Eventing fans will be able to follow the first simulated Event Rider Masters (ERM) competition this Sunday evening (12 April) and play along by selecting their own team for the event via a free app.
Equestrian data analytics company EquiRatings and technology company SAP have been working for almost eight months on the Eventing Manager app, which was initially designed for fans to compete against each other as the sport unfolded at live competitions. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has altered these plans, but fans will be able to use the app for simulated competitions before live eventing kicks off again.
The app, which can be downloaded now in the App Store and the Google Play Store, allows fans to select a team of riders for the (real or simulated) event. Players have a budget for buying riders, with prices set using EquiRatings and SAP’s predictive analysis tool and updated as the competition continues.
“This project builds on our work with the Eventing Prediction Centre,” said EquiRatings managing director Diarmuid Byrne. “SAP wanted to ensure that the offerings they bring to equestrian sport can bring a new experience for fans. I am confident this is going to do just that.”
The first competition using the Eventing Manager app will be the Barefoots Retreat Burnham Market Simulation, this Sunday. Fans can watch the competition live at 7.45pm on the ERM website or on Facebook Live on the ERM page.
Twenty riders will be chosen for each simulated ERM competition and, taking their past form into account, EquiRatings will run a computer simulation of the event. This will create the likely results for the each phase, with every rider having a chance of a good or bad competition – just as in real eventing, they could have a personal best dressage score, only to throw it all away with a refusal on the cross-country phase.
The “ERM SIM Season” is also part of the new #RidersConnected campaign, a joint effort between ERM, EquiRatings, Black Horse (the company behind spectator judging) and Willberry Wonder Pony Charity, brought together by SAP.
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#RidersConnected was launched during a Facebook Live on EquiRatings’ page on Wednesday (8 April) evening and is “about bringing together equestrian riders, fans and friends to support each other, wherever in the world you are”, according to the campaign website.
“As the world deals with the Covid-19 pandemic, the safety and well-being of the community we have built together is most important. We have assembled a selection of messages, videos, games and content to keep us all connected until we can be together again.”
After the launch, commentator Nicole Brown conducted a live Q&A broadcast on the ERM Instagram page with Gemma Tattersall and this is also available on demand on ERM’s channels. Q&As will be a regular feature during the lockdown and on Wednesday, 15 April, Nicole will chat to current and double ERM champion Chris Burton.
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