Leading UK events have rallied around ERA's fundraising efforts and have pledged their support for EFRA, BlazeAid and Buy A Bale.
Blenheim International Horse Trials has had a long association with our Southern Hemisphere competitors, not only via the reigning champion, Chris Burton.
“Eventing is such a 'community' sport and like members of the Eventing Riders Association we are keen to do what we can. Blenheim Horse Trials are owned by British Eventing who usually invest any event profits back into the sport for the benefit of members. British Eventing have kindly agreed to let us make a significant donation to the Equestrian Fire Relief Australia Fund, as well as tickets to our 2020 event to help further their fundraising efforts. We hope a huge sum can be raised for this urgent cause and encourage everyone to give what they can.” – Mandy Hervieu, Event Director
“The Eventing Riders Association wants to extend a huge thank you to Mandy and her team at Blenheim Horse Trials for their generosity in supporting our charitable event. Blenheim’s historic links to down-under eventing by previously hosting the Asia-Pacific Championships, as a qualifier for the 2004 Athens Olympic, shows just how close knit our eventing community is.
“Blenheim is a truly global and fantastic event for the whole of the eventing community, and as riders we really appreciate their support and investment in our sport. We know their investment will be repaid through the loyalty of riders to this top-class event.” Bruce Haskell, ERA President.
The event has made a significant donation to the fundraising effort in addition to donating 40 tickets to the auction and raffle, with the aim of raising further funds.
Bede Events, run by Australian Stuart Buntine, has provided a hospitality table for 8 at the new 'Spring Eventing Carnival' hosted at the spectacular new Thoresby Park venue. The table will be hosted by eventing legend Lucinda Green during the Grantham Cup. Musketeer Events and Burghley Horse Trials have also pledged hospitality and membership packages to support the fundraising efforts.
The Australia Day organising team have been overwhelmed by the level of support show to the auction with prizes from gallops passes, Cheltenham Festival tickets, eventing sports memorabilia and an incredibly generous donation of a Bates Saddle, associated accessories and numerous autographed items from the Australian saddlery brand.
Please do visit our online auction and support where you can.
We've been somewhat overwhelmed by the level of support that the Australia Day Fundraiser has received with standard tickets selling out in under 48hrs!
Due to the increased level of demand we have added a second session from 5pm - 8.30pm. The second session will replicate the content of the afternoon event, so don't worry if you've already booked!
The remaining VIP Passes for the afternoon session and the newly released evening session tickets are available to book here
New Riders Announced
We are delighted to announce two additional riders to our celebrity line up:
Piggy French - eventing's queen of 2019 has stepped up the plate and pledged her support of this eventing. Piggy French set a new record in 2019 for the number of international events won in a single season by a rider. Will she reveal her winning exercise on the 26th? You'll have to wait and see.
Alex Bragg - multiple 4* winner, ERM leg winner and key GBR rider, Alex, rode Zagreb to the top of the British Eventing rankings in 2019. He's got some great ideas for our Australia Day event so he'll certainly be one to watch!
Stay tuned for more announcements over the next few days.
Equestrian Fire Relief Australia Fund launched to support the Australian equestrian community affected by the 2019-2020 summer bushfires.
The world has looked on while Australia burns. The donations have poured in to support the volunteer firefighters but we now look to the longer term consequences. Following an extensive drought, forage and feed for livestock and horses was already in short supply. That supply is now, quite literally, in ashes. Members of the equestrian community have watched their lives burn in front of them, with little they could do to help.
There are numerous Australian Equestrians, in particular Eventing Riders who now live outside of Australia in order to further their professional Eventing careers. They, along with the wider International Equestrian community, have a huge desire to support their fellow Equestrian community in Australia who may have been affected by the fire disaster currently unfolding.
The Equestrian Fire Relief Australia (EFRA) fund has been launched with the purpose of supporting the Australian Equestrian community to return to equestrian sports participation, through the coordination of international and national donations to bushfire relief efforts.
ERA supports this new EFRA fund. For more information on this fund please visit www.equestrianfirerelief.com.au
ERA also supports other Australian Charities that we believe work in a way to support the Australian Equestrian (and rural) community:
To kick start the fundraising efforts we thought we'd have a little bit of fun this Australia Day! With MULTIPLE celebrity lecture demos, a social afternoon and a traditional Australian Sausage Sizzle, COME ALONG and help us raise funds to support our friends and colleagues in Australia.
Last night saw another horse and rider inducted in the Eventing Riders Association (ERA) International Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Hall of Fame. In the relaxed atmosphere of the rider’s lounge at Burghley, competing riders gathered for the social occasion, once again supported by Shearwater Insurance.
