Many Brave Fools at the Dublin Horse Show 2019

Just… can barely cope.

Clockwise from right: The book as it greeted me when I rushed up to the stand; preparatory to sign, accompanied by sparkly purse; Signed by the Author; eeeeeeeeeeeeep!

I tried to write about my first Dublin Horse Show in 2007. I didn’t even know there was one until someone asked was I going, and I was like whaaaat are you even talking about.

I remember having to go sit myself down after only half an hour in the Main Hall, surrounded by horse people and horse things. The smell of the fresh new leather tack, the sound of the accents from all around the country, the sight of all the stuff! I couldn’t breathe. I thought, I better blog about this! but I didn’t even have a pen on me to start making notes. And then: the horses! I was ready to collapse and hadn’t even seen the horses yet: beautiful, shiny, ginormous horses everywhere.

I didn’t blog about it, ever, as I think the sensory overload is beyond capture.

Thankfully, I’ve got pictures to help me do the talking.

Above, a stand in that Main Hall, run by Equestrian Book Fair, who do the horse show circuit here and abroad. Along with the highly desirable model horses and infinite items with sparkly equines on them, they also carry books. This year they carried mine.

I got to the show at the crack of dawn on Wednesday. The stand wasn’t open yet so I got a coffee and sat down by one of the show rings and took a million pictures and was basically the only child in the toy store after hours. Or before hours, in this case.

I watched a class begin, couldn’t even tell you which one, and I had to resist getting stuck in as I was meant to turn up at work. Back in the Main Hall I went, signed the books, took selfies, danced out on the air.

Just me and a bunch of famous horse people sharing a shelf. GAH.

My only full day at the show was on Friday, during which I took any opportunity to lurk in adjacent stands like a, a lurker. The big event of the Friday, annually, is the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup, or as we call it, the Aga Khan, after the trophy. As a member of the media, I was invited to walk the course before the competition.

Clockwise from left: Standing that close to the start; I’m just a girl, standing in front of Fence 3, squeeing internally; The famous telefón booth; The view of the triple combination, which was a vomitous sensation: height and difficulty!

HASHTAG TOURIST. What an opportunity. It’s like: you’re a sculptor and you got to have a wander round Michaelangelo’s studio. Or you’re an actor and you got to stand centre of a Broadway stage. I was consciously containing my physical being so I wouldn’t knock anything down or fall over into one of the water obstacles. The ground itself — I have never stood on ground like that in my life. It was like stepping onto a sprung dance floor, only even more firm plus giving. (I thought this was a crazy reaction, but I said as much to one of my instructors and she was like Yup, that’s it — there’s nothing like a professional ground.

I was so wrecked from having been overstimulated I almost missed my lesson on Saturday.

Thanks to everyone who called on the stand because MBF was there, and espesh to those who picked it up. Please post your reviews on the usual online places!


Many Brave Fools: A Story of Addiction, Dysfunction, Codependency… and Horses is AVAILABLE NOW.

Order your copy today:
> In the US, click on over to Trafalgar Square Books’ site.
> In the UK and Europe, visit Quiller Publishing’s page.

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