An exciting new CIC3* eventing series is being launched this season, with £350,000 up for grabs to the top 40 eventers.
The lack of prize money in eventing has been long debated – there is even a twitter account dedicated to the discussion. But it looks like things could be changing – at least at thee-star level.
The Event Rider Masters is offering £50,000 of prize money at six CIC3* competitions around the UK. There is a further £50,000 for the leading riders at the end of the series.
Eventing legend Mark Todd said the new Masters is “without doubt the most exciting development in eventing” he has ever seen.
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire - 14–15 May
Bramham Park, Yorkshire – 10-11 June
Barbury Castle, Wiltshire – 9-10 July
Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire – 6-7 August
Blair Castle, Perthshire – 27-28 August
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire – 10-11 September
While the events will run under FEI rules, the Event Rider Masters is to be ‘packaged’ in a bid to attract television coverage. The series is open to the top 40 horse and rider combinations, based on FEI ranking points.
To build excitement the dressage will be run in form order, the showjumping in reverse order, and the cross-country will see the top 20 compete in reverse order.
William Fox-Pitt, former three-time world number one and current world number four, is one of the many supporters of this new series.
“As riders and as a sport we have all been trying to work out a way of securing investment and encouraging television within eventing,” he said.
“It would seem that the Event Rider Masters series has the potential to deliver on both counts. I am really excited about the future of the sport and very much hope I can be a part of it.”
The event has been developed by eventing stakeholders, led by Di Brunsden who co-owns Mark Todd’s Leonidas II. The series has full support of British Eventing, the British Equestrian Federation, the FEI, the Event Horse Owners Association and the Eventing Riders Association.
The launch of this new series follows the announcement of the Shearwater Insurance Tri-Star Grand Slam, which is offering a £50,000 bonus to the rider that can win three of five CIC3* events in 2016.