subjective.
Women weren’t allowed to ride in any jumping competition until 1919, when a novelty class was introduced. The following year, 1920, women were finally able to compete freely. At first, women rode side-saddle in traditional costumes (veil and habit) and were judged on the Thursday of the Show. That’s why, to this day, Thursdays are Ladies’ Day, and why women viewers go all-out with their clothes and elaborate hats. Women were finally permitted to compete in the Show’s international competitions starting in 1954, as required by international rules.
One of the most exciting things about this year’s show is the performance of the world-renown stunt riding team the Ukrainian Cossacks, who will demonstrate their horsemanship and riding capabilities. They’ll give displays in the Main Arena and Simmonsourt each day of the Show, as part of the Show’s entertainment and education programme.