New high-profile worldwide showjumping series, plus more partnership news

  • A new prestigious showjumping series was revealed at its opening event at the CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena (22 to 26 May).

    The Rolex Series unites six major shows, including the Jumping International de La Baule, the Jumping International de Dinard, Dublin Horse Show, Brussels Stephex Masters, and the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington. The feature class at each will be the Rolex grand prix.

    “The six shows that are part of the Rolex Series are some of the best shows in the world and the ones that we all, as riders, mark in our schedule every year,” said top showjumper and Rolex testimonee Steve Guerdat.

    “They are some of the most prestigious and historically significant competitions on our calendar, and by bringing this amazing group of shows together as part of the Rolex Series, the prestige and desire to win is only going to increase.”

    Rolex global communications director Arnaud Boetsch added that the Rolex Series will “build upon the legacy that the brand has cultivated” over almost 70 years of its support of equestrianism.

    “The six shows within the Rolex Series are united in their qualities, each celebrated for their world-class competition, leading facilities and notable histories, and being part of the Rolex Series will provide a mark of distinction above and beyond other five-star shows,” he said.

    Bevy of new HOYS deals announced

    Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) has revealed a raft of new sponsorship deals ahead of its 75th anniversary (9 to 13 October).

    Bakery Jacksons of Yorkshire takes on the Mountain & Moorland working hunter pony championship, LeMieux is extending is support to be the new title sponsor of the Pony Club mounted games, while Demolition Services sponsors the leading pony showjumper of the year.

    LeMieux will also serve as the official champion rug supplier for a second year.

    A spokesperson for HOYS organisers Grandstand Media said: “We are excited that LeMieux, a brand synonymous with high quality products, is supporting one of the most popular competitions and a firm favourite of our audience.

    “In addition to the Pony Club Mounted Games, knowing that our champions will have a rug fit for the occasion is so important and we have no doubt that our HOYS 2024 champions will be thrilled with their prestigious LeMieux champion rug.”

    The spokesman added that HOYS is “thrilled” to welcome Demolition Services Ltd and Jacksons of Yorkshire.

    “[Jacksons of Yorkshire’s] commitment to supply lovingly baked bread is at the heart of this company, where generations of Jacksons bakers have dedicated themselves to early mornings and hard graft – something that many of our competitors know all too well!” said the spokesperson.

    “We are proud to have the bakers of champion bread on board and we can’t wait to welcome Helena and the team to the show in October.”

    The spokesperson added: “The Demolition Services leading pony showjumper of the year is an important series in the summer calendar as combinations battle it out for a place in this final, together we can’t wait to welcome the competitors to the show in October.”

    Deal aims to maximise TV coverage of equestrian sport

    UK production company Sunset+Vine is extending its partnership with the FEI with a new three-year contract – aiming to maximise TV coverage of horse sport worldwide.

    FEI commercial director Ralph Straus said that Sunset+Vine’s “expertise and commitment to showcasing our sport will be invaluable”.

    “This new agreement will not only enhance the visibility of our premier events, but also bring the excitement of equestrian sports to a broader global audience,” he added.

    As part of this contract, Sunset+Vine will be supporting the distributing of the media rights at competitions including the 2025 and 2027 FEI European Championships and the 2026 FEI World Championships, plus the Longines League of Nations.

    Sarsfield Brolly, head of media partnerships at Sunset+Vine, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to build on the consultancy that we have been providing to the FEI over the last two years, and cement a long-term contract in looking after their premium events.”

    Holland Cooper branches out

    British fashion brand Holland Cooper is extending its support of racing, signing a new deal to sponsor the Group One Coronation Cup on Friday (31 May) at the Betfred Derby Festival at Epsom.

    The move is the first time that the brand has sponsored a Group or Graded race, and is also its initial foray into Flat racing. Holland Cooper has sponsored leading jockey and trainer awards at the Cheltenham Festival, and it is now the fashion partner at Cheltenham racecourse.

