There was a lot of activity in Enniskerry last week when the Kilmacanogue Horse Show committee took to the field to prepare for the 49th Kilmacanogue Horse Show. The committee, along with local helpers, was busy staking out the field, setting up the show rings and putting up signs to prepare the show for Saturday.

This year, due to the restrictions with Covid-19, some additional signs were needed that had never been used before, including social distancing signs and signs to inform the public that unfortunately this year spectators will not be able to attend. This year, like so many other events, the Kilmacanogue Horse Show took place behind closed doors.

The day itself started wet and rainy, but even the weather couldn’t dampen the mood of the eager participants – a clear sign that everyone was happy to be back at the start.

Classes began with the lead reins, style and appearance classes, working hunter classes, clear-round and obedience pony classes. Further courses during the day were the costume class, the Irish Draft classes and the Performance Hunter classes, with the Creative Pairs riding class and the stylish carriage class rounding off the successful show day.

This year there was additional excitement when a small crew from TG4 was on location for the 4th series of Beidh Aonach Amárach, a television series that offers viewers the best agricultural shows and fairs in Ireland and will be broadcast in January or February next year will.

They recorded many show courses and interviewed willing Irish speakers, including the committee’s treasurer, Seamus Maguire.

The feedback from participants, judges, volunteers and committee members has been consistently positive. While everyone missed the extra activity normally brought in by spectators and other show attractions, the feeling that this “behind closed door” show was a success was overwhelming.

Show Secretary Deirdre Doyle said, “All attendees’ online registration prior to the show worked very well and resulted in less administrative and paperwork that day.”

Shows like the Kilmacanogue Horse Show can only continue with the support of local individuals, businesses and volunteers along with the kindness of the landowners who allow shows to be performed on their land.

The committee would like to thank Mary and Syl Fenlon Burke for hosting the show on their land in their usual location at the Enniskerry Horse Farm in Kloster, Enniskerry.

The committee would also like to thank all of the volunteers who gave their time and all of the show sponsors for their continued support. Durkan New Homes was the main sponsor of the exhibition. Powerscourt Estate, Kilruddery Estate and Glendalough Distillery Gin provided raffle prizes.

The proceeds will be donated to local charities.

Show President Harry Williams said, “It’s been great to get the show back on the field and to hear the positive feedback from attendees. We look forward to next year, our 50th show, when hopefully everyone can come.”