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New Belfast Show Attracts A Star Turnout

A prize fund of £210,000 for the first Belfast Indoor International Horse Show is attracting leading Irish, British and European showjumping riders.

World Champion Dermott Lennon heads the Irish contingent, a strong favourite for the closing class of the four day show, the Envirocare Grand Prix, which has prize money totalling £81,000 with £27,000 to the winner.

But he will face strong international opposition. Countrymen Peter Charles, Jessica Kurten and Billy Twomey are on a strong entry list, which includes also Germany’s Franke Sloothak, Belgium’s Jos Lansink and Ludo Philipaerts, while Switzerland will field world ranked number one Markus Fuchs and Beat Mandli.

Three Whitakers - John, Michael and Robert - head up a British squad, which also boasts on-form Nick Skelton and Robert Smith as well as Di Lampard.

“The interest among international riders has been amazing,” said Theresa McKenna, Event and Operations Director of the show. “In the next weeks I am sure we are going to add even more star names top the entry we already have.” McKenna has already booked dates at the Odyssey for 2004 and 2005 and put in a bid for a World Cup round in Belfast for next year.

Jean Francois Pignon

Joining the international riders at this year’s show will be the world famous theatrical acts, Jean Francois Pignon, The Flying Frenchmen, The Devil’s Horsemen and the Irish Shetland Grand National. They will be participating in every performance and some will be making their debut performance in Northern Ireland.

The Belfast Indoor International Horse Show takes place at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast from Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th November and tickets to this star studded event are selling fast. To book your tickets call Odyssey Box Office on 028 9073 9074 or Ticketmaster 24-hour hotline on 0870 243 4455. Tickets can also be booked online at, and

The Odyssey Arena


The Belfast Indoor International Horse Show is designed to provide sporting entertainment both for the audience at the Odyssey Arena and a television viewing audience. It is also an international show, duly registered with The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), Switzerland .

Careful consideration was given about which riders should be invited, and we took advice from both national and international governing agencies in order to get a good balance of established riders, those currently returning good international results and riders who, on their past records, will provide the sort of entertainment suitable for launching what we know will be a top, on-going equestrian highlight to both the Irish and International competition calendar.

Good television and competition is created from an entry of leading riders and star horses and we have had the unenviable job of selecting names giving us the greatest chance of doing just that. In future years, hopefully, we can widen our invitation list, but for 2003 and the launch of the Belfast Indoor International Horse Show we, through necessity, will have to abide by this formula.



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