Ireland’s Tattersalls Horse Trials the latest Covid-19 casualty

Pierre Touzaint (France) and Scapin du Brio on the cross-country.
Pierre Touzaint (France) and Scapin du Brio on the cross-country at Tattersalls Horse Trials in 2017. © Lorraine O’Sullivan

Irish horse sales company Tattersalls is pulling out of hosting and sponsoring the Tattersalls International Horse Trials, which has run annually since 2006.

Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony said the company felt unable to continue hosting such a large and costly international event, because of “the financial challenges that all of us are facing following the coronavirus outbreak”.

The event was established by Tattersalls Ireland’s late chairman George Mernagh, and had become a popular feature in the international horse trials calendar. Despite the work of the organising committee and support from the George Mernagh Memorial Fund, which was set up in 2012 after Mernagh’s death at 56, “the commercial realities of staging such an event have proved insurmountable”, Tattersalls said.

The Trustees of the Fund have concluded that it can best achieve its long-term objectives of promoting youth participation in Irish equestrian sports by supporting a broader range of equestrian disciplines.

Tattersalls will continue to host equestrian sports at the Tattersalls Ireland site in Fairyhouse. Several national events, as well as the July Horse Show, are already held at the venue.

Mahony thanked organisers including Jean Mitchell MBE, sponsors, volunteers and owners and riders from around the world who supported this event over many years.

“I would also like to pay particular tribute to the Trustees of the ‘George Mernagh Memorial Fund’ without whose financial support this difficult decision would have inevitably come sooner,” Mahony said.

“I look forward to Tattersalls continuing to host equestrian events at Fairyhouse, including our successful July Show, which is run annually for the St Francis Hospice in Blanchardstown. In the meantime, all of us involved in the Tattersalls International Horse Trials can look back with pride on what the event achieved in its 15 years and the contribution it has made to the sport of eventing in Ireland.”

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