The Dublin Horse Show has been cancelled for the first time in 80 years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The scale of advance planning required, both on-site and through the already cancelled qualification events, as well as the international dimension to the Show made its cancellation inevitable.
Due to take between July 15 and 19, organisers say the importance of the Show to the Irish horse sport industry formed part of the considerations before deciding that providing certainty through this cancellation would be of the most benefit to all involved.
“The RDS responsibility to contribute to the national effort in controlling the virus in Ireland was an important factor in this decision,” read a statement.
The Show, which now attracts over 100,000 visitors each year, was last cancelled in 1940, due to the Second World War. It continued with national show jumping competitions only until 1945. A swamp fever outbreak cancelled the Aga Khan competition in 1966 but the remainder of Show proceeded as normal.
RDS chief executive Michael Duffy said: “The RDS did not come to this decision lightly and only after detailed considerations of all the factors involved.
“However, we believe it is the most responsible decision we can make in the best interests of public health and safety.
“We understand that this will disappoint many members of the public and that it will have implications for many horse breeders and producers around the country. However, we trust that everyone will understand and support a decision made in the national interest.
“It is incumbent on all of us to do everything we can to support the measures introduced by the Government.”
All tickets purchased by phone or online will be automatically refunded by Ticketmaster. Customers who bought from other outlets are asked to return to the point of sale.