The first ever International Connemara Performance competition will take place during the 2015 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show, which takes place from the August 5–9.
Teams from Ireland, the UK and France will compete in the competition based on the format of the highly successful Connemara Performance Hunter Championship.
Three teams of four pony and rider combinations will contest this inaugural event for a prize fund of €3,900. The winners will be decided by the combined total of the three highest scoring ponies on the team – similar to that of International teams in the Nations’ Cup. Not only will the competition provide an opportunity to showcase the qualities and abilities of Ireland’s native sports pony on an international stage, but crucially it will give young Irish riders a unique opportunity to develop their team skills.
The team to represent Ireland will be selected from the top four pony and rider combinations, who meet the age criteria in Connemara Performance Hunter Class 71 and the 8–15 year old category at the Show. Three riders on the team must be under the age of 21 on the 1 January 2015, there will be no upper age limit for the fourth rider. This new Class promises to be a showcase event for the native pony breed; a mini-Nations’ Cup, which will show-off the athleticism, versatility and wonderful disposition of the Connemara pony.
Qualifiers for the Connemara Performance Hunter Championship will commence this weekend, on Saturday June 6 at Scarteen, Knocklong, Co. Limerick, followed by Ravensdale, Dundalk, Co. Louth on Saturday June 13, Forth Mountain, Barntown, Co. Wexford on Sunday June 21 and culminating in Rincoola, Granard, Co. Longford on Saturday June 27.
As part of our philanthropic mission in equestrianism, the RDS remains dedicated to showcasing the sporting talents of the Connemara, and to supporting the development of the equine tourism industry in Ireland.
Online ticket bookings and a provisional Programme of Events for the 2015 Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show are now available at www.dublinhorseshow.com.