A new international show jumping event is set to take place in Northern Ireland this autumn – the only major indoor event to be held in the province.
Event organiser Equestrian Sporting Promotions has booked the plush Odyssey Arena in Belfast for the event, scheduled for 27-30 November.
Boasting a prize-fund of £250,000, the schedule includes an international grand prix and a puissance, with a World Cup qualifier pencilled in for 2004. Prize-money for the grand prix alone totals £82,500.
Supporting entertainments include a Shetland GrandNational, the “Flying Frogs” and a charity jockeys v show jumpers challenge.
Leading riders from all over Europe, plus the cream of the home side, including World Champion Dermott Lennon, will be invited to compete at the show, with air transport laid on to tempt those from further afield.
Course-designer and former Horse of the Year Show equestrian director Jon Doney has agreed to manage the event. Organiser Theresa McCann says: “Jon was the natural choice as he has a close tieswith our course-designer Brian Henry, and as this is the first venture of this kind for our company, we wanted someone with his depth of experience on board.”
Jon Doney says: “Ireland is a nation with a great tradition of show jumping success, so it deserves a show of this calibre. The arena is superb and we will work hard to develop the sort of equestrian facilities leading riders expect.”
For tickets and details, (tel: 028 9073 9074).
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