Row over young riders sponsorship at Dublin

  • The owner of Holmestead Saddlery told H&H he is “shocked and disappointed” after finding that the company is unable to sponsor the young riders class at Dublin Horse Show — despite sponsoring the qualifiers.

    The company sponsored all four young riders qualifying classes and had agreed with Showjumping Ireland that it would be the sponsor for the final, held at the show next month (5-9 August).

    However, Holmestead has now been told that it are unable to sponsor the final class at Dublin.

    “We were told that it was Dublin and Dublin only who decided who the sponsors were, and that the sponsor wasn’t us,” Bill Holmes from Holmestead Saddlery told H&H.

    “We stopped having a stand at the show as it was costing around €46,000, which wasn’t viable,” he added. “But we wanted to keep supporting the young riders class, so we agreed a three-year sponsorship deal with SJI as we have always done. It’s cost us a few thousand in terms of prizes.

    “We’ve handed out all the prizes for the qualifiers and had already bought the prizes and rugs for the final. It’s very disappointing.”

    When he found he said it was a “total shock” and that the company are “very disheartened”.

    The confusion is estimated to be costing Showjumping Ireland around €30,000.

    Gallagher/Meller E2 Show Jumpers will sponsor the young riders final.

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    A spokesman for Dublin Horse Show told H&H: “The Dublin Horse Show is in its 142nd year and is run annually on a not-for-profit basis by the RDS, a philanthropic society. The show relies heavily on revenue streams such as sponsorship to ensure its running each year. The main purpose of show and the aim of the society is to support the Irish Sport Horse breeder and producer by showcasing the best in Irish bred horses.

    “For the past two years the RDS has been exclusively responsible for all sponsorships in relation to all competitions and classes at the horse show. During this time the RDS has had no negotiations with Holmestead Saddlery in relation to sponsorship.”

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