William Fox-Pitt, runaway winner of the inaugural British Eventing Premier League (BEPL), has claimed his prizes at a small luncheon in London hosted by Champagne Taittinger. Fox-Pitt was presented with a cheque for £5,000 and a nebuchadnezzar of champagne for taking the inaugural BEPL after scoring points at Bramham, Gatcombe and Burghley. Now the 2006 BEPL is set to be even more exciting, as first prize grows to £6,000.

“Like in many other sports, it’s great to have a premier league in eventing,” said Fox-Pitt. “I am very proud to have won in its inaugural year and look forward to where it will take the sport in the future. I’m certain it’s only a matter of time before it attracts increased sponsorship and media attention.”

The addition of two new events and a bigger prize pot is set to make the 2006 BEPL even more exciting. The Maybach Barbury Castle Horse Trials CIC*** and Blenheim CCI*** have been added, bringing the total number of competitions to nine. BE Premier League Director Tim Hadaway also announced that the prize fund will rise to £10,000.

“I can announce today that Frontiers Group, which has been working with the sport for 18 months on the sponsorship front have pledged an extra £5,000 to add to the Riders’ Accumulator prize fund,” explained Hadaway. “This will take the winner’s prize to £6,000 with money going to second and third in 2006 at a level of £3,000 and £1,000 respectively.” Taittinger has also pledged its continued support for 2006.

2006 BE Premier League

Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (CCI****) 7 – 4 May
Ssang Yong Chatsworth International Horse Trials (CIC***) 13 – 14 May
Bramham International Horse Trials (CCI***) 8 – 11 June
Maybach Barbury Castle Horse Trials (CIC***) 8 – 9 July
Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe Park (British Advanced Champs) 4 – 6 August
Thirlestane Castle International Horse Trials (CIC***) 19 – 20 August
Blair Castle International Horse Trials (CCI***) 24 – 27 August
Blenheim International Horse Trials (CCI***) 31 August – 3 September
The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (CCI****) 7 – 10 September

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