In week that has seen two mum’s, both with very young children, win two of the most coveted prizes in the sport of Eventing, record crowds gathered at the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials where Britain’s Piggy French and her horse Quarrycrest Echo headed up the all-female Event Rider Masters podium in the first leg of the 2018 Series.
Event Rider Masters 2018 Leg 1 WINNER Piggy French
Setting a personal best in the dressage, delivering a clear show jumping round this morning and becoming only the sixth personout of 1460 in the history of Chatsworth CIC3* to make the time across the country, Piggy French landed her first CIC3* win since 2014. Speaking after her win Piggy said
“I was sitting in the truck waiting for my turn and I said to myself “Come on, do something useful!”
Their finishing score of 27.3 is the second-best finishing score in this class at the venue.
Mother of one Sarah Ennis (IRE) gave Horseware Stellor Rebound one of the speediest rides of the day landing them the runner up spot on the Podium. Naming Chatsworth as one of the favourite events, Sarah became Ireland's first rider to achieve a podium finish in the ERM. Speed Queen and fellow mum Izzy Taylor and her mount Call Me Maggie May added 4.8 time penalties to their post Show Jumping score to claim third spot on the Podium. "She's not the fastest horse in the World but I am delighted with her and so happy for her owners".
Fellow mum and freshly crowned 2018 Badminton CCI 4 star Champion, Jonelle Price, made it 50 CIC3 star completions since 2008 today and maintained her perfect 11/11 (100%) cross country jumping record with FAERIE DIANIMO.
Over-night leaders after the dressage, Laura Collett (GBR) and Mr Bass had an unfortunate 4 faults in the show jumping after they rolled one of the coloured poles. Adding just 6.4 time penalties to her score after the cross country, Collett came a very respectable 4thand bagged herself strong ERM Series points.
Doing it for the boys, crowd favourites William Fox-Pitt (GBR) and “old friend” Bay My Hero put in a stellar performance to land them an ERM top 10 finish, his first since the Masters began. Speaking after his cross county William said, “The Event Rider Masters is the most exciting thing to happen to the Sport of Eventing in my time – and that is saying something.”
Here's a great offer for eventing lovers...
DON'T MISS OUT!
20% off tickets for ERM Leg 4 at St. James's Place Barbury Horse Trials ends at midnight on Sunday 8th April 2018.
Set in a beautiful, natural amphitheatre on the Marlborough Downs in Wiltshire, St. James's Place Barbury is one of Britain's most spectacular equestrian events and features the world's very best horses and riders.
This year's horse trials look set to be bigger and better the ever before! Here's what you've got to look forward to:
• Leg 4 of the 2018 Event Rider Masters Series - last year won by Thomas Carlisle and Upsilon with Badminton Winners Andrew Nicholson and Nereo taking second spot.
• World-class sporting action
• Two days of cross-country (Saturday, 7 July & Sunday, 8 July)
• VIP Hospitality
• Shetland Pony Grand National
• Dog agility - bring your dog and have a go!
• Inter-hunt relay and Pony Club show jumping
• Arena attractions
• NEW Kidzone and children's entertainment
• Fantastic shopping opportunities
• Delicious and varied food stalls
• Free entrance for children under 12
What's not to like? - A fab family day out too.
Riding Upsilon, Carlile became the first competitor in the series to lead a ERM leg across all three Eventing phases.
The combination set the Barbury crowd alight with a superlative jumping round on the cross country, scooping the £16,000 first prize.
The result was an all-time record finishing score in the ERM series of 32.4.
3rd (NZL) Sir Mark Todd and Leonidas II
Andrew Nicholson (NZL), the five times consecutive winner of the CIC*** competition at the St. James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials in Wiltshire, has his sights set on a sixth Barbury title. Based locally at Lockeridge, Marlborough, the current world number two will head to Barbury with eight horses to compete across the four days, from 6th to the 9th of July.
Sixteen nations are represented and over 1000 horse and rider combinations will compete, featuring some of the best in the world. The stage is set for this world class sporting and equestrian spectacle with a packed programme, which includes:
• Leg 3 of the 2017 Event Rider Masters series
• One international CIC*** competition
• Three international CIC** competitions
• British Eventing, Arena Eventing, Burghley Young Event Horse classes and the Retraining of Racehorses Championship
• Other equestrian events include the Hunt Scurry, Pony Club showjumping and the JCB Champions Challenge
• Thomas Carlile (FRA), who is making the trip across the channel to Barbury with his grey stallion Upsilon. This combination has an impressive ERM record winning Leg 6 in 2016 as well as delivering podium finishes at leg 4 in 2016 and at the first 2017 leg earlier this year.
