The IPS Show Committee had an interesting meeting prior to the IPS AGM.  We discussed the probable format and also some new departures from the usual schedule.  On Thursday 17th, there will be a full range of ‘New Member’ classes, both flat and working hunter, for riders and owners who have joined the Irish Pony Society after 01.01.16.  We hope that this will encourage those who may have ponies that, through age or previous records, may be classified as ‘open’ but the riders may still lack the confidence when competing against those who have had several years of experience.  It might also encourage some who avail of day membership to become full members.  There will be a reception party on Thursday evening.

All phases of the Tom Robinson Gold Cup will be held on Friday 18th, with the presentation that night.  The Open WHP classes will take place on Saturday.  The In-Hand classes will be held on Friday, finishing up with the HSI Champion of Champions.  A new departure in these classes will be that the previously held Connemara and Welsh classes will be changed to Mountain and Moorland Small and Large breeds, thus including such breeds as Shetland, Dartmoor, Kerry Bog Ponies and, in the Large Breeds, Highland and Welsh Sec. C and D.  In each group, there will be separate classes for yearlings, 2 and 3 year olds and 4yrs and over.  There will also be an M&M Brood Mare class.  The Part-bred classes will not be confined to Welsh, but will include Part-bred Arabians to come in line with the Ridden Part-bred classes.

We will include, once again, a Fancy Dress class and, since the meeting I have been asked to re-instate the Pony Pairs classes, which should attract some interest as they were always great fun.  These are judged not only on the ability of a pair to perform side-by-side, but also matching of colour of ponies and turn-out of riders.

We hope to shortly have the schedule available on the website and would like, again, to thank all of you who supported the show last year under conditions that were not ideal, along with all those who gave generous sponsorship, which has enabled us to go to Mullingar Equestrian Centre this year.  We will, however, need to seek sponsorship once again and hope that you will help us out once more!

Wishing you all a Happy Show Season.

Nesta FitzGerald, Chairman

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