Bruce Springsteen takes a back seat to watch his showjumping daughter at Dublin show
Top class horses and an up close and personal encounter with Bruce Springsteen in equally fine fettle – life really couldn't get much better at the Dublin Horse Show.
Just when spectators had given up all hope that Springsteen would turn up, there he was in the stands of the RDS and with a wide beam on his face.
This was the rock superstar in relaxed downtime mode, soaking up the finest of the 'Glory Days' – wrapped up unseasonally amid the balmy conditions – and this time he was clearly very happy not to be centre stage.
For once, the focus was not entirely on him, but on his beautiful daughter, Jessica (22), making her showjumping debut with the highly competitive and prestigious Team USA.
His appearance delighted the Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke as he wandered amid the bowler hats. "It would be great if he arrives, great for the country," he had said earlier. "Hopefully he won't let us down," he said.
There could be little doubt that this was a pointed barb towards 'the Line-Dancing One'.
Still nursing his wounds after the endlessly tedious Garth Brooks debacle, he grimaced when the mere name was mentioned.
"Don't mention the war," he groaned.
Springteen and wife Patti Scialfa had kept a very low profile but eventually they were picked out of the crowd as they sat in the VIP stands, holding their breath for Jessica – a jaunty and dapper figure in her red jacket.
While Bruce was 'Born to Run', his daughter was clearly born to gallop. But it just didn't go her way yesterday. Riding Vindicat W – the horse that won gold for British rider Peter Charles at the 2012 London Olympics and which is estimated to cost around €6m – Jessica was eventually placed 26th in the Irish Sports Council Classic and left the grounds looking flustered and upset before joining her parents for lunch.
A posse of press stood at the bottom of the stand and eventually Bruce and Patti came down the steps with their faces wreathed in sheepish smiles that said: "You got us."
"Gotta pass," Patti beamed as they squeezed by.
When asked if they were having a good time, she said it had been a "great day."
And were they proud of their daughter?
"Of course!" she said.