This year is an exciting one for the Kilmacanogue show, not only is it the first time since COVID that the committee can welcome spectators back to the show field, but it also marks the shows 50th anniversary, which is certainly cause for celebration. This year the show will be held on Saturday 23rd July in its usual location at Enniskerry Horse Farm in in Monastery, Enniskerry, A98AK16 by kind permission of Mary and Syl Fenelon Bourke.
To kick start the celebrations, the committee invited their 2022 charity partners to join them for a photo launch to officially launch their celebratory 50th show and showcase some of the new activities in the show this year.
This year, in addition to the usual horse and pony and dog classes there will be a wide range of new classes and activities at the show this year. These include the addition of children’s baking featuring handmade cookies, brownies and decorated cupcakes. There are also children’s craft and up-cycling classes giving children the opportunity to impress with their creativity and imagination. New classes for adults include a wild flower arrangement class and adult baking classes for those wishing to showcase their cake icing, bread, fruit cake and preserve making skills.
Activities and entertainment included this year include an ever popular vintage car display including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, sheep shearing demo, children’s games, free children’s pony rides, the Stedfast Band, Donie’s clever collie dogs herding geese, carriage driving, a showcase of local food producers selling delicious food produce such as bread, cakes, jams, chutney, sauces and much more…..and of course the very popular dog show.
This year’s show offers some wonderful in-hand classes. The Irish Draught horse is a particular favourite at the Kilmacanogue show. This year’s ID Mare class has a prize fund of €400 and two separate ID filly and colt foals have a prize fund of €125 each, due to the generous sponsorship of IDHBA Dublin Branch, U.V.Moore and Ronnie, and James Kavanagh. There is also a qualifier class for the ID Filly Foal Championship at Ballinasloe on the 25th September 2022. The Plessey cup which was first awarded in 1977 will be presented to the winning competitor in the Brood Mare class and there will be qualifiers for the A. Browne Filly Foal Championship at Moate Show and the Colt Foal All Ireland Championship at Clarecastle Show.
Sadly the number of donkeys is declining nationwide, but there is always an in-hand donkey class at the Kilmacanogue show and this year we also have a qualifier for the All Ireland Donkey Mare and Foal Championship at Ballinasloe. It would be lovely to see a great donkey turnout; it is always a treat for the spectators.
To round off our in-hand classes we are welcoming back the Kerry Bog Ponies and there is also a Heavy Working Type Farm Horse class. The 50th Show has a riding class for everyone. Children’s classes include The Obedient Pony, Fancy Dress, Style and Appearance and to celebrate the 50th show the champion of the Riding Classes for 13 -16 years (Equitation Class) will be awarded the new Jack Roche Perpetual Trophy. There are Show Hunter, Riding Horse, Clear Round Jumping, Working Hunter, and Performance Hunter rings, and the previous mentioned ever popular Carriage Driving Class, which is a fabulous class for spectators to watch.
2022 also sees the return of the sheep show since pre-COVID times. The show includes 8 classes, mostly made up of purebred Wicklow Cheviot sheep, comprising of a pair of ewe lambs and ewe hoggets. A single Cheviot hogget ram and an aged ram make up the Cheviot classes. There are also 2 classes for female cross-bred and continental sheep. A fat butcher’s lamb class of any breed completes the line up of classes. Judging of the sheep classes start at around 2:00pm. Along with that, there is the ever popular and fun guess the weight of the lamb competition, an opportunity to win €50, all welcome to have a guess.
As is now tradition there is also a wonderful raffle for spectators and competitors to enter on the day, this year there are some fabulous prizes donated by sponsors and supporters. These include an annual family pass for Powerscourt Estate and gardens, and annual pass to Kilruddery Estate, a fabulous painting by local Wicklow Artist, Louise Cherry, a beautiful handcrafted wood sculpture of a horse from Michael McQuaid Wood Sculptures, a Burke Oil voucher, drinks hamper and dog treats hamper along with lots more prizes.
