Eventing Innovation at its best

The new series called Event Rider Masters is proving very popular with riders and viewers all over the world.

-Jonelle Price (Faerie Dianimo) third in the Event Riders Masters CIC3* class. (Image: Libby Law).
Jonelle Price and Faerie Dianimo, third in the Event Riders Masters CIC3* class (Image: Libby Law).

The Event Rider Masters has concluded at Bramham.  This is an exciting new series and is really catching on with people all around the world. Viewers from 98 countries, including New Zealand, tuned in to watch the action overnight, and it was well worth it!

Blyth Tait on Xanthus doing his dressage in the Event Rider Masters class where they finished 13th after a great jumping performance. (Image: Libby Law)
Blyth Tait and Xanthus finished 13th after a great jumping performance (Image: Libby Law)

The result too was an international affair, with our own Jonelle Price in third place.

 

https://twitter.com/EventRiderMstrs/status/741678530879180800

The competition has record prize money and has also bought a number of innovations which make eventing even more exciting. The field is limited to 50 starters and there are only two days of competition: one dressage and one jumping. Show jumping starts first thing in the morning, and the cross-country is the last class of the day. In the dressage, riders are seeded, so those with the best past performances go last. They can also choose music to ride to. Riders go in reverse order of merit in the jumping phases, so the pressure is on those who know what they have to do when they set off.

William and Alice Fox-Pitt get cozy whilst walking the course: (Image: Libby Law).
William and Alice Fox-Pitt get cosy while walking the course (Image: Libby Law).

During cross-country, there is a “revolving podium” and as soon as riders have got their breath back, they are up on the podium if they go in the lead.  Of course the leaders change frequently, so it’s a case of musical chairs, but lots of fun. Alice Plunkett/Fox-Pitt interviews the leaders while they are on the podium and, of course, some of them take every opportunity to ham it up.

The live stream has worked very well, without the frequent technical issues experienced on many occasions by other providers. What is also very appreciated is the commentary provided by the various guests. Sir Mark Todd started in the commentary box at Bramham, and gave an excellent overview of the course and some great tips on how to ride various fences. The footage remains up on the website so you can watch each phase later.

So far there have been two competitions: Chatsworth and now Bramham. The next is Barbury on July 9-10, followed by Gatcombe Park (August 6-7), Blair Castle (August 27-28) and Blenheim Palace (September 10-11).  At the end of all the competitions at these magnificent venues, the rider with the most points will win £30,000.

Alex Hua Tian with the winners cheque on the podium with Clark Montgomery (right) and Jonelle Price (left). Event Rider Masters CIC3* at Bramham. (Image: Libby Law).
Alex Hua Tian with the winner’s cheque on the podium with Clark Montgomery (right) and Jonelle Price (left)(Image: Libby Law).

At Bramham, Jonelle was the best-placed Kiwi, finishing third on Faerie Dianimo with a score of 42.9. Blyth Tait and Xanthus III were 13th on 52.3 after clear show jumping and clear jumping across country, but with 1.2 time faults. Jesse Campbell on Cleveland had an expensive show jumping, incurring 13 faults, but a good clear cross-country with 6.4 time, finishing on 65.2. Tim Price had 10 faults show jumping and 12 time faults across country to finish on 78.3 in 20th place.  Sir Mark Todd had a terrible time at Bramham, retiring NZB Campino after an early run-out and two down in the show jumping.

Donna Smith got a call-out on the commentary, when a horse she produced, Hot Chocolate, was doing a good round for his Japanese rider, Ryozo Kitajima. The pair went clear, but had 13.6 time.

Organisers also encouraged people to tag their posts on all social media platforms, and vote for the #Supergroom prize, this year won by Izzie Taylor’s groom, Anna Mildner.

There are other competitions being held for followers, such as the opportunity to win Mark Todd Collection gear for photos taken “between the ears.”

The new leaderboard after two competitions sees Jonelle leading the Kiwi charge on 26 points, in seventh position. Jesse and Blyth are tied for 21st on 14 points, with Tim in 27th on 2 points. Be sure to tune in for the next leg of the series, 9-10 July at Barbury Castle.