Jumping in the City: the road to Rio

Pictured: Greg Broderick takes his horse Zuidam over the jump.  Photo: Kevin O’Gorman.

Pictured: Greg Broderick takes his horse Zuidam over the jump.
Photo: Kevin O’Gorman.

For the second year, Jumping in the City, a series of show-jumping tournaments in association with Horse Sport Ireland set around Greyhound stadia and grandstands in Limerick, Cork and Dublin, took place in Shelbourne Park Stadium in the Ringsend area of Dublin 4 to much fanfare and excitement (including live salsa dancers).

The day saw many well-dressed gentleman and ladies out for the spectacle. The facilities and staff, which helped make the day possible were top notch. The stadium itself is very impressive, like a well-organised maze where one is greeted with wonderful bars, business suites and restaurants, all to a very high standard.

Indeed, the sales manager of the Irish Greyhound Board, Patrick Flynn, informed NewsFour of how they were “diversifying their business” in order to attract more people to Shelbourne Park. Flynn explained that the stadium often had customers who would attend before making their way out to town. In particular, he said that “the event worked very well” and that “people enjoyed themselves.”

The Jumping in the City event has been running for two years with close to 3,000 attending the previous year. It runs in conjunction with the 2016 Rio Olympics and the star of the showjumping event was Greg Broderick, the 2014 National Showjumping Champion and Olympic hopeful, who rode to victory at the Grand Prix before heading to Rio the very next day.

Competition included many different tests for horses and riders. The Westwood/Ifor Williams Trailers Amateur Open speed class event rewarded the riders with the best time and fewest faults to get through.

The Underwriting Exchange Ltd Grand Prix involved a knockout round based on fewest faults and then a fastest round, which focused on the fastest time with the fewest faults.

There was the Devenish puissance, which involves a high jump (1.8 metres would be standard) and a round of obstacles. The final jump height was 1.98 metres, which was won by Peter Smith on Cavalier Rustacanna.

Greg Broderick won the Grand Prix with a time of 40.07 seconds on Zuidam with no faults. Paul Carroll riding Castleroche La Roche won the Amateur Open in a time of 50.18 seconds. Prizes included a 506 Westwood/Ifor Williams Horsebox for the Amateur Class, €15,000 for the Grand Prix and €6,000 for the Puissance.

The crowd cheered on their heroes and showed great admiration and enthusiasm, a sign that will encourage the event going forward, no doubt.

By Kevin Mac Sharry