Since 1892, Galway County Show has grown, starting out with just 8 jumping classes. Today there are 44 classes over the 2 days for horses and ponies, bringing some of the best jumping in the region to the show. Galway city is noted as a great places for festivals, and the Galway County show is one of the longest running in the area.
In 2007 Showjumping Ireland introduced a new Premier Grand Prix Series, which ran at 8 selected major shows throughout Ireland as a spectacle of top class showjumping. Regarded as the pinnacle of Irish showjumping, this Premier Series not only encouraged our senior riders to remain at home, but it also enticed foreign riders to compete in Ireland. TRM were the cornerstone of this initiative by investing much needed sponsorship and support into the series. The Premier Series has had the largest prize fund of any national league held in mainland Europe.
In 2012, the Sport Horse Industry Strategy Committee was established by Horse Sport Ireland, the Royal Dublin Society and Teagasc with the support of the Ministers of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. In 2015, a document titled; ‘Reaching New Heights’ was released by then Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Simon Covney.
The document contains 35 key recommendations on improving the quality of the Irish Sport Horse through better breeding, developing the education and training structure for the transfer of knowledge to breeders, improving the marketing and sales capacity across the industry, increasing participation of participants in the sector, progressing the health and welfare of horses and deepening the institutional capacity to deliver on the goals of the strategy.
Under the ‘Reaching New Heights’ strategy document I have been able to secure significant government funding to revamp the now decade old Premier Grand Prix Series.
The New Heights Championship Series, will be replacing the Premier Series. In conjunction with Showjumping Ireland, Horse Sport Ireland and our long standing sponsor and partner TRM, the New Heights Champions Series will move to regenerate the sport in 2017 and broaden the appeal of showjumping to the general public, media, sponsors and tourists from abroad interested in equestrian events.
The New Heights Champions Series, sponsored by TRM and Horseware, is a joint venture between Showjumping Ireland and Horse Sport Ireland and will replace the Premier Series which had been the pinnacle of National Show Jumping in Ireland for the past 10 years.
The lucrative New Heights Champions Series, which boasts an overall prize fund of over €110,000, will kick off at Louth County Show on April 23rd and visits 10 locations across the four provinces of Ireland – with the final to be held in September at the Irish Breeders Classic in Co Wexford which is already established as the richest Young Horse Show in Europe.
In more recent years, some of Connacht’s best have successfully claimed the top prize in the Grand Prix such as local girl, Olive Clarke with Cruisings Mickey Finn (2010), Turloughmore rider Michael Duffy at only 16 yrs taking the honours on his mother Kathryns horse Killard Horizon (2011) followed by Alexander Butler from County Meath and his father Jim is a native of Oughterard (2012). In 2013 the main prize went to Greg Broderick, Thurles Co Tipperary and our 2014 winner, Peter Smyth with Corrib House won the Ashford Farms Grand Prix.
With 4 arenas catering from novice classes up for both horses and ponies, this 2 day show is a great opportunity and experience for everyone. Giving great entertainment for spectators to watch close up and personal with some of the best showjumping in the West.