With the ERM cross country concluding the horse trials on Sunday afternoon and unfolding in reverse order, the scene will be set for a nail biting display of Eventing action right until the very last horse and rider set out on the iconic Barbury course.
Commenting ahead of Barbury, Andrew Nicholson said:
“Nereo is ready for Barbury. We have been cantering him and other Barbury-bound horses on the estate’s all-weather gallop. This will be his first run since his Badminton win, he is in good form and our aim is to secure a sixth Barbury title and the ERM leg. The riders are really targeting the ERM series now as the prize money is such a great incentive, which could make my job of defending the ERM and Barbury crown even tougher!
“The ERM series is fantastic for Eventing as it’s important for the future of the sport to reach wider audiences via the TV coverage. Furthermore, with Barbury being organised by ERM this year and with some new interesting spectator initiatives planned along with a world class field, I expect everyone will enjoy a great showcase of Eventing action. I look forward to seeing everyone at #Barbury2017!”
The Event Rider Masters (ERM) today confirmed its 2017 calendar, which will consist of seven legs, including expansion of the series from the UK into mainland Europe. Furthermore, with a total of £400,000 guaranteed to be awarded in prize money across the series, it establishes the ERM as the most valuable prize of its kind in the sport of Eventing.
The 2017 Event Rider Masters calendar is confirmed as:
• Leg 1 - Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials (UK) 13th – 14th May
• Leg 2 - Internationales Wiesbadener PfingstTurnier (Germany) 2nd – 3rd June
Last year the inaugural ERM featured six legs in the UK, in 2017 it will consist of seven legs and will extend its presence at two of Europe’s most prestigious equestrian competitions; Wiesbaden in Germany on 2nd - 3rd June, and Jardy in France on 15th - 16th July.
Last year Britain’s Oliver Townend made a big impact on the second half of the ERM riding Cillnabradden Evo, with the horse developing into a remarkable performer in the series. The pair were unbeatable at leg’s four and five and nearly secured a third consecutive win when finishing a close second in the sixth, crowning him with the first ERM title. Jonelle Price (NZ) finished in second and in third was Paul Tapner (AUS).
Oliver Townend, 2016 ERM series champion commented;
“The shortened format of the ERM produced very competitive performances from riders across all three phases last year. It is very exciting for us (riders) that ERM has an additional leg for 2017 and will be expanding into Europe. I expect this will up the level of competition again, which is great for the sport, spectators and ERM viewers. I hope to target a few different horses and I cannot wait to be part of the series again.”
With ERM expanding internationally, more of Eventing’s top riders are expected to take part in the series, particularly those based in mainland Europe. Ingrid Klimke, member of the German national Eventing team, five time Olympian and SAP Equestrian Ambassador commented on the expansion and the German leg at Wiesbaden;
“The Event Rider Masters is a new series and one I’m very excited about. It puts a modern spin on traditional Eventing, distilling what is historically a three-day event into two action packed days for the spectators, and will transport Equestrian to new places and new audiences”.
2016 Olympic individual silver and team gold medalist Astier Nicolas (FRA) commented:
“Even in its pilot year in 2016 the Event Rider Masters proved it was able to deliver World class sport. In the first leg France dominated the first three podium places with myself winning, and this form was franked in Rio when we won team gold. I am so excited that the series is expanding to France and Germany and I will be certain to target it”.
In 2017 the World’s leading event riders will be competing for the increased guaranteed ERM series prize money fund totalling £400,000, establishing the series as the most valuable in the sport of Eventing. Each ERM leg is worth £50,000, with an additional £50,000 series bonus.
“It’s a great achievement that the Event Rider Masters will now have two legs in mainland Europe. Our huge gratitude goes to everyone who has supported us in getting the series to this stage, this includes all the host competition venues, the national equestrian federations, riders, owners and the ERM team."
“It’s a very exciting time for the series and we hope for the sport of Eventing, and we cannot wait to get going with the first leg on the 13th May”.
Paul Tapner as an ammy adult eventer? Yep! The 43-year-old Australian four-star rider is “stepping sideways” from his career as a professional eventer to working full-time for the Event Rider Masters (ERM) series.
He will be assuming the position of digital and technical manager for the series, which just wrapped up its inaugural year at Blenheim Palace. He was already involved in the live streaming of the 2016 series in addition to participating as a rider — he finished third overall in the 2016 ERM standings.
Paul told Horse & Hound that it was a difficult decision but “The ERM was always on my mind as my exit plan.”... READ MORE