Northern Ireland is to host a new three-star show jumping international filling a void left by last year’s cancellation of the Belfast International Horse Show (BIHS).

Northern Ireland is to host a new three-star show jumping inernational, filling a void left by last year’s cancellation of the Belfast International Horse Show.

The new Northern Ireland International Horse Show says it has no connection with the defunct Belfast five-star show, which was cancelled in October last year only a week after announcing it would go ahead.

The beleaguered BIHS was set to take place at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena from 1-4 December 2005, but ran into financial difficulties. The separate Northern Ireland International Horse Show will take place at the same venue on 18-22 October.

On the subject of the BIHS, a Show Jumping Association of Ireland (SJAI) spokesman said no application had been made for the cancelled show to go ahead this year. She added that a new application could not proceed if prize-money was owed to riders, as is believed to be the case.

At the time of the cancellation, it was estimated that about £140,000 was owed to creditors, including a number of riders, by the show — the brainchild of Theresa McKenna of Equestrian Sports Promotions, a company that has since “wound up”.

Ms Mckenna, BIHS event director, confirmed the show was defunct just days after indicating potential backers could fuel its combacke.

She said its debts totalled about £100,000 – H&H, for one, is owed £3,000 for unpaid advertising – and announced that a “final plea” for a new show ws rejected on Monday while debt remained.

“Our new investros are not prepared to take the risk of making a payment in advance and being turned down for our already well-planned 2007 show,” said Ms MKenna, providing no comment on future resolution of the debt.

The separate Northern Ireland International Horse Show, run by new company Event Direct Limited, has secured sponsorship. Its directors are chaired by businesman/show jumping owner Joe Sloan.

A new company, Event Direct Limited, was formed in February to drive the venture. Its directors are chaired by businessman and show jumping owner Joe Sloan.

The other five directors are championship course-designer Jon Doney, show director of BIHS in its first year (2003) and a past HOYS show director; Kelvin Bywater, organiser of show jumping’s Blue Chip Championships and the Horse & Hound Winter Dressage Championships, Raymond Jess, Harold Lusk and former Irish Equestrian Federation president Lewis Lowry.