The Event Rider Masters at Gatcombe Park this weekend kicks off its fourth leg at the Festival of British Eventing produced by BETA. A field of forty international riders will be competing at the horse trials for a total of £50,000 with £16,000 awarded to the winner of leg four.
Australian Paul Tapner has his eye firmly on the £30,000 series rider bonus and will be riding Yogi Bear IV. The former Badminton Horse Trials winner currently lies in second on the ERM leader-board with sixty three points and has been super competitive in all three of the previous legs across the summer.
Gemma Tattersall currently heads the ERM series with sixty-six points. However, after being named to represent Team GB in Rio, Tattersall’s lead is very much up for grabs this weekend, providing a golden opportunity for Tapner to challenge the top of the leader-board.
Commenting ahead of the ERM competition at Gatcombe Paul Tapner said:
“Every cloud has a silver lining. Following the disappointment of not receiving the Olympic call up and with Gemma Tattersall away in Rio, I have an opportunity to try and grab a good lead in the series. Yogi and I are raring to go and we plan to make the most of this weekend’s competition”.
Two riders that could also make impact at the top of the ERM leader-board at Gatcombe are Britain’s Laura Collett riding Pamero 4 and New Zealander Jesse Campbell on board Kaapachino. Both feature in the overall series top ten placings in sixth and eighth respectively.
Commenting ahead of Gatcombe, Laura said;
“Strong performances are required in all three phases but in particular a quick cross-country seems to have been very influential in the ERM series so far and with Gatcombe’s unique terrain this weekend will be no exception. I am expecting a very competitive competition. Pamero is feeling very well and it would be great to snatch some more ERM points”.
Jesse Campbell added;
“The ERM class this weekend is not going to be easy to win. With a Badminton winner in Paul Tapner and Izzy Taylor who unfortunately is now not riding at Rio are just two names featuring in a quality field. I will not be taking anything for granted. However, Kappy (Kaapachino) is a very experienced horse, he knows what he has to do and I couldn’t be happier to be riding him this weekend”.
Izzy Taylor (GB) makes a strong case to be installed as the competition favourite. Her horse KBIS Briarlands Matilda is one of the fastest horses on the eventing circuit, with quick clear cross-country performance’s proving influential in shaking up the final placings at Gatcombe in recent years. The competition could also provide a silver lined opportunity for Taylor, after she was ruled out of riding for Team GB in Rio after her horse Allercombe Ellie sustained an injury.
A rider who potentially could start in pole position at the cross-country start is former double Olympic team gold medallist Andrew How (AUS). Hoy makes his ERM debut this weekend. His horse Cheeky Calimbo’s twelve month dressage average of 38.3 is the best in the field and they have produced eleven show jumping clears from sixteen attempts at this level of competition.
Andrew Hoy said;
“I am really excited by the ERM shortened format, which I think is brilliant for the spectator and viewers and riding in the competition will be a whole new experience for me”.
New for 2016, ERM incorporates six CiC*** Eventing competitions at venues across Great Britain with a total of £350,000 on offer across the series including a £30,000 rider bonus for the leading rider on points across the series.
The ERM competition can be viewed live on Saturday (dressage) and Sunday when the competition culminates with the showjumping and cross-country phases ran in reverse order. Free streaming can be viewed from anywhere in the world at www.eventridermasters.tv
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