Bet Show Jumping Live Launched

10th April 2015

Bet Show Jumping Live Launched

Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, launched an exciting new competition for Show Jumping in Ireland on Thursday 26th March at Agricultural House, Kildare Street, Dublin.

It is hoped that Bet Show Jumping Live will make Show Jumping more exciting, easy to understand and more inclusive of the general public. It will certainly be more inclusive of National standard riders, as, by setting the height of the fences at 1.30m, rather 1.50m. National riders, both male and female, will get an opportunity to compete against their more illustrious International colleagues, with the added bonus of having a realistic chance to win a share of a prize fund normally associated with top level International competitions. The competition is being sponsored by Mullingar International Horse Shows long term supporters Devenish and supported through Horse Sport Irelands' Innovation Fund.

"I am delighted to be able to launch this new competition, Bet Show Jumping Live, here today. It is a welcome addition to the Show Jumping calendar and will generate great excitement and sport throughout the season, concluding with the grand final at Mullingar International Horse Show on the 31 st of May. Show Jumping is a great sport, full of excitement and the quality of our horses and riders is outstanding. Our hope would be that with exciting new initiatives like Bet Show Jumping Live the sport will be opened up for greater audiences to enjoy", stated Minister Coveney.

This spectator friendly competition will take place at the Mullingar International Horse Show on Sunday 31st of May at 3pm. There will be four qualifiers from which 32 riders will go forward to the final at Mullingar. Mr. Owen Brennan, Executive Chairman of Devenish, the lead sponsor at Mullingar International Horse Show, explained the importance of this competition.

"Show Jumping has a great tradition here in Ireland with many world class horses and riders originating from these shores. However, we must progress and make the sport more attractive and accessible to a wider audience if we are to maintain and build on our success. Our owners, breeders, producers and riders must be afforded an opportunity to make a living from this industry thus sustaining and creating valuable jobs in our rural community.

Bet Show Jumping Live is innovative, exciting and a perfect vehicle to introduce a new audience to our sport. We are very proud, as lead sponsor of the Mullingar International Horse Show, to be associated with this exciting initiative."

There will be 4 qualifying events preceding the final which will be held at Mullingar International Horse Show on May 31st.

• Millstreet International Welcome Tour, April 10th

• Louth County Show, April 25th

• Galway Equestrian Centre, May 3rd

• Mullingar International Horse Show, May 30th

• Bet Show Jumping Live Final Mullingar International Horse Show, May 31st

The 4 qualifiers will be contested over a similar course and a distance replicated at each of the four venues. A form sheet, similar to a race card, will be distributed to our audience and the off course betting public prior to the final to assist them in placing their bets.

There will be an open draw to form the four groups of eight riders in the final. Each group will take approximately 15 minutes to complete . The winning horse and rider from each of the 4 groups will go forward to the grand final. The prize fund of €20,000 will be distributed between the 4 finalists, with the winner receiving €10,000, 2nd place €5,000, 3rd €3,000 and 4th €2,000.

"Mullingar International Horse Show has grown to a four day event with a total prize fund of over €100,000. The show is delighted to be hosting the final of Bet Show Jumping Live. We believe it is a very exciting development for Irish Show Jumping and we are very grateful for the support we have received from Minister Coveney's Innovation Fund, Horse Sport Ireland and from our lead sponsor, Devenish" said Robert Fagan, Show Director of Mullingar International Horse Show.

It is hoped that this new type of initiative will help increase attendances at horse shows, increase our appeal to new sponsors and increase prize funds for our owners, breeders, producers and riders. It is vital that we continue to strive to improve this sport and keep it in tune with today's participant demands" he continued.

All the excitement will be at the Mullingar International Horse Show from the 29th of May to the 1st of June where the inaugural Bet Showjumping Live champion will be declared.

Picture Caption: (Left - Right) Robert Fegan of Mullingar EC, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, Ashling Byrne and Richard Kennedy, Devenish

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