IF you are travelling to the Dublin Horse Show this weekend, and you know me, forgive me if I pass you by and don’t say hello. At this stage I am operating on autopilot, and might just not recognise you.
The Royal Dublin Society showgrounds welcomed crowds back for the first time since the 2019 show, and how visitors have appreciated being back. While the show runs from Wednesday until tomorrow, Sunday evening, I was involved on Monday and Tuesday as a steward in arrivals.
Working as part of the team in arrivals is something that I have enjoyed since I started to volunteer, and our role is largely to meet and greet, guiding exhibitors and competitors through the veterinary check. Apart from some minor issues, all went smoothly in our area of operation, and this is a time when those with entries for the show are at their most relaxed.
Yesterday was a big day for the Wafer family, winning both classes sponsored by The Irish Field. What joy and emotion they displayed, and no wonder. They won in 2019 with Parkmore Evita, and that 12-year-old daughter of Ghareeb won the €3,000 first prize in the eventing division this year.
The new format for the breeders’ championship split the class in two, the first open to mares with foals suitable for show jumping, and the second for mares with foals suitable for eventing. From my soundings, this change seemed to meet with approval, the only quibble being the time taken to judge the classes.
Based in Carnew, Co Wicklow, Linda Wafer won the first division with Hot To Touch and her colt foal by Quality Time, and then the family brought up an historic double with Patrick’s Parkmore Evita and her smashing Tyson filly foal.
The breeders’ championship is a seminal class for the RDS, and for the wider industry, as it showcases the best of what we produce in this country. To see the entire Ring 1 surrounded by onlookers during the two hours of the classes is testament to its popularity, and long may the class continue to promote the best of Irish.
Today, just after 1pm, you will not be able to move at the same Ring 1 when Grand National winners Tiger Roll and One For Arthur, along with other well-known performers on the track, compete in the racehorse to riding horse class. The judges Nina Carberry and Henrietta Knight will have a tough job deciding who follows in the hoofprints of Forpadydeplasterer, Un Atout, Don Cossack and Sizing Australia.