EXPRESS EVENTING ANNOUNCES NATIONAL SERIES - 03 March 2011
Express Eventing, the compact thrill a minute version of eventing is to be rolled out nationally. The Express Eventing Series 2011 which sees dressage, cross country and showjumping being completed in one arena is to be integrated within five prestigious and established annual shows throughout the country.
There will be four qualifying events this summer; Bolesworth Showjumping Classic and Country Fair, The Lincolnshire Show, The Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park and one other major national event scheduled to be run in July.
The world’s most famous horse show will be home to the Express Eventing Final 2011 at Birmingham’s LG arena in the autumn. The Horse of the Year Show has accommodated this by adding a sixth day and the prize fund for the series will be £100,000.
Stephen Renouard who was appointed as Equestrian Director for the 2010 event explains “The concept has been developed over a number of years, and the new team has acted upon the comments it received. We re-shaped the 2010 event into an exciting but safe format which appealed to the participating athletes and spectators and on the back of this we have developed a long term strategy for the competition which will initially see the competition rolled out across the UK, with a view to making it more accessible to wider pool of athletes and audiences.
The Series will no longer be invitational, and will instead be open to any qualifying combination of horse and rider. Olympian Alex Hua Tian who competed in 2008 and 2010 welcomed the change “The distinction between invitational and qualification is an important one, maturing Express Eventing from a display to a sport in its own right. The format change last year worked well and I feel that 2011 is when it all begins.”
Eventing celebrity and 2008 winner Oliver Townend has already announced his intention to compete. “Being part of the commentary team for the 2010 Express Eventing certainly made me appreciate how exciting it is to watch however I am really looking forward to having the chance to compete. It is developing into a spectator and TV friendly version of our great sport.’
The development and fine-tuning of the sport in conjunction with leading riders and experts has been welcomed. Team GB Gold Medalist Mary King said “Express Eventing is a very exciting concept. I am delighted the feedback from riders has been listened to and acted upon and hope it succeeds in bringing a new audience to the sport.’’
Read other articles