The 31st National Balmoral Championships are due to return to Balmoral Park, Lisburn from Sunday, July 14 to Wednesday, July 17 this year. This prestigious event will encompass top show jumping talent from across the country, competing in thrilling qualifying and championship classes.
Highlights include the TRM/ HSI New Heights Championship Leg, the Show Jumping Ireland National Grand Prix, 1.30m speed championship and a 1.35m Grand Prix as part of the Ballyward Equestrian Ulster Region Summer Tour. The show boasts at least one Grand Prix during every afternoon of the championship show, indicative of the level of talent and skill on display and is sure to delight spectators and fellow competitors alike.
This year, the show will combine all horse rings to form one large second arena. This will ensure that whether competitors are jumping for championship titles or qualifying for them, they will enjoy superb courses on fabulous ground in good sized arenas.
The first day of competition will be entirely registered pony classes in both arenas. Pony riders will get to enjoy the thrill of competing in the full size prestigious main arena. Organisers have also made provisions for ice cream/ slush puppies and popular kids’ choices, so while everything remains crossed for good weather, there will be a marquee open to the public for viewing should shelter be required.
The second championship day will feature all Ballyward Equestrian Ulster Region Summer Tour classes in the full main arena. Once again providing competitors and horses alike with further valuable experience in atmospheric surroundings. Young horse classes are currently scheduled for Monday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 16 with tension building for the final day of Five- and Six-/ Seven-year-old championships on Wednesday. The 2019 leagues will be well underway by July, so spectators are expected to have high level competition to view regardless of the day they attend.
The surface at Balmoral showgrounds is International Grade 1 standard, having had no expense spared in its construction and ongoing development since 2013. Competitors can therefore expect that, regardless of the weather in the weeks prior to the show, necessary provisions will be made to ensure the surface will be the best available. The main arena offers an incredible opportunity to showcase the very best equestrian talent in the country and organisers therefore plan to provide the best footing for equine competitors.
Show Director, Ray Buchanan commented: “We are excited to present a number of improvements this July, including a change of layout in the arenas. The main arena always commands the atmosphere of a championship show and we have a strong line-up of classes to please both spectators and competitors.”
Visitors are very welcome to attend with no charge for entry to the showgrounds. A shopping village and food marquee will also be available to cater for spectators. Bookings for trade stands in the shopping village are welcomed and should anyone want to book space for either a single day or for the duration of the show, please contact Grace Carlisle on 07568 427137.
Sponsors are incredibly important for the future of this show and organisers would like to take this opportunity to urge companies who have a synergy with the sport to contact them. To enquire about sponsorship, please contact Fiona Carson on 07711 473666.
Don’t miss a hoofbeat by getting these dates in your competition calendar: Sunday, July 14 to Wednesday, July 17.