Pictured at the launch of ‘Jumping in the City’ at Limerick Greyhound Stadium (from left): Cllr John Crowe, Mayor of Clare; Damian McDonald, chief executive, Horse Sport Ireland; John McCarthy, sales operations & commercial manager, Limerick Greyhound Stadium; and Helen Downes, chief executive, Shannon Chamber. Photo: Eamon Ward.
‘Jumping in the City’, a radical new initiative introduced by Horse Sport Ireland in conjunction with the Irish Greyhound Board and Show Jumping Ireland, launched nationally by Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence to bring show jumping into greyhound stadia in three Irish cities – Limerick, Cork and Dublin – will kick-start in Limerick Greyhound Stadium on Friday, June 5, commencing at 6.30pm.
The ‘Jumping in the City’ Limerick event is one of a series of three, commencing in Limerick on Friday, 5 June, continuing in Cork on Friday, 12 June and concluding in Dublin’s Shelbourne Park on Friday, 26 June. Each event commences at 6.30pm with gates opening at 5.30pm.
‘Jumping in the City’ will see three different classes of competition, including The West Wood/Ifor Williams Amateur Class for grassroots riders (max 16 athletes), a Grand Prix for Ireland’s top riders (max 16 athletes) and the big crowd favourite – The Devenish Puissance where 6 riders will take on the huge red wall as it is built progressively higher.
Whilst the show jumping event in Limerick finishes with a prize giving ceremony at 10pm, the entertainment continues with a performance by Extreme Rhythm, a unique and extraordinary display of powerful, infectious drumming using Celtic percussion with a mix of conventional Japanese Taiko and Afro-Cuban drums.
The Limerick event has been welcomed by the Chambers of Commerce of Ennis, Galway, Limerick and Shannon as having the potential to bring the sport to an entire new audience throughout the Mid-West, most especially the corporate sector and people looking for an alternative experience on their Friday night out.
Speaking at the launch in Limerick today (Monday, May 11) on behalf of the collective Chambers, Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes said: “It’s great to have something completely different to offer our members. They are social beings too and like to entertain corporate guests, family and friends. Collectively the Chambers of Ennis, Galway, Limerick and Shannon will be encouraging their members and guests to consider this innovative sport and leisure event a must. By attending, members will also have the opportunity to support the Special Olympics Ireland Equestrian Athletes travelling to represent Ireland at the World Summer Games 2015.”
James Kennedy, Chairman of Horse Sport Ireland’s Finance Committee, said: “I believe ‘Jumping In The City’ has the potential to move show jumping in Ireland to a whole new level. We have experienced terrific success in the sport all over the world, and it’s great that people can see more of our riders and horses performing within our own cities. Horse Sport Ireland is very grateful to Minister Coveney for providing funding for this new initiative. We also have to thank The Irish Greyhound Board for their co-operation on this project, and our affiliate body Showjumping Ireland who have really embraced the project.”
Commenting on the staging of show jumping in a renowned greyhound stadium, John Mc Carthy, manager Limerick Greyhound Stadium said: “We are excited to see our state-of-the-art facilities being used for other sports such as show jumping here in Ireland’s capital city for sport. Everyone involved in the greyhound industry will be very interested to see the nation’s top equestrian riders take to the famous ground where former U.S President John F. Kennedy and Pope John Paul II made addresses to the people of Limerick.”
Bookings for this innovative undertaking are set to be brisk. General entry and corporate dining is available at all events.