Swatch Watch ends RDS Hunt Chase sponsorship
28 September 2004
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has congratulated the Swatch Watch company and its Irish representatives after they confirmed that they will not sponsor any further Hunt Chase events. During the 2004 Dublin Horse Show at the RDS, Swatch Watch was the sponsor of the hunt chase show jumping competition which featured 16 hunts.
In a letter to ICABS from BJ FitzPatrick & Company Ltd (Swatch representative in Ireland), it was stated that: "We are pleased to confirm, in association with Swatch SA that we will not support this event or any such event in the future."
Chief Executive, John B FitzPatrick wrote: "It is correct to say that we BJ FitzPatrick & Co Ltd sponsored the Hunt Chase Show Jumping Competition at the recent Dublin Horse Show. At the same time, we would like to say that we were not supporting an actual hunting event. The Dublin Horse Show is a Show Jumping event and not a hunt. However...it could be construed that we were supporting the activities of certain hunting teams, who whilst participating in a show jumping event are also known to participate in the more unsociable elements of hunting."
In our original letter to Swatch's Headquarters in Switzerland, we outlined how the majority of people in Ireland and across the EU are opposed to hunting with dogs and want it outlawed. We explained that, although, no hunting takes place during the hunt chase, all of those competing are registered hunts.
Our attention now returns to the RDS and we will continue to press them to drop the hunt chase event from future horse shows. Please join us in our appeal. Below you will find more details.
RDS asked to drop hunt chase event
Every year during the Dublin Horse Show, a show jumping event exclusively for hunting groups takes place. This hunt chase takes place at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) venue. Enthusiastically promoting the hunt chase in a press release, the RDS had the following to say: "The Swatch Watch Hunt Chase is the fastest, most exciting, dramatic and competitive equestrian event at the Show. Inter hunt rivalry adds further drama to this potent event where sods of turf fly, hooves thunder, and adrenaline pumps in both riders and horses. Each team consists of four members of a registered hunt club including one a female rider. All the riders are amateur hunting riders..."
ICABS has called on the RDS to drop the hunt chase event from future horse shows. In our appeal, we stated: "By hosting hunt chases, the RDS is disregarding the reality of hunting. We find it very disappointing that, despite the cruelty of blood sports and the ever growing opposition to them, the RDS deems it acceptable to associate with hunts."
Please contact the RDS and ask them to stop promoting hunting by inviting hunts to compete at the venue. ICABS appeals to the general public to bear the hunt chase in mind when considering attending concerts or other events at the RDS throughout the year.
To whom it concerns:
I appeal to the RDS to stop inviting hunting groups to take part in the Dublin Horse Show.
Considering that hunting involves despicable abuse of animals, I find it unacceptable that the RDS associates with hunts. As one of the majority who oppose animal cruelty, I call on the RDS to drop the hunt chase show jumping event from future Horse Shows.
Thank you. I look forward to your reply.