Huge prize money in horse section

Over €11,000 in prize money is on offer in the horse section at this year’s Roscommon Agricultural Show.  At last Thursday night’s launch, section organiser Martin Hannon outlined details of the horse section. This year’s programme features 28 classes. Foals, Irish draught horses, and young horses are all catered for. There are also five important qualifiers for All Irelands, including ones in Moate and Ballinasloe. Another highlight is a lunging competition sponsored by Jim Derwin and a Hunt Chase sponsored by Jim Hughes. The Yearling Draught Filly class is sponsored by Hannon’s hotel. Total prize money in the horse section is €11,000, with €5,000 for in-class competitions, €3,000 for the lunging competition and €2,000 for the hunt chase. First prize in each class is €200, second prize €60 and third prize €40. Details of the hunt chase were outlined by Micheál Curley. He thanked sponsor Jimmy Hughes from Ballygar, who was represented at the launch by his daughter Shelly. He said that organisers hope to have ten teams present from around the country. The hunt chase is essentially a relay competition between teams of four horses and Mr. Curley said organisers are hoping for a good turnout. Frank O’Halloran outlined details of the show jumping classes. The events are SJAI accredited events, but the jumping events are open to all. Different classes cater for different sizes and entry is on the day, with the first event getting underway at 10.30 am sharp. Mr. O’Halloran sent a message to young riders, saying, ‘don’t be shy about attending the local show. Attending your local show is the best place to start if you are interested in show jumping.’ The pony classes are also expected to attract much interest, with 20 classes involved, including the Connemara championship classes. Organisers thanked Denis Smyth of Longford Tiles and Bathrooms for his generous sponsorship of this section. There will also be three donkey classes on the day and three driving classes, sponsored by Mr. Tom Crean.