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End of the road for Tattersalls International Horse Trials after 15 years

The organisers of Tattersalls International Horse Trials have called time on the event after 15 years on the calendar.

The annual three-day event in Co Meath, Ireland, was established in 2006 by the late George Mernagh. Since his death in 2012, it had been supported by the George Mernagh Memorial Fund. It had been due to run on 27-31 May this year but it was announced in March the event had been cancelled owing to the pandemic.

In a statement today (21 August) Tattersalls said it was with “great regret” they are to withdraw from hosting and sponsoring the horse trials.

“Despite the tireless efforts of the organising committee and the generous support of the George Mernagh Memorial Fund, the commercial realities of staging such an event have proved insurmountable and the trustees of the fund have concluded that the trust can best achieve its long-term objectives of promoting youth participation in Irish equestrian sports by supporting a broader range of equestrian disciplines,” read the statement.

Tattersalls will continue to host equestrian sports at the Tattersalls Ireland site in Fairyhouse including the several national events, and a July show, which are already held at the venue.

Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony thanked the organised committee, led by Jean Mitchell, the events’ sponsors, and those who volunteered on an annual basis, for making the horse trials “an event of which the country could be proud”.

“I would also like to thank the many owners and riders from all over the world who supported this event over many years. Sadly, due to the financial challenges that all of us are facing following the coronavirus outbreak, we regrettably feel unable to continue hosting such a large and costly international event, coming as it does in the middle of a very busy sales period for the company,” he said.

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“I would like to pay particular tribute to the trustees of the George Mernagh Memorial Fund without whose financial support this difficult decision would have inevitably come sooner.

Mr Mahony added he looks forward to Tattersalls continuing to host equestrian events at Fairyhouse, including the successful July show, run annually in aid of the St Francis Hospice, Blanchardstown.

“In the meantime all of us involved in the Tattersalls International Horse Trials can look back with pride on what the event achieved in its 15 years and the contribution it has made to the sport of eventing in Ireland,” he said.

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