Organisers of the most northerly British Eventing fixture in the UK hope a new prize pot of over £2,000 will tempt riders to make the journey.
In a bid to combat falling entry numbers, Global Energy Scotsburn in Invergordon, Scotland, is to offer a £500 first prize in its novice class, £250 in each of two BE100 sections and £250 in the Onu18 class at its 25 May event.
The fixture has been running since 2003, and benefited from the sponsorship of Global Energy since the following year, without which joint organiser Richard Durham said it is unlikely the event would be able to run.
But entries dropped “quite badly”, from 188 overall in 2017 to 139 last year with 44 between the BE100 and novice classes, which Mr Durham said makes the event unviable financially.
“It is fairly obvious putting on a novice track for 14 entries is not justifiable so we needed to come up with a scheme to address this,” he said.
“Following discussions as to a way forward, Global Energy has generously put up a prize pot of £2,000 in order to hopefully encourage entries to novice and BE100 for this year’s event which is to be called Global Energy Scotsburn and so acknowledge this generous extra sponsorship.”
The novice class will run as a single “headline” section with a £500 first prize, £250 second prize and £125 third prize followed by upper limit prize money for the rest of the section.
“The size of this section will be governed by our entries secretary in collaboration with the dressage steward, but we will try and make it as large as possible and go up to 50 if we get the entries,” said Mr Durham.
The event will have two BE100 sections, each with a first prize of £250, second prize of £125, third prize of £75 and thereafter upper limit prize money.
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Thanks to further sponsorship from lawyers Brodie LLP, the fixture is also running the ONu18, a single section with a first prize of £250, a second prize of £125 and third prize of £75 and upper limit prize money.
“We have been immensely lucky over the years with Global Energy and we very much hope that this prize sponsorship will produce entries from around Scotland and encourage competitors to make the picturesque journey north and come and compete and in doing so, help maintain the sustainability of Scotland’s most northerly event,” Mr Durham said.
“We are in the hands of the competitors and we’re now trying to publicise the scheme to try and tempt people to make the journey to what is a very friendly and good event.”
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