The first recorded Galway horse show took place in Eyre sq on 21 and 22 July 1892. There were showing classes and 8 jumping competitions. It ran for many years at various venues before settling in the Sportsground on College road where top level Grand Prix showjumping was included for the first time.
In 1974 the show moved to Ballybrit to land owned by Mickey Coyne. 1978 saw a new home with the show now moving to the grounds of the Brothers of Charity in Clarinbridge and being renamed the Galway County Show.
Once again the show returned to Ballybrit for 2014,2015 and 2016 thanks to the Galway race committee, especially Mr John Maloney and also to Mr Mike Connor for making the land available.
This year all Showjumping classes will take place at Duffy’s Equestrian Centre on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June 2018.
All other classes and activities will take place at the new venue Airport Road (R339).
In the past, many of Ireland’s riders have competed at Galway with Seamus Hayes and Tommy Wade being regular visitors to the Sportsground. Through the 70s and 80s, the Grand Prix was won by the likes of Eddie Macken, Paul Darragh, Jack Doyle and many other of our top international riders.
In recent years top prizes went to local girl Olive Clarke was the victor on Cruisings Mickey Finn in 2010 . This was followed a year later by then 16 year old Turloughmore rider Michael Duffy who took the honours on his mother Kathryn’s horse Killard Horizon. While the winner in 2012 Alexander Butler hails from Co Meath, his father Jim is a native of Oughterard. In 2013 the main prize went to Greg Broderick from Thurles Co Tipperary. In 2014 Peter Smyth with Corrib House won the Ashford Farms Grand Prix. The 2015 honours again went to Greg Broderick and MHS Automatic. Last years winners were Tholm Keane based in Kilkenny on BMH Big Time.
With the new venue we have Ridden horse, Side Saddle RDS Qualifiers, Showing classes, Irish Pony Society (IPS), Connemara Ponies, Young Horse Showing classes, Welsh Ponies, Cattle, Sheep, Dog Show, Vintage cars, Trade stands, Food Stalls and a Kiddies corner with lots of entertainment for little ones.
All of the above creates great excitement among competitors and owners at the prospect of great competition at the west of Ireland’s leading equestrian event.
We were delighted with the great turn out last year considering last minute changes due to measures outside our control. We look forward to this years show which we hope offers variety to both competitors and spectators alike.
We hope the schedule of events for 2018 has something of interest for everyone.