Riders praise Ireland’s refurbished Emerald Equestrian centre

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Pictured at the test day for Emerald International Equestrian Centre in Co Kildare, from left, Pippa McDonald-Clinch (show director), Michael Buckley (project manager at Emerald), Caroline Teltsch (event manager), show jumper Tholm Keane on Delano W, James Buckley (managing director), Noel Buckley (director) and Noel Boyle (event director).
Pictured at the test day for Emerald International Equestrian Centre in Co Kildare, from left, Pippa McDonald-Clinch (show director), Michael Buckley (project manager at Emerald), Caroline Teltsch (event manager), show jumper Tholm Keane on Delano W, James Buckley (managing director), Noel Buckley (director) and Noel Boyle (event director). © Laurence Dunne Jumpinaction.net

Ireland’s Emerald International Equestrian Centre in Co Kildare has undergone an extensive refurbishment and now boasts the country’s largest indoor jumping arena with seating for 3000 people.

Several of Ireland’s leading jumping and eventing riders checked out the facilities in a test event on Tuesday, as the centre prepares to host the Irish Masters Show next month. It has also announced three international fixtures for 2015.

Emerald’s main indoor arena has been upgraded to boast a top-of-the-range cushion track elite surface which uses very fine white silica sand supplied by Equestrian Surfaces Ireland. It is the first time this surface has been used in Ireland. The same surface has also been used on the centre’s other indoor arena and its three outdoor arenas.

Speaking after the test event, leading rider Edward Doyle described the surface as “perfect”.

“This is a fantastic new facility, a beautiful ring, really bright and really good ground, it has the potential to hold any show jumping event. The surface is perfect, it rides really good. The owners have done a fantastic job and it is close to home for us which is really good”.

Edward’s brother Jack Doyle, who has jumped at top venues all over the world, was also full of praise for the Kildare venue saying: “This place is fabulous, excellent, a huge arena with a great surface and is in an excellent location, very central”.

Sarah Ennis and Sugar Brown Babe.
Sarah Ennis, pictured on Sugar Brown Babe. © Ray Kellett Photography

Former national champion Paddy O Donnell made the trip up the M9 motorway from Waterford and was also impressed. “You can’t help but be blown away from the minute you walk in here, it’s like a breath of fresh air. We have some great facilities already in Ireland but anyone can see that Emerald will bring on the sport here even further. The horses I schooled around jumped phenomenal, the surface gives you a great feeling. Let’s hope there will be many days of great jumping here”.

Emerald has confirmed dates for three International jumping shows planned for 2015.

Emerald 2 Star International will run from March 24 to 29, 2015 while a 3 Star International show will take place from June 2 to 7, and will include a world ranking class.The Co Kildare venue will also run a second 2 Star International from November 10 to 15, 2015.

Preparations are continuing for the forthcoming Emerald International Irish Masters Show, which includes top-class show jumping action on all three days and carries a total prize fund of €55,000.

The Irish Masters Show begins on Friday November 14 with top Eventing riders Sarah Ennis, Nicola Ennis and Katie O’Sullivan holding a Masterclass on the three disciplines of producing an eventer.

Sarah Ennis was part of the Irish Eventing team which recently secured Olympic Qualification for at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy and has more than 20 years experience as a competitor, trainer and coach. She is joined in the Masterclass by her sister Nicola, who also has recorded a string of impressive International results, and by Katie O’Sullivan, who was runner-up in Ballindenisk CIC3* in 2012 and also finished highly in the CIC3* at Haras du Pin in 2013.

On Saturday, November 15 multiple Grand Prix winning Show Jumping riders Tholm Keane and Derek McConnell will hold a Masterclass on producing a stallion, before the eventing riders hold a second performance. Later that evening, Irish National Show Jumping Champion and World Champion from the 2013 WBFSH at Lanaken, Greg Broderick, along with fellow leading rider and producer Ger O‘Neill, will hold a Young Horse Masterclass.

Details of a “Special Guest Masterclass” taking place at the final day of the show on Sunday November 16 will be announced shortly, while Show Jumpers Greg Broderick and Ger O’Neill will also hold a repeat performance of their Young Horse Masterclass on the same day.

The 64-acre Emerald International grounds are in Mucklon, Enfield, in the heart of Kildare and 25 minutes from Dublin Airport.

Daily tickets which include reserved seating for the November Irish Masters at Emerald International are priced at €20 for Adults and €15 for children (Under 3 yrs free) and are available on www.ticketmaster.ie.

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