Event riders have the chance to compete for a new £50,000 bonus at CIC3* level this year.
The Shearwater Insurance Tri-Star Grand Slam “winner takes all” prize is on offer to anyone who can win three of the following five CIC3* events: Burnham Market (1), Belton, Houghton, Hopetoun and Burgham (2).
Four of the events are run by two of the most prominent organisers in the British sport: Alec Lochore (Musketeer Event Management) and Stuart Buntine (BEDE Events), while the Burgham team is headed up by Martyn Johnson.
“As multiple event organisers and past competitors, Stuart and I are only too aware of the costs involved, both in competing and in ‘running the show’,” said Alec.
“Facilitating opportunities like this, I hope, shows competitors that we are responding to their concerns regarding the level of prize money available in the sport and rewarding them for their skill and dedication.”
Jeremy Lawton, of Shearwater Insurance — which is sponsoring the grand slam — is a long-standing supporter of eventing. He owned Leslie Law’s two championship horses Shear L’Eau and Shear H20.
“The costs involved in owning and entering horses have only increased and we want to ensure that all riders have the potential to cover these costs,” said Jeremy.
“The hope is that by creating a prize pot of £50,000 we can not only support dedicated owners and riders, but also raise the profile of the sport.
“By pitching the prize fund at the three-star level we believe that we have created a real opportunity for aspiring and amateur riders to win a significant amount of money.”
Australian eventer Paul Tapner (pictured, top) welcomed the plans.
“Eventing is a hugely popular, exciting and extreme equestrian sport. It is long overdue a prize fund to match its exhilarating nature and reward the expertise and dedication of the participants, both human and equine,” he said.
“International event riders on the world’s most competitive competition circuit here in the UK will all be hugely excited and motivated by this innovation.”
David Holmes of British Eventing (BE) added: “BE is delighted to be a part of this exciting new grand slam initiative; delivering riders, owners, sponsors and spectators a thrilling competition to follow throughout the season.”