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Ireland's Flagship Three Day Event launches into 40th Year
Naas, Ireland
Photo: Tony Parkes Pictures
(L to R) Joe Walsh T.D., Chairman of the Irish Horse Board, Neil Morris, Chairman of the Interim Board of Eventing Ireland, Sue Shortt, Irish Olympic Eventer, John Rafferty, Head of Product Marketing Fáilte Ireland, Kieran Connors, Managing Director of CLG Developments and Gillian Kyle, Event Director.
Punchestown Racecourse saw the launch of Punchestown International Three Day Event and Horse Show 2006, which takes place on May 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st. The event celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and organisers promise that this will be one of the top events in Europe this year. Punchestown has seen the running of top class events over the last 40 years including the World, European and European Junior Championships as well as being the World’s only trial of the new Olympic format for eventing in 2004.

John O'Donoghue T.D., Minister for Arts Sport & Tourism welcomes the return of this high-profile flagship event for the sport of Eventing in Ireland. "The benefits to Ireland of hosting such a high profile event are immense. This event will allow us to reaffirm to the world's foremost competitors, international media, overseas spectators and a worldwide television audience Ireland's unique versatility as a world class sports tourism destination and the Nation's ability to consistently stage world class events in a wide variety of sports."

Eventing competitions include The Irish Horse Board Three Star, The Fáilte Ireland Two Star and the CLG Developments Young Rider Two Star Classes and young event horse classes. Competitors from all over the world are expected to come to Punchestown in May to take on the challenges put before them by renowned course designer and Irish equestrian legend Tommy Brennan. The generous sponsorship of these classes has guaranteed a three day event prizefund of €60,000 making Punchestown one of the richest events at this level in Europe.

Joe Walsh T.D., Chairman of the Irish Horse Board explained "The Irish Horse has been at the forefront of the World Breeding Federation Rankings in Eventing for many years. Supporting this, Ireland's premier event at Punchestown, is another way in which the Horse Board can be active in promoting the success of the Irish Bred eventer at the very highest levels of competition."

Fáilte Ireland have agreed to be Title Sponsors of the Two Star Irish National Championships Class at this year's event through their International Sports Tourism Initiative. Speaking on behalf of Fáilte Ireland, John Rafferty, Head of Product Marketing said "Fáilte Ireland are delighted to be associated with this year's Punchestown Three Day Event. Currently over 51,000 visitors come into Ireland for equestrian pursuits each year and generate approx €40 million for the economy. Events such as Punchestown highlight Ireland's position as a leading equestrian destination both for competitors and holidaymakers alike."

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