This year’s Event Rider Masters (ERM) will comprise seven legs, including two in Europe, while the team will also run Barbury International from this year.

The series will run at Chatsworth, Barbury, Gatcombe, Blair and Blenheim, as well as Wiesbarden, Germany, and Jaras, France.

Each leg is worth £50,000 in prize money, with a £50,000 series bonus, which takes the total prize fund to £400,000.

“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 of the ERM,” said a series spokesman.

“The growth into mainland Europe is the first step of a planned global expansion with the intention of the series to feature on other continents in the future, establishing it as a world sporting series and a first for the sport of eventing.”

Each ERM leg will feature 40 riders, competing in a shortened CIC3* format.

Fans will be able to watch all the action on live-stream, and online after the events, while a highlights programme will be broadcast on television, on a channel yet to be confirmed, after each leg.

ERM CEO Chris Stone said: “It’s a great achievement that the ERM will now have two legs in mainland Europe. Our huge gratitude goes to everyone who has supported us in getting the series to this stage, this includes all the host competition venues, the national equestrian federations, riders, owners and the ERM team.

“It’s a very exciting time for the series and we hope for the sport of eventing, and we cannot wait to get going with the series when it kicks off on 13 May.”

Barbury International

The ERM team has also taken over the running of the St James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials (6-9 July).

Following the sale of the estate by Nigel Bunter to Chris Woodhouse, the team has been appointed to run the event, which features CIC3* and CIC2* competition, a Retraining of Racehorses championship, the Champions Challenge and British Eventing novice, as well as a Burghley young event horse class.

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Andrew Nicholson, who won the ERM leg at Barbury last year and took the three-star competition four years running on Avebury, said: “Barbury is an important event not only for our horses and us 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 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.”

Mr Stone added: “We are proud and excited to be running Barbury this year and we are very grateful to Chris Woodhouse for asking us to organise the horse trials.”

For more on ERM 2017 and Barbury International, see this week’s H&H magazine (23 February) for an exclusive interview with Chris Stone.