PLANS have been unveiled for the installation of a new all-weather competition arena at the International Equestrian Competition Centre at Ballindenisk House, Watergrasshill in Co. Cork.
The 140m x 70m all-weather arena will be utilised at both International Eventing competitions in April and September, as well as the many National competitions hosted at the venue. The new arena will also be available for regional and national training, from grassroots to High Performance Olympic athletes.
Organisers of the Event were delighted to have Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, present at the Horse Trials at the weekend for this exciting announcement, particularly as the Minister and his department have been so instrumental in progressing the plans for this development. Michael Creed praised Event Director Peter Fell for his commitment to the event at Ballindenisk, as well as the Sport in Ireland.
“As Minister with ultimate responsibility for the equine sector and the sport horse industry in particular, I am acutely conscious of our global standing and the importance of having an infrastructure that matches the breeding stock that we have internationally. It is more relevant than ever given the recent successes we have achieved at the European Championships across multi-disciplines. Without leaders like Peter, the industry will not develop and I applaud him for his commitment to the Sport,” commented Minister Creed.
This project will be funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and supported by North Cork LAG through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development – Europe Investing in Rural Areas – LEADER 2014-2020 programme and Avondhu Blackwater Partnership CLG.
Valerie Murphy, CEO of Avondhu Blackwater Partnership, paid tribute to Peter’s entrepreneurial vision commenting that: “Ballindenisk has been an excellent showcase of Leader Funding and we congratulate you and your family on this latest endeavour.”
Event Director, Peter Fell was thrilled to make this announcement during the September International Horse Trials, which saw record entries with almost 300 competitors from 13 nations. Ballindenisk always attracts top-level competitors and this Autumn was no different. This September event saw entries from multiple Championship and Olympic competitors, including current World Individual and Team Gold Medallist Ros Canter, Ireland’s own World Individual and Team Silver Medallist Padraig McCarthy and recent European Individual Bronze Medallist Cathal Daniels.
Current FEI World No. 2 ranked rider and current European Team Silver Medallist, Oliver Townend is particularly excited about the new development, commenting that: “I have been coming here since I was 12 years old, 1995 was my first attempt and the place has done nothing but improve, thanks to you guys and with this it’s just going to bring further improvements to the whole facility.”
Padraig McCarthy praised Ballindenisk for its forward thinking vision: “It is fantastic knowing you can come to a venue and are guaranteed to have good footing to run on. We know that the course here takes a lot of rain, so we always like to come and run over a very natural course, but the addition of an all-weather arena will really make it a top class venue.”
Ballindenisk International Horse Trials ran from September 26 to 29, with dressage on Friday and Saturday, Cross-Country on Saturday and Sunday and Show Jumping on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.