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Event Rider Masters announce 2017 calendar and expansion in to Europe
The Event Rider Masters (ERM) today confirmed its' 2017 calendar, which will consist of seven legs, including expansion of the series from the UK in to 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 (UK) 13th – 14th May
• Leg 2: Internationales Wiesbadener PfingstTurnier (Germany) 2nd – 3rd June
• Leg 3: St James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials (UK) 8th – 9th July
• Leg 4: Haras de Jardy (France) 15th – 16th July
• Leg 5: Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe Park (UK) 5th – 6th August
• Leg 6: Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials (UK) 26th – 27th August
• Leg 7: Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (UK) 15th – 16th September
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.
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.
The seven event venues located in England, Scotland, France, and Germany are renowned for hosting some of the most prestigious Eventing competitions in the world, providing a spectacular setting for each leg of the ERM. The growth into mainland Europe is the first step of a planned expansion with the intention of the series to feature on other continents in the future, establishing it as a global sporting series and a first for the sport of Eventing.
ERM is designed to engage spectators and a TV audience. Each competition leg features forty of the world’s best riders and horses competing in the three Eventing phases; dressage, showjumping and cross-country, in a shortened CIC three-star format. Broadcast coverage of each leg of the ERM is supported by pioneering technological innovations, not viewed before in Eventing’s TV coverage prior to ERM, including live competition data presented via enhanced TV graphics aimed to further engage the viewer with the sport. Each leg of the ERM will be available to view live and for free by anyone in the world at eventridermasters.tv.
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 (NZL) 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.”
Chris Stone, CEO of Event Rider Masters commented:
“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.
“Furthermore, we would like to thank Nicholas Pritchard and his team at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials, for their support in delivering an excellent second leg of the inaugural ERM in 2016. Whilst, sadly it will not be part of this year’s series, Bramham played a positive, and very important role in the establishment of the ERM. We wish them continued success over the coming years and as the series develops, we hope that we can return to Bramham in the future, which is a hugely successful, iconic Eventing venue.”
Nicholas Pritchard, Event Director at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials added:
“The team at Bramham are of course disappointed with this news as we were extremely proud to be part of such a ground-breaking venture. However, the next chapter in the ERM series requires international expansion, which we totally support if it is to become the international venture all of us in the Eventing community hope it can be. We’ll be behind the 2017 series in every way we can and wish everyone behind the ERM all the best in the new developments.”