Well-known faces from the world of Irish show jumping will come together at Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co Kildare, for the 23rd annual Irish Show Jumping Awards in partnership with Horse Sport Ireland on Saturday December 15th.
This year’s gala ceremony will be a particularly poignant occasion as guests will be honouring the memory of Jack Dodd, a talented young rider from Foxford, Co Mayo, who tragically lost his life in June of this year following a car accident in Belgium.
25-year-old Jack was extremely well-known throughout the show jumping industry in both Ireland and abroad, honing his talent from an early age and competing in arenas all over Europe. A member of the prestigious Young Riders Academy, Jack also represented Ireland at youth and senior level and won the FEI European Championships as part of the national team in 2014.
However, from the tragedy of Jack’s death, his donation of organs helped to save the lives of three other people, and the Jack Dodd Foundation was formed to benefit charities that tie in with his story. Among the charities that are supported by the Jack Dodd Foundation are The Irish Kidney Foundation, The Showjumper’s Club Injured Riders’ Fund and The Brain Battle Fund in Maastricht, which is where Jack passed away and his parents, David and Trish, are keen to give something back to the hospital which gave him so much attentive care in his final days.
One of the fabulous auction items on the night that has been donated is the commitment of top riders from all around Europe to provide week-long training bursaries, with those involved more than willing to support the cause having known Jack on the show jumping circuit.
There are a number of other incredible items going under the hammer that have been kindly provided by sponsors, including a commissioned painting by renowned equestrian artist John Fitzgerald.
A total of 19 awards will be given out to the country’s leaders in the industry following what has been a very successful 2018 for show jumping in Ireland, with the Jack Dodd Perpetual Rookie Trophy going to the best breakthrough rider of the year.
It will be a James Bond-themed event on the night, so men are enticed to pick out their best black tie and ladies to don their most elegant gowns and enjoy some shaken martinis at a drink’s reception upon arrival.
The best dressed lady on the night will win a fabulous prize of an 18ct gold Love Letter pendant set with round brilliant cut diamonds from bespoke and fine jewellery providers Boodles, while the best dressed man will receive a prize courtesy of boutique Dublin store Monaghan’s Cashmere.
Entertainment will be provided on the night by the popular Jukebox Kings band, while a DJ will keep the celebrations going into the early hours.
Sophie D’Alton, Marketing Manager of Horse Sport Ireland, said;
“Horse Sport Ireland are proud to support the annual Irish Show Jumping Awards Ball once again this year, as we recognise the many achievements of show jumping athletes in 2018 including 8 Championship medals. This year the Irish Show Jumping Awards Ball is in association with the Jack Dodd Foundation, which supports Irish young riders and a number of charities. It is a privilege for Horse Sport Ireland to be associated with this foundation, which was established in Jack’s memory.
December 15th at the Killashee House Hotel promises to be a very enjoyable night celebrating national and international show jumping success."
Sophie Styles, Assistant Manager at Boodles Dublin, said;
“The Irish Show Jumping Awards is an event that we are very proud to be associated with and we feel that it is a great partnership for the Boodles brand to be involved in. The fashion on show at the awards night is great to see every year, and we are looking forward to meeting the winner of the Best Dressed Lady competition and presenting her with a fantastic prize.”
The Irish Show Jumping Awards take place in Killashee House Hotel on Saturday December 15th.
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