    “Ladies Day celebrates the very best of British fashion and style, making this a very appropriate race sponsorship, as Holland Cooper make their first move into Flat racing support,” said Tom Sammes, Epsom Downs racecourse general manager.

    “The 2024 renewal of the race looks all set to be a high-quality affair with last year’s impressive winner Emily Upjohn set to try and defend her crown.”

    Jade Holland Cooper, founder and managing director of Holland Cooper, said that the development is an “honour and a privilege”, adding: “The races are no longer just about horses, they are now also a celebration of timeless fashion, style and elegance.”

    Mars Equestrian signs new Burghley deal

    Mars Equestrian has announced a new partnership as official veterinary and official pet nutrition partner of Defender Burghley Horse Trials (5 to 8 September).

    “As official veterinary partner, Mars Equestrian will support an upgrading of the veterinary care and facilities we can offer our equestrian athletes, which is of the utmost importance at Burghley,” said Burghley event director Martyn Johnson.

    There will be 19 vets, two equine nurses and four veterinary support staff on-site during Burghley. Mars brands will be providing onsite diagnostic and imaging support for the veterinary teams, plus a range of benefits for dogs including a new dog-friendly area at the members’ lawn.

    “We are excited to return to Burghley Horse Trials and extend our commitment to the sport,” said William Clements, president of Mars Equestrian. “At Burghley, we will have the opportunity to share our iconic brands that help create a better world for horses, pets, and the people who love them.”

    Emily King becomes Joules ambassador

    British five-star event rider Emily King has signed a new sponsorship deal with Joules.

    The news was announced during Mars Badminton Horse Trials and Emily will work with the brand throughout this season.

    “I’m delighted to welcome Joules as a new partner,” said Emily. “Joules has long been associated with equestrian and the sport of eventing and having supported me in the very early days, it’s fantastic to be working with them again.

    “The brand is synonymous with country style and doing things a little differently, injecting so much colour and fun into their pieces. I’m really looking forward to working with Tom, Alice and the team this season.”

    Joules founder, Tom Joule, said that Emily’s “commitment to excellence and passion for her sport perfectly align with the values of our brand”.

    “Having supported Emily at the start of her career, I am thrilled to announce her as an ambassador rider. Together, we look forward to injecting even more energy, colour and excitement to the world of eventing,” he said.

    Bedmax partners with Blair Castle

    Bedmax has been chosen as official shavings supplier for the final Defender Blair Castle Horse Trials (22 to 25 August).

    “We take the greatest care to ensure the health and comfort of our equine athletes, and supplying great bedding is a crucial part in achieving this,” said assistant event director Nicky Townsend.

    “Bedmax has a reputation for the quality of their bedding, so in having Bedmax as our official shavings partner at this year’s horse trials, we know that the horses are given every possible chance to perform at their very best.”

    Bedmax founder and managing director Tim Smalley added: “Blair Castle is Scotland’s premiere equestrian event, and it epitomises the best of equestrianism in every respect, including the care that is taken for the welfare of the wonderful horses that compete at this very challenging level.

    “It is a privilege for us to be chosen to play a small part in helping to provide this standard of care for those competing this year.”

    New partnerships to support industry’s workforce

    The British Grooms Association (BGA) and Equestrian Employers Association (EEA) have both signed several recent deals.

    The pair have new partnerships with wheelbarrow firm Henchman, and with equine biosecurity specialists Equine Bio Genie.

    Henchman’s head of marketing Clare Lenagham-Balmer said: “Our wheelbarrows are the perfect partner for grooms, making their busy day a little easier, therefore we are delighted to be working with both the British Grooms Association and the Equestrian Employers Association.”

    Equine Bio Genie director Helen Tuckey added: “We are delighted to be partnering with the BGA and the EEA, our products are designed to make life easier, we all know the hard work involved with grooming and stable management. We look forward to supporting these important associations.”

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