EXPRESS EVENTING ANNOUCES NEW LONDON VENUE AND TEAM FORMAT - 19 February 2012
Tricorn Events has today revealed details of its plans for the next Series of Express Eventing (EE). The announcement follows the highly successful 2011 Series when EE - likened by many to the ‘Twenty/20’ restricted over version of cricket’ - firmly established itself and was recognised as the most exciting development in equestrian sport for many years.
Running in a slightly modified form to that followed in 2011, the Series is guaranteed to up the stakes by introducing a team competition that will run in parallel with an individual championship. This has been adopted to increase further the excitement and interest the Series generated last year.
The launch of this year’s competition will begin in mid-November with a showcase event held at the inaugural HorseWorldLive, to be staged at the ExCel Exhibition Centre in London. This initial qualifier will provide the mainstay of ‘Express Eventing Saturday’ and will present an opportunity for 16 top athletes to perform a dressage test to music in a ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ style environment, followed by arena cross-country and a subsequent round of show jumping with a twist within a single arena, on one day, to gain their first points in the 2012/2013 Series. Subsequent rounds will be held at various venues during 2013, culminating in a final in the autumn.
Commenting on the plans for the 2012/2013 Series, Equestrian Director Stephen Renouard said ‘Whilst we were all delighted with the results of the 2011 Series and the attention it attracted, it has taken some time to decide on how best to go forward with the competition, particularly in light of the challenges associated with being based in the country staging the Olympic Games and the difficult economic climate at present”.
The situation has improved in recent weeks, securing sufficient sponsorship to fund the series, being able to guarantee availability of the officials associated with running the Series and being in a position to confirm dates to the athletes who have committed themselves to the immediate future of Express Eventing.
The delay has meant it would have been difficult to run a 2012 Series to the standards we wish to achieve. Stephen went on to say, “The Directors of Tricorn are all committed to the on-going development of this excellent concept but we do want to work at a high level and produce a series of events which appeal and offer mutual benefit to any participating athletes, our partner venues and sponsors alike. The fact is that we were not confident of being able to do that within 2012 alone, means we have decided to delay the start of the new Series until after the Olympic Games.”
Negotiations with top quality venues and leading athletes from the sport are at an advanced stage and it is intended to reaffirm their commitment to the revised 2012/2013 Series within the next few weeks. Locations for the 2013 rounds will - subject to final agreement - include Lincolnshire County Show, The CLA Game Fair and the RDS Show in Dublin, with one additional venue yet to be agreed. Seven top Eventing athletes, most of whom will be striving to win medals at London 2012 this summer, will act as ‘team principals’, heading up teams of two riders who will compete throughout the Series as both team members and as individuals, for a share of the £150k prize fund. There will also be two ‘wild-card’ places available at each qualifier.
“This decision was in part driven by our sponsor partners who favoured a Series which would not compete for exposure against the Olympic Games. Key to the future success of EE is clearly the ability to meet the desires and maintain the on-going support of our key sponsors - this approach enables us to do that and secure the future of this increasingly popular version of our sport” commented Jill Gratton-Fisher, General Manager for Tricorn Events.
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