Millstreet Horse Show opened today amidst some lovely sunny weather, lots of horses and ponies, and a big crowd. Above are a few photos taken today which are on the Millstreet Horse Show Facebook page. Don’t forget that everyone is welcome at the Show, and admission is FREE for all.
The Irish Examiner writes (12th August):
Members defy SJI and make annual pilgrimage to Millstreet
NUMBERS were better than expected yesterday at the opening of the Millstreet Horse Show All-Ireland Championships, as many of the show jumping fraternity defied the threat of sanction by the sport’s national governing body to attend the Cork event.
The show was revived this year – having not run last year – but is not affiliated to ShowjumpingIreland (SJI), with show organiser Noel C Duggan in dispute with the national governing body over the level of insurance cover it provides for shows.
Mr Duggan was defiant yesterday.
“I am a happy man and my family are happy. I have a clear conscience. In recent times, there have been terrible injustices done to me, but my heart is bursting with joy at what I’ve seen here today,” he said. “Henceforth, our unshakeable determination is, having gone independent, to stay independent.”
The SJI has scheduled its National Championships to also run this week at Coilog, Co Kildare, but, like many at Millstreet, competitor Mark O’Sullivan from Butlerstown, Co Waterford, was there out of a sense of loyalty.
“The reason I am here instead of Coilog is because, when I was starting out, Noel C let me compete in big shows when my form did not justify it. This facility is tremendous and it does not get the credit it deserves. As for the politics of the matter, I have no opinion as to who is right or wrong, but due to the help I have received in the past here, it would have been unfair of me not to come. Also, I have two owners from Kerry and one from Cork and they wanted to come here,” said O’Sullivan.
Regarding a possible fine, he said: “If the SJI deem that I have broken a rule, I will pay a fine.”
Rider Sinead Kennedy from Tralee also had a strong conviction that the Green Glens show, which runs until Sunday, had earned her backing.
“Everything is perfect here and the Duggans have put a lot of effort and money into this show, so they deserve to be supported. The atmosphere is very good and there are buyers here, so the show is very good for the industry. I had 12 horses at the National Championships in Coilog last year and only sold one. The previous year, I sold seven in Millstreet,” said Ms Kennedy.
The 23-year-old, who has been jumping at Millstreet for 12 years, said she would “deal with any fine, if and when I get it”, but felt the only way to solve the dispute was “to get a mediator, outside of any of the governing bodies”.
Speaking from Coilog yesterday, SJI chairman Ronan Corrigan said: “We will follow our rules as laid out in the rule book and our bulletin and, if that means fines and suspensions, so be it. The association finds it regrettable that it has reason to impose these rules and we, obviously, hope this will not be an ongoing situation.
“Coilog is packed today, with large entries in competitions. This implies that the majority of members recognise the need for a governing body. We support them and they support us.”