What a great, armchair, spectator sport show-jumping became when television sets were a novelty here and elsewhere in Ireland.
It caught on right away as it had all the drama a horse and a man could muster. Now it has all the drama horses and men and women can muster.
Even in the days of the snowy, black and white sets it made an instant impression. Facing into massive jumps you might just about see the rider’s cap if the camera was at the landing side of the fence. Invariably there was an Irish team facing one from England and what more would you want.
Though it was there on the box in front of us – it remained a world away in our imaginations.
Now, a pair of brothers from Castleisland and their horses are pacing and prancing and facing the fences over the same courses where Harvey Smith and David Broom and Tommy Wade and Eddie Macken once plied their trade through various generations ago. Imagine that!
Young Dan Geaney has just put down a fantastic week at the Royal Dublin Society – the RDS – and earned seven rosettes altogether.
Dan won the 138cm RDS qualifier last Thursday and he qualified his two ponies, County Express and Ardtaggle Lady for the final which was held in the main arena on Friday morning.
Children on Horses
His brother, Jack came sixth in the 128cm competition on Wednesday and qualified his pony Boom Box for the final in the main arena on Friday evening.
Dan also rode in the Children on Horses Competition on Saturday and Sunday on his own horse Doon Alright. His team were runners up in team event on Saturday.
This week Dan is riding in Millstreet at the European Show Jumping Championships. There are three categories, Children on Horses, Juniors and Young Riders.
He is one of five members on the Children on Horses Irish Team, riding Coral du Corel very kindly loaned to him by Maura Counihan of Killerisk Stables in Tralee.
The Millstreet championships kicked off on Tuesday with the Children on Horses individual qualifier.
All Over Europe
Twenty eight teams from all over Europe are competing there with 99 competitors in the Children on Horses Class.
Dan rode a great clear round in a time of 80.54 seconds slotting him into 23rd place. The team event will be on today and the individual finals on Saturday.
The opening ceremony was a spectacular event on Tuesday night with all 28 teams parading through the town of Millstreet.
There was also other good news for Kerry from the Dublin Horse Show as Katie MacDonnell from Camp won the four year old class.
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