The Irish Draught Horse Society is delighted to announce that it will be holding the 31st National Show at Blarney Castle on Saturday, 28th July commencing at 10am sharp. It is the first time Blarney Castle has hosted any equestrian event since holding the widely acclaimed and massively popular 2* International Horse Trials in 2002. The Irish Draught Horse Society was founded in 1975, and, ironically, the first meeting was held in County Cork, the home of Mrs Mary Joyce Quinlan, a vet. She saw that one of Ireland’s two major native breeds, the other being the Connemara, were disappearing fast and set about trying to preserve them. There were only 400 in Ireland at the time. It is wonderful that the Irish Draught, which is one of Ireland’s most famous heritage breeds will be having the show at one of Ireland’s most famous heritage sites. This show is being generously sponsored by many of the suppliers to Blarney Castle Estate, as well as some enthusiasts, and the prize money this year is much larger than in previous years. The Premium Mare Class for purebred Irish Draughts, sponsored by Horse Sport Ireland, carries a total of €2,500, and the top 20 mares will be awarded €150 each and a sash. The Mare of the Future has a prize fund of €1,000, there will also be ridden and young handler classes and age related showing classes. For more details please contact the Show Secretary, Mrs Margaret Buckley on 087 7538343 or 062 75433.