Show Is Born!
Belfast's indoor horse spectacular attracts world-famous
Why should Ireland not have its very own, indoor international horse
show? Why not indeed, said Equestrian Sports Promotions and the
Belfast Indoor International Horse Show was born, complete with
a home at the Odyssey Arena.
was a long labour - about two years," said Theresa McKenna,
Event director, "but the infant is now doing well and making
a lot of noise."
Belfast Indoor International Horse Show will open its doors for
the first time on November 27 and be a step towards putting Ireland
back in the commanding position it used to hold, monopolising the
show jumping scene and home of some of the world's top horse shows.
demise of prime-time television slots for the sport and an increase
in sponsorship demands led to the collapse of the Dublin indoor
show and to Millstreet losing the World Cup," says Mrs McKenna.
"This show will do something about it. It will give Ireland
something to boast about and the Irish something to talk about.
And we have already put in a bid for another World Cup."
of the great names of international and Irish show jumping have
said they want to be there - former European champions Jessica Kurten,
Peter Charles, Kevin Babington and current champion Dermott Lennon,
while support has come from Cian O'Connor, Conor Swail and British
greats John and Michael Whitaker together with Nick Skelton.
seriously competitive programme includes crowd-pullers like the
Puissance, six-bar and International Envirocare Grand Prix, which
commands £84,000 of the four-day £250,000 Prize fund.
Then there's the Odyssey Jockey Chase when international show jumpers
will pair with well known racing jockeys.
the event is not merely about show jumping, it involves world-famous
acts, some of which are making their first ever appearance on the
Emerald Isle. Jean Francois Pignon is one such act and has amazed
the world with his new performance featuring five horses in a demonstration
of trust, loyalty and liberty.
will get the chance to see the talented Flying Frenchmen who made
their debut in the UK at Olympia and now make their Irish debut
at Belfast. One of the Flying Frenchmen, Matthieu Nassif, will clear
jumps ranging up to 5½ ft in height, barefoot, but most astonishingly
the a horse!
at each performance will be the Naprous Stunt riding dynasty - 'The
Devil's Horsemen. Famous for their death-defying stunt riding, Gerard,
Daniel and Camilla have provided the horses and become stunt doubles
on blockbuster movies that include 'Gladiator, Tomb Raider II and
Troy', which was filmed this year, starring Brad Pitt. Daniel confirmed
their enthusiasm for the show and is looking forward to his visit
to Belfast. "Belfast is one of our favourite places to perform'
the Irish people are so warm and friendly, and really appreciate
Irish Shetland Grand National will also make its first appearance
in this country. They might only have short hairy legs and reach
a maximum height of 107cm, but racing fit Shetland ponies certainly
know how to shift! Galloping at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour,
taking 2ft 4" high brush fences in their stride, this is an
event not to be missed.
of the Belfast Indoor International Horse Show already makes impressive
reading. Four Dee NI Ltd, specialising in CNC Controlled Laser Cutting,
Plasma Cutting & Folding of Mild Steel, Stainless Steel and
Aluminium, have invested a six-figure sum into the five-star event
for 2003 and have been announced as a primary sponsor. Envirocare,
part of Cavan based Kingspan Group, has claimed Title Sponsor of
this year's show, using the event as a multi-branding opportunity.
Envirocare was approached by the show's organisers to become title
sponsor we jumped at the chance. Over the next twelve months, Envirocare
will be expanding its business base in Northern Ireland so we need
to communicate our brand messages in the right way and, of course,
to the right people.' Charles concluded; 'By being involved in such
an exciting project which shares our commitment to preserving and
celebrating the local environment'.
Surfaces have said "yes" to a three-year sponsorship package,
worth a further six-figure sum to the show. "We are absolutely
thrilled to be providing our premiere surface Cushion Track,"
said Paul Harper, Managing Director - Equestrian Surfaces Ltd. They
will be providing over 900 tonnes of Cushion Track as the base for
Odyssey's first equestrian arena.
show's official hotel has been announced as the Days Hotel, located
in the heart of Belfast City. The newest and largest hotel in Northern
Ireland is one of the main sponsors of the Belfast Horse Show.
sponsorship has been confirmed from Waterford Crystal, Spillers
Speciality feeds, Wilson's Auction Group, HorseWare Rugs, Flybe.com,
Floral Earth, Warner Village Cinemas, The News Letter & Equestrian
Life, Downtown / Cool FM Radio, The Odyssey Arena, Tushingham Stables,
The Irish Sports Council, Rolex, MyTravelLite Airline, Brookland
Bedding, DA Forgie Machinery, AJ Lamont Trailers & Ifor Williams
Trailers, Equestrian Direct Sales, McHale Engineering, Eventsec,
SVS Productions, and ASM Howart.
for the Belfast Indoor International Horse show are on sale now
and range from just £7.50 to £35 for ringside seats.
Tickets are available from Odyssey Box Office: 028 9073 9074, Ticket
Master outlets nationwide or Ticket Master 24-Hour Hotline: 0870
243 4455. Tickets are selling fast so book now to avoid disappointment.