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Jonelle Price takes second place in first Event Rider Masters series

ERM has brought a little of Formula-one's pizzazz to eventing with podium interviews & bubbly: here Jonelle Price is on the right showing her expertise at spraying champagne! (Photo by ERM TV)ERM has brought a little of Formula-one's pizzazz to eventing with podium interviews & bubbly: here Jonelle Price is on the right showing her expertise at spraying champagne! (Photo by ERM TV)The inaugural series of the six-leg Event Rider Masters (ERM) competition that has brought big prize money and live television coverage to British eventing, ended at the Blenheim Palace horse trials last weekend.

With a complicated points system Britain's Oliver Townend took first place overall, with Mildenhall-based Jonelle Price in second place just five ERM points behind him.

Australia's Paul Tapner (based at Highworth) was in third place.  While winners of each of the six contests took home £16,000, the top riders across the competition won bonus prizes.   

Oliver Townend took the £30,000 top bonus prize - with his victories in two of the legs that brought his total winnings for the ERM series to £74,000.  

Jonelle Price won a £15,000 end of series bonus prize - though she had not won one of the six contests, she had been consistently with leaders through most of the series.

France's Thomas Carlile took Upsilon into first place in the Blenheim contest and came in fifth in the overall rankings.  At eight years-old his stallion was thought to be too young for the Olympics.

The series was interrupted by the Olympic Games - at which Jonelle Price represented New Zealand and so missed one of the competitions.  It will be interesting to see how the rankings develop in next year's series without that interruption.

Andrew Nicholson (from Lockeridge) won the Barbury leg - so winning the top prize for each of the six rounds of £16,000.  But in the overall rankings he was equal twentieth with China's Alex Hua Tian who won the ERM round staged during the Bramham International and whose prize money was also £16,000.

Jonelle Price's prize money for being placed during the series was just £8,900.  Her placings were sixteenth, third, eighth, fourth with third place at Blenheim.

All six contests in the series can still be watched at www.eventridermasters.tv

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