A Little History

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.  Having achieved that goal proceeds were then directed to mainly local charities. Recently the show has supported Newcourt School in Bray, the Charabanc Enniskerry – a caring resource for the elderly, the Irish Horse Welfare Trust, Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) and Riding-for-the-Disabled amongst others. Due to the generosity of the show's sponsors, spectators, exhibitors and friends well over €250,000 has been raised for these local charities.

The idea of a Kilmacanogue Gymkhana was first thought of by Mervyn Kavanagh of the Old Long Hill and he enlisted the help of his friend Sally MacWeeney to get the show up and running. Charlie Keegan was asked to be the Chairman of the committee and Sally enlisted her parents to be the PRO, P.D.MacWeeney, and Treasurer, Mrs P.D.MacWeeney. Sally herself took on the mammoth task of Secretary.
The show was organised in such a way as to encourage experienced riders to participate but also to give opportunities for young or inexperienced riders to attend. The ethos of the show was to support a charity and to encourage sponsorship. It was decided that all the proceeds from the show would be given to Duffcarraig House. The same principles have guided the show over the last fifty years.
The first show in 1972 was orgaised in just a few months.  Sally remembers that they where able to find helpers without much of a problem as they didn’t have time to think about what they where promising! The show was a great success with entries of 100 ponies, 80 horses and 20 donkeys. There where also 130 dogs entered in the dog show. Harry Williams was one of the original committee and has been involved in every show since, and is the current President of the Kilmacanogue and District Horse Show Society.
Some old press cuttings

- if you have more information please let us know! Click to enlarge.

Irish Field - Oct 2017