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Event Rider Masters confirm 2017 contests - including July's Barbury International Horse Trials

Oliver Townend (GB) wins the 2016 ERM series with Jonelle Price (NZ) second & Paul Tapner (AUS) third (Photo: Eventridermasters.tv)

The Event Rider Masters (ERM) team has confirmed (February 23) its 2017 calendar, which will consist of seven legs and include the expansion of the series from the UK into mainland Europe.  As last year, the Barbury International Horse Trials will be the location for the third leg of the series.

With a prize pot of £400,000 guaranteed across the series, it establishes the ERM as the most valuable competition of its kind in the sport of eventing.

The 2017 Event Rider Masters calendar is:
•    Leg 1 - Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials (UK) May 13-14
•    Leg 2 - Internationales Wiesbadener PfingstTurnier (Germany) June 2-3
•    Leg 3 - St James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials (UK) July 8-9
•    Leg 4 - Haras de Jardy (France) July 15-16
•    Leg 5 - Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe Park (UK) August 5-6
•    Leg 6 - Blair Castle Equi-Trek International Horse Trials (UK) August 26-27
•    Leg 7 - Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (UK) September 15-16 

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.  In future years, ERM has plans to the series to other continents - establishing it as a global sporting series. 

The ERM format is designed to engage both 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. 

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, winning him the first ERM title: “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."

Oliver Townend rides in 2016 ERM (Photo: Eventridermasters.tv)Oliver Townend rides in 2016 ERM (Photo: Eventridermasters.tv)"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.”

Ingrid Klimke, a member of the German national eventing team and five time Olympian, is 'very excited' that ERM is coming to mainland Europe: “The Event Rider Masters 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 sport to new places and new audiences”.

As Marlborough.News reported last month, the St James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials will be organised by the ERM team - with their Martyn Johnson as the event's director.  This follows the sale the Barbury castle Estate by Nigel Bunter to Chris Woodhouse.  

The Barbury trials will run from 6 to 9 July with the ERM competition on the last two days.

With the four-day Barbury trials being run by ERM and featuring the third leg in the ERM series, Barbury will see various innovations tried out, focusing on enhancing the spectator and the television experience.

Andrew Nicholson at Barbury 2016Andrew Nicholson at Barbury 2016Leading international rider Andrew Nicholson, who is based nearby at Lockeridge, made history last year being crowned ‘King of Barbury’ for the fifth time when winning the third ERM leg riding Nereo.  Nicholson had already reached an extraordinary achievement in 2015 winning the three-star competition four consecutive times on board the popular grey Avebury.  

Nicholson has stressed the importance of the Barbury trials: “Barbury is an important event not only for our horses and as competitors, but also for equestrian fans and the surrounding Wiltshire area.  You only have to look at the huge entry the event receives to see how popular it is with riders."

"I love competing at Barbury and I’m delighted to hear its immediate future is secure.  I can’t wait to ride there in July and hope a big crowd will be out in force to cheer us on as I aim for a Barbury six-timer!”

Tickets for the Barbury horse trials go on sale today (Thursday, February 23) and discounted tickets can be purchased online at the Barbury website until June 30.  To celebrate the new regime at Barbury, the first hundred tickets booked online before April 30 for the Friday, Saturday, or Sunday of the event will cost just £1.00. 

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