The 143rd Dublin Horse Show kicked off at the RDS in Ballsbridge on Wednesday, with victory of the first round of the Connolly’s RED MILLS 7 & 8 year-old International competition going to Michael Pender and HHS Hercules.
Pender and the Irish Sport Horse stallion, who is owned by Miguel Maria Bravo, scorched home in 63.41 seconds to take the win. Cian O’Connor was close behind in second with the seven year-old Excellent B (pictured), while Philip McGuane took third spot on the podium with LVS Wizard.
Horses and riders will get their first taste of the RDS main arena on Friday for the second Connolly’s RED MILLS qualifier at 10.45am, just before the teams line out in the Furusiyya Nations Cup for the famous Aga Khan Trophy.
The top 50% of horse and rider combinations will then go forward to Sunday’s prestigious Connolly’s RED MILLS 7 & 8 year-old International Final at 10.30am in the RDS main arena, where a two round competition including a jump-off will decide the overall winner.
Along with a very generous prize-fund, the owner of the winning Connolly’s RED MILLS 7 & 8 year-old horse will receive The “John Higgins” Memorial Perpetual Challenge Trophy, while The “Corry” Perpetual Challenge Trophy will be presented to the rider of the winning horse.
This is the fourth year that Connolly’s RED MILLS have sponsored this prestigious competition, which features the top 20 combinations from Ireland, who are joined at the Dublin Horse Show by up to 24 additional International entries from around the world.
Last year saw Marlon Modolo Zanotelli riding the seven year-old mare EIS Isaura, topped a truly international leaderboard, as the best young horses from Ireland battled with those visiting from around the world.