In one of these simple quiz questions the Question Master asked the competitors to work out what the initials RDS stood for and to phone in the answer to him. He had, of course, been talking about the famous Horse Show which takes place in the Royal Dublin Society’s property in Dublin, annually, on this week.
The building of a course with jumps and the penalty of 4 faults if you knocked one down was a summer feature in our garden and challenged our children and their friends to emulate show jumping horses. I am not sure if we had water hazards but there were plenty of hurdles made of wooden bars to test the young legs!
Every August Reg and Rosalie Lowe (both sadly are no longer with us) made the trek from their house in Wapping Street, cross the Liffey to Ballsbridge to take their place in the RDS Arena. It was a fixture on their calendar! Reg had lived during that time when the horse was indispensable for work in Dublin Docklands and his love for the animal never left him.
The spectacle provided this week by the Stewards in the RDS was one of sheer brilliance. The flags of the 10 competing Nations (4 horses each nation) mingled with the floral decorations and bunting. The weather was perfect and the grass, which had been badly burnt by the heatwave, was now thick and green – ideal for jumping. The course was designed on a Celtic/Historic theme with one jump featuring phone kiosks of yesteryear!
They arrived as complete underdogs to take on many of the best nations in the world, but Team Mexico turned the sport on its head on Friday winning the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Ireland. This is the premier event which competes for the Aga Khan Trophy and prize money of €250K. It was Mexico’s first time in the competition and the joy with which they received the victory was heart-warming – that is to probably everyone except Trump who seems to have difficulties in loving his neighbour!
Horses get a bad press in the Bible. We read of them in connection with war. The ass and the ox were kept for more peaceful labours. The latter finding its way onto the badge of a Scottish Bible College with the caption around the picture of an ox, which the students were encouraged to copy – ‘either for labour or sacrifice’. This reminder that we are not our own, we were bought with a price, does not sit well with modern people.
In the same passage St Paul likens the believer’s body to the Temple (because it has the Holy spirit living within) and makes the case to flee from sexual sins which, unlike other sins, pollute it in a debilitating way because they take place inside your body (1 Corinthians Chapter 6 verses 16 -20). Taking the image from the slave-market St Paul reminds us that the price that was paid for each believer was the blood of Christ.
So glorify God with your body.