Dublin Horse Show cancelled owing to Covid uncertainty

  • The 2021 Dublin Horse Show has been cancelled owing to uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic.

    This is the second consecutive year the show has been lost, owing to coronavirus.

    Organisers Royal Dublin Society (RDS) announced today (6 May) that the Dublin Horse Show would not be going ahead; instead, the society is planning to hold a RDS National Championships for selected national showing and showjumping competitions from 18-22 August.

    “The RDS has been monitoring the evolving situation regarding Covid-19, including the vaccination rates and the latest Government advice,” said the statement.

    “In the current circumstances it has been decided that it will not be possible to operate a Dublin Horse Show this year.

    “Preparations for a typical Dublin Horse Show take many months of planning and organisation, and this has not been possible this year with the levels of uncertainty that still exist for the re-opening of Irish society.”

    The decision is also a further blow to the FEI Nations Cup calendar. The Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, which was the leg before Dublin in the series calendar, has pulled a number of major classes this year including the Nations Cup.

    This leaves questions over what this means for the nations who would have collected points at these fixtures, but FEI rules state: “In the case of a qualifying competition being cancelled in any region or division where teams are allocated events counting for points the following procedure applies. Teams whose result would have counted for points at the cancelled competition are distributed points for the cancelled competition, based on the total number of points obtained at their other allocated events divided by the number of Events at which they have participated for points. This calculation is carried out at the end of the season.”

    The RDS statement added that the society plans for the replacement national event in August to be behind closed doors, restricted to equestrian competitors for the day of their competition only.

    “The RDS is mindful of acting responsibly during these times and the event will only proceed on foot of Government approval, which is currently being sought,” it adds

    “Our desire to host the RDS National Championships, despite the exceptionally challenging circumstances, is motivated by our commitment to support the sport horse industry during this very difficult time.

    “We would like to acknowledge and thank the ongoing support of our sponsors, who are crucial to the viability of the Dublin Horse Show, as well as the understanding of the equestrian community for whom the Show is a yearly highlight.

    “We look forward to hosting the Dublin Horse Show in 2022 and welcoming tens of thousands of visitors back each day to a summer staple that people have known and loved for generations.”

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    Details of qualifiers for the national championships are expected shortly, and the classes planned are as follows:


    Wednesday, 18 August

    • Yearlings
    • Two-year-olds
    • Three-year-olds (in hand)
    • Young horse championships
    • Three-year-old potential event horses

    Thursday, 19 August

    • Irish draught mares and foals
    • Breeders’ championship
    • Show hunter championships
    • Three-year-old loose performance


    Friday, 20 August

    • 148cm six- and seven-year-old ponies
    • 148cm ponies
    • 138cm ponies
    • 128cm ponies
    • Children on horses

    Saturday, 21 August

    • Amateurs
    • Young riders (1.10m – 1.15m)
    • Young riders (1.25m – 1.30m)
    • Young riders (1.35m – 1.40m)
    • Four-year-old horses

    Sunday, 22 August

    • Five-year-old horses
    • Six-year-old horses
    • Seven-year-old horses
    • Eight- and nine-year-old horses

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