The first recorded Galway horse show took place in Eyre sq on 21st and 22nd of 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 is returning to Ballybrit this time thanks to the Galway race committee, especially Mr John Maloney and also to Mr Mike Connor for making the land available to host this prestigious event. 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 there has been a good local involvement in the shows top prize, in 2010 local girl Olive Clarke was the victor on Cruisings Mickey Finn. This was followed a year later by then 16 year old Turloughmore rider Michael Duffy who took the honours on his mother Kathryns horse Killard Horizon. While the winner in 2012 Alexander Butler hails from County 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.
With the new location, comes new additions to the show schedule; cattle classes are returning after a break of a few years, vintage cars, tug of war, tossing the sheaf, more trade stands are all new additions as well as an expanded ridden horse class section. The regular features such as 4 jumping arenas, IPS, Connemara ponies, young horse showing classes all continue to give a wide variety of different aspects of Equestrianism. Last year, saw the addition of the very popular Side saddle RDS qualifier, drawing competitors from across the country. The Sheep section, dog show and fun fair bring many attractions for a great family day out.
All this is bringing great excitement among competitors and owners at the prospect of 2 days great competition at the west of Irelands leading equestrian event at the world famous Ballybrit racecourse.
We were delighted with the massive turn out last year , of both competitors and spectators. The show committee are constantly striving to improve what we can offer competitors and spectators.
We hope the schedule of events this year has something for everyone.