Horse and Pony entries need to be completed in advance and both online and postal entries are accepted. Entries for these classes close Wednesday 20th July 2022. For all other classes, to help with show administration, it is preferable that entries are completed online but entries and payment can be accepted on the day.
Over the years
Throughout the years the show has changed and evolved, what started out as a Horse Show and Pony Gymkhana in 1972 has now become a hugely successful event for the Community that is a key date in the calendar. It provides activities for everyone and is truly and an excellent family day out. Of course, there have been many iterations of the show committee over the years but the show’s current president Harry Williams has been involved since the 1st show in 1972, has been on the committee ever since and has never missed a show.
Harry remembers the early days and recounts that ‘The idea of a Kilmacanogue horse show was first thought of by a local farmer Mervyn Kavanagh back in 1971, resulting in the first Annual Kilmacanogue Horse Show and Pony Gymkhana being held on Saturday 26th August 1972 in Bushy Park, Enniskerry’ He also adds, that ‘When the show was founded in 1972 the main purpose was to raise money for charity. In the beginning the funds were targeted towards the purchase of a mini-bus for Duffcarraig House in Wexford, a home for children with intellectual disabilities- which was the first site of the worldwide Campbell Movement to be established in Ireland’.
Although many aspects of the show may have changed there is one thing that remains constant, that is the support that it continues to provide to local charities. This is something the committee, which is run entirely by volunteers, is very proud of and privileged to do. This year the shows charity partners are Purple House Cancer Support, Lakers, Newcourt School Bray, Riding for the Disabled Association Ireland (R.D.A.I), Charabanc Enniskerry, Irish Kidney Association, Kilmacanogue Senior Citizens, Kilmacanogue GAA, Wicklow Dementia Support, Wicklow Hospice, Enniskerry Welcomes and Open Door Day Centre. The charity partners who attended the launch expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the show committee and outlined the work that they do and how donations and continued support from the Kilmacanogue show can help them with the services they provide.
A word from some of the Charities
Rev. Cathy Hallissey from Charabanc ‘Charabanc is a vital outreach programme for the elderly in our community. The Shows donation enables us to re-launch our outings and events which draw people back together again’
Brendan O’Leary from Purple House Cancer Support ‘ Kilmac show has supported Purple House for a number of years. We rely on donations from the show to continue to provide our vital services to people with cancer’
Eleanor Flew, Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services ‘ We are grateful to the organisers and all involved with the Kilmacanogue Show for choosing Wicklow Hospice as one of its beneficiaries again this year. This donation enables us to further develop our services supporting patients and families who need our specialist care’.
Noelle Carroll and Patricia Grogan from R.D.A.I. ‘The support from the Kilmac show allows us to help children with disabilities and their families. It allow us to give the children memorable experiences as the horse has therapeutic benefits for the children’
Fergus Finley from Lakers ‘The show helped us to rebuild after the fire and our relationship with them will help it get better and better in the years ahead’
Rachel O’Hora and Bernie Dwyer from the Irish Kidney Association ‘ the support will help provide services to kidney patients, will provide patient aid for counselling, living well programmes, donor awareness, peer support and sport and fitness programmes’
Mary Muddiman from Enniskerry Welcomes ‘The donation will help us support the integration of a refugee family into the Enniskerry community.
Over the last 50 years, the show 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. The committee would like to thank everyone in the community for their continued support
The 50th Anniversary show promises to be a fun day out for all the family. So if you think your dog has the waggiest tail, or your jam and cakes are best in class, check out the classes you can enter. Or if you simply want to enjoy a family day out, take part in the children’s games or sit and listen to the Stedfast band and soak up the atmosphere, come along to the show on Saturday 23rd July and you won’t be disappointed.
Further information on the show along with the full 2022 schedule, is available at www.kilmacanoguehorseshow.com