Showjumping brought to the masses via greyhound stadiums

  • Showjumping will take place in three of Ireland’s biggest cities this summer after Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) announced dates for its new “Jumping in the City” series.

    All three shows take place on evenings in June in greyhound stadia.

    The series starts on 5 June in the Limerick Greyhound Stadium, moves to Cork’s Curraheen Park on 12 June and concludes at Shelbourne Park in Dublin on 26 June.

    There will be three classes each night — an amateur top score competition, a grand prix and a puissance.

    “The purpose is to bring showjumping to a new and wider audience,” said HSI chief executive Damian McDonald.

    “The facilities for spectators at each venue are very good, as are the corporate hospitality options. I’m sure we’ll learn something as we go along, but it has great potential and is very exciting for showjumping.”

    Tickets will cost €15 (£11) and will be sold through the Irish Greyhound Board’s sales centre.

    Irish international rider Trevor Breen said: “You only have to look at the success of the Global Champions Tour, which is going from strength to strength, to see how showjumping can be done well in international cities. On a national basis, it can only be a good thing to expose the sport to a wider audience — the more exposure showjumping gets, the better. It will be interesting to see whether the idea gets picked up in Britain — why couldn’t it be done?”

    A spokesman for British Showjumping (BS) told H&H: the organisation will be “watching this with interest”.

    “We are keen to see how it develops but our focus is very much committed to supporting the county shows,” she added.

    “The International Stairway, which we see as supporting our performance pathway programme, is a series which is contested at the county shows and in which we invest. We see the county shows as being the correct venues for these events.”

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 2 April 2015

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