News that a world-class equestrian facility will be located in the heart of Ireland has been warmly welcomed by Ireland’s show jumping enthusiasts.
The Equestrian Venue will form part of The Tipperary Venue site which covers approximately 900 ares in Two-Mile-Borris in County Tipperary. The centre has been designed as a world class equestrian facility capable of hosting the largest events on the international equestrian calendar. These will include International Showjumping, International Dressage, Eventing Dressage, Eventing Showjumping, Para-dressage, Vaulting and Reining competitions.
Last November, North Tipperary County Council granted planning permission for the development of a €460 million, 900-acre cultural, sporting and leisure development, known as The Tipperary Venue.
Speaking at the launch of The Equestrian Venue which was held at the Horse & Jockey Hotel, Independent T.D. for Tipperary North, Michael Lowry, said, “The proposed International Equestrian Centre enhances our vision for The Tipperary Venue, which is that of a world-class cultural, sporting and leisure facility. Ireland has lacked a quality international arena and The Tipperary Venue Equestrian Centre will provide much-needed facilities for world-class show jumpers. This new centre with its state of the art facilities will promote and encourage sport, leisure and breeding side of the Equestrian industry. ”
The indoor arenas will comprise of a gross floor building area of approximately 34,000 square metres. This aspect of the project will include, a 5,000 seat, 80mx40m main equestrian indoor arena, together with a dedicated 60m x 30m warm-up arena.
The main indoor arena provides a VIP terraced seating area, with dedicated entrance and set-down area for vehicles, together with fully licensed bar and dining facilities. This arena will also provide a wide variety of bar, restaurant and ancillary support facilities for all spectators, while a second 80m x 40m equestrian indoor arena with a dedicated 60m x 30m warm-up arena is provided adjacent to the primary arena.
The principle outdoor arena consists of a 100m x 80m all-weather arena with two 40m x 60m warm-up arenas. In addition, two 90m x 50m secondary outdoor arenas are provided to the South of the indoor arenas, each with a dedicated 40m x 60m warm-up arena.
Earth-mounded terrace seating will be available around all arenas, while elevated judges platforms will ensure maximum visibility for equestrian judges, umpires and officials.
In addition, the Equestrian Venue will also comprise a 280 x 140m Polo Field with requisite overflow space and judges’ box, parking spaces for approximately 400 horse trailers, with suitable support facilities, on-site stables for up to 140 horses, a 6km cross-country course, a dedicated ticketing entrance building, together with an array of storage, maintenance, first aid and support ancillary facilities.
Promoter of The Tipperary Venue, Richard Quirke, said that “this unrivalled addition to the development will provide an invaluable and world-class addendum to his vision for a sporting, cultural and entertainment hub of global proportions.”
Mr. Joe Walsh, Chairman of Horse Sport Ireland, Governing Body for the Equestrian sector who was present on the night said, “The Equestrian sector is worth over €400 million per annum to the Irish economy. There are over 53,000 regular participants in equestrian activities. Ireland has a worldwide reputation as a horse country and a venue like this would be a great asset to the sector.”
The spectacular development has been described by supporters such as, Aidan O’Brien as “an equestrian centre of international proportions that will incorporate an array of indoor and outdoor arenas along with ancillary facilities. This development will showcase Ireland as a world-class centre of equestrian sports.”
The Tipperary Venue project is located in the heart of Ireland’s Golden Vale on undulating agricultural land, surrounded by forest plantations. In this context the design team has, from the outset, sought to integrate the development into the landscape. The large indoor arena building seeks to follow this design policy approach of design in sympathy with the site, mimicking the natural environment. To this end, the great over-sailing roof structure is designed on the principle of a floating leaf, with undulations which are designed to mask its sheer size and mass.
This proposal will have a significant and positive impact on national tourism numbers, while also generating revenue for the local economy. Over 1,000 people will be employed annually over the three years of construction and a further 1,800 – 2,000 full-time jobs will be secured upon opening of the facilities.
The development will comprise of a 500-room, five-star hotel, a state-of-the-art racecourse which will include National Hunt track, a sprint track and an all-weather flood-lit track, combined with a greyhound track featuring a dual stadium with capacity for 7,000 patrons. In addition, an academic reconstruction of the world famous White House in Washington as it stood in 1829 will be known as ‘The Hoban Memorial’ in homage to Irishman James Hoban who designed the original Pennsylvania Avenue building.
The sixth main element of the initial proposal is a 15,000-seater underground entertainment venue. This state of the art facility will act as an entertainment and sporting emporium and will feature a retractable roof providing an outdoor arena.