Entry fees for showing classes at the Dublin Horse Show (6-10 August) have risen by around 20% this year, bringing the price for a non-member to enter one horse in a show hunter class to 297 euros – more than £200.
“Due to increasing insurance costs in the running of such a large and complex show we have had to incorporate an insurance levy into the entry fees,” says a spokesman for the show.
However, the hike in fees does not seem to have had much impact on take-up.”The number of entries for showing classes appears to be similar to last year, although the final count may show a very slight decrease,” adds the spokesman.
Numerous overseas buyers attend the event, traditionally a shop window for the cream of Ireland’sstock, and many of the horses shown at Dublin are sold abroad after the show. In many cases, therefore, the entry fees represent a small price to pay to parade a horse in front of thousands of potential buyers.
Prize-money has also increased; for instance, the winner of one three-year-old hunter class takes home 950 euros compared to 850 euros last year, and the young horse champion scoops 2,375 euros, compared to 2,200 euros last year.
The prizes on offer are generous compared with shows in England, where hunter class entries at the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, for example, cost just £35, with first prize winners taking home £50.
Show jumping owners have also been affected by the fee increase. One rider who usually competes in the young horse classes says that Dublin has become so expensive that many riders are saving their young horses for Millstreet show, Co Cork, instead.
“As a rider, you would obviously like to go to Dublin, but owners are just not bothered about going this year. There is no guarantee that you will sell a horse there and the prize-money is too low,” he says.
Read the full story in this week’s Horse & Hound (26 June), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.