At the recent Irish Pony Society AGM it became apparent that some of our members were not satisfied with the venue of Wexford Equestrian booked for the Championship Show, and a meeting with representation from all IPS Areas was held to address the situation. Orla and Pat Peare of Wexford Equestrian were making every effort to have temporary stables on site but it appears that distance was also an issue, although those of us living in the South East were happy not to have the lengthy drive to Cavan. The show will now not be held at Wexford Equestrian but will be held at Punchestown over two days, Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th August. Stables are available on site, and there are two all-weather arenas and space to put up further rings on grass. Toilet facilities are available and washing facilities in the old weigh room. There will be some catering but no bar facilities.
I would like all members to be aware that the change of venue will lead to a huge amount more work, as at Wexford all we had to do was drive in on the morning, indoor and outdoor rings were to be maintained, courses designed and Pat on site as course builder, office facilities, showers, catering and tack shop also offered. We will now have to rely on you, the members, to be available on Friday 12th August to assist in setting up, as there will be two working hunter courses to be built on grass plus a second phase ring and dressage arenas. We will also have to transport fences to the site, and materials for fencing the rings. We will probably need a marquee and possibly extra p/a equipment. It must also be noted that everything will have to be taken down and fences loaded on their trailers on Sunday night after the show, so I would ask everyone to weigh in and give their support.
For many years we held successful Championship Shows on green field sites such as Goffs, and although the facilities at the RDS were great, it was still virtually a green field site for the organisers. I very much hope we will be able to run a highly successful show in a pleasant atmosphere, and do all we can to make it enjoyable for the children. After all the Society was formed over 50 years ago to promote the breeding of the Irish Riding Pony and to educate our children in riding, showmanship and above all sportsmanship.
Nesta FitzGerald, Show Chairman.