hat familiar July rain looked like it might stop play at The Kilmacanogue Show on Saturday, but then everyone remembered, we’re dealing horses.
And everyone gathered at Enniskerry Horse Farm in Monastery – by kind permission of Mary and Syl Fenelon Bourke – are well and truly horsey people.
A little rain wasn’t about to bother them.
Thankfully, it also didn’t bother photographer Gerry Kelly, who captured the day.
And it was a full-on day, as this lowdown from the organisers explain…
The Kilmacanogue show continues to have all its favourite classes, like the horse and pony classes that accommodate all ages starting from the lead rein classes for children as young as 3 years old, moving to the junior riding classes that includes the every popular style and appearance classes and obedient pony classes that are always a delight to watch. Other classes included the working hunter, performance hunter, Irish draught, the challenging pairs riding and clear round jumping classes along with many more.
This year a few new classes have been added, and these included the riding club showing class and equitation jumping class. The ever popular carriage class was back this year and no Kilmacanouge show would be complete without the fancy dress pony and rider class, an absolute must see for anyone attending the show. The sheep classes are also a firm favourite with eight classes in total and judging started at around 2.30pm. There’s one sheep class that you don’t need a sheep to enter and that’s the fun Guess The Weight Of The Lamb competition.
Anyone visiting the show could easily think that the Kilmacanogue Show is the Crufts of Enniskerry as the dog show is one of the star attractions, there is literally a class for everyone’s four-legged canine friend. There are 14 classes in total and some new ones added this year included the best puppy and best dressed-fancy dressed dog.
Last year the show committee added a number of new activities and classes to the show, many of which proved to be so successful they came back this year – including children’s baking classes where the bakers of the future can enter their rice krispie buns, brownies, homemade and decorated cupcakes and health lunch box. Judging takes place from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, and scoffing started at 2.31pm.
There was also 11 adult baking classes ranging from the best biscuit (including a gluten free biscuit) to the best decorated sponge. Also back is the interactive free children’s cupcake decorating workshop, run by Eimear from Wicklow Whisk where kids got creative and had fun with icing pens and sprinkles with prizes on offer for the best cupcakes.
The Stedfast Brass Band are also making a reappearance and last years hugely successful free kids zone has been expanded to includes lots more fun games and activities. The fun does not end with the kids as the committee also added a ‘buzzbar’ game for adults and anyone ‘game’ enough to take up the buzzbar challenge can test there skill, €2 an entry with the chance to win €100 if they beat the buzzbar.
There was also be a showcase of local food selling delicious food produce such as bread, cakes, jams, chutney, sauces and an array of beautiful craft stalls much more. As is now tradition there was also a wonderful raffle for spectators and competitors to enter on the day
Some of the exciting new classes this year include the addition of vintage car classes with a class for both pre-war and post-war cars. There was also a new craft class for any creative kids out there. This class was open to all primary school children, to create a hat for children’s day at the races. Hats were made using a range of material such as paper mache, cardboard, chicken wire, wool, thread and plant material such as artificial flowers. Children were invited to bring their creative entry along on the day and the best 2 hats qualified for the All Ireland Junior Crafts Championship Final.
Other new activities this year included a mobile farm with everyone invited to come and meet some farmyard friends such as pigs, ducks, hens, a calf and a goat. We also had some local alpacas joining us on the day. Additional entertainment joining the fun at the show was a group of Irish dancers from Johnny Fox’s, which was a first for the Kilmacanogue show.
Over the last 51 years, the show which is run exclusively by volunteers, has raised over €500,000 to support local charities – none of this would have been possible without the support from local businesses and individuals who provide support and sponsorship to keep the show on the road year after year. This years show proved to be another fantastic day and the committee looks forward to welcoming everyone back again in 2024.
You can find out more about the Kilmacanogue Horse Show here, check out Gerry Kelly’s full gallery of 2023 pics here, and jump back to 2022 here and 2019 here.