Galloping down to Dublin Horse Show
Hundreds of Northern Ireland eventing enthusiasts have been heading south for one of the biggest weeks the sport’s calender — the Dublin Horse Show.
The prestige event — which covers all areas equestrian — kicks off today at Ballsbridge in Dublin with more than €900,000 (£767,000) in an increased prize fund for a number of big competitions.
Northern Ireland also has a large entry of exhibitors both in the show classes, pony section, national and international jumping arenas.
A prize trip for the best dressed lady of the show begins with a five star shopping weekend for two Milan then the winner and their guest will be whisked off to South Africa, for a five night stay in a top hotel.
A new €2,000 Longines watch from the Conquest Collection will be presented to the most colourful outfit winner with other awards for the most creative hat, best dressed man and two highly commended €1,000 vouchers from House of Fraser.
Ulster showjumpers Conor Swail, Dermott Lennon, Lucy Buchanan, Edward Little, Harry Marshall will be competing in the main competitions, with the Smith Brothers from Seskinore and the Smyths from Victoria Bridge.
Last year's Dublin champion hunter producer Richard Iggulden from Ards has a full team of horses at the show, and will be challenged by Balmoral champion Lorenzo owned by Judith Ryan and Michael Lewis from Dromore. The Wallace show hunter team from Dromore and Lynn Boggs from Cookstown are also main contenders.
Colleen Lowry of Blessingborne Cottages at Fivemiletown makes her debut in Dublin this year with her horse Toyboy.
RTE will cover the show from Friday.