In a change to previous years, the Eventing Riders Association (International) welcomed nominations from riders, owners and the general public for this year’s horse and rider inductees. Taking an overwhelming majority was former world number 1 and leading British rider, Oliver Townend, with his 2017 winner Ballaghmor Class leading the nominations for the equine athletes.
A surprised and grateful Oliver Townend accepted the award, presented by Shearwater Insurance Managing Director Jeremy Lawton, and delivered a speech filled with emotion and humour.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m amazed and very grateful. There are probably only five people in the sport that really know me, and the others in the sport probably don’t like me, so I really am very grateful” said Oliver, to laughs and applause from the crowd.
The 2009 and 2017 winner went on to thank friend, and owner, Karyn Shuter for her years of support, and Angela Hislop, among other owners. Alongside owner Angela Hislop, Oliver has had 6 runners at CCI5* level of which they have never finished outside of the top two, showing what an incredible rider, he is and the partnership he has with the horses and owners.
“The whole team (who make this happen) are very very special. There are a whole host of people that most of you wouldn’t recognise. They’ve been there for 9 or 10 years and they are always there at 6 o’clock in the morning, and I couldn’t do it without them.”
Rounding off his speech, a humbled Townend added:
“I’m not very good at looking like things matter but this recognition matters more to me than any of you could ever imagine. So thank you!”
Ballaghmor Class won The Land River Burghley Horse Trials in 2017 on his CCI5* debut and finished second in 2018. Owners Val Ryan, Angela Hislop and Karyn Shuter joined Oliver to receive the award on his behalf.
Oliver and Ballagmor Class now join the likes of Andrew Nicholson and Avebury, William Fox-Pitt, Sir Mark Todd, Pippa Funnell, Lenamore, Shear L’eau and Happy Times as members of the Burghley Hall of Fame.
The Eventing Riders Association (ERA) International will once again host the Land Rover Burghley Hall of Fame Awards, supported by Shearwater Insurance. The annual awards are hosted by Burghley Horse Trials and will be held within the rider’s compound at the final British CCI5* of the year.
The event provides a social event for competing riders, owners and grooms, whilst creating a chance to celebrate the successes of their peers and equestrian athletes.
2018 welcomed Pippa Funnell into the illustrious group of riders. Pippa has long been a stalwart of the British team and it is often hard to believe that she has only once lifted the Burghley trophy. Her win came in 2003 with Primmore’s Pride. The most memorable win also saw Funnell become the first, and only female rider, to win the Rolex Grand Slam of eventing. 2018 also welcomed Faerie Dianimo into the fold. The former Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Winner became a CCI5* winner at Luhmuhlen in June 2018, under the expert guidance of Jonelle Price.
In a change to previous years, the Eventing Riders Association (International) this year invites riders, owners and the general public to nominate a horse and rider that they believe is befitting of joining the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Hall of Fame.
The horse and rider must have made a standout performance at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. The list of nominees will be considered by the ERA committee to decide upon a winner. Nominations close on the 23rdAugust 2019.
Germany’s Michael Jung, the reigning Olympic eventing champion, is set to make his five-star Nations Cup showjumping debut this week at Hickstead.
Jung has had a last-minute call up to the German squad of five competing at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain. Although he is best known in the eventing world, Jung also competes up to Grand Prix level in both showjumping and dressage.
He is bringing a total of five horses to Hickstead, including international rides Dante RZ and Fischerchelsea.
“Michael Jung is an absolute legend in the horse world, and we are honoured that he is making his Nations Cup five-star debut here at the All England Jumping Course,” says Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn. “There are very few riders in the world who are capable of competing at the highest level in eventing, showjumping and dressage, and we’re sure Michael’s legions of fans will be keen to see him in action as he jumps for the very first time .”
Michael heads to the West Sussex showground fresh from coming second in the eventing at CHIO Aachen. He won individual gold at the Rio and London Olympics, individual gold at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010, and has been European Champion three times. He has won the Kentucky, Badminton, Burghley and Luhmühlen five-star events, and is the second rider in history to claim the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing.
Now he is set to showcase his extraordinary talent at the home of British showjumping.
The FEI, world governing body for horse sport, announced on Thursday 20 June the allocation of the FEI Senior Eventing European Championships to the association Ustica. Already organizing the CCIO4*-S of Le Pin (FRA) since 2016 and international eventing competitions since 1995, Ustica and its 200 volunteers see their efforts rewarded. With this major event, Normandy and the department of Orne the center of all the attentions of the equestrian enthusiasts. Scheduled from 11 to 15 August 2021, this championship will gather the best European eventing riders and horses in the oustanding setting of the Haras National du Pin, the hot-spot of the French and Norman equine excellence.
After months of work and patience, the news has been officially released on Thursday 20 June : the FEI Senior Eventing European Championships 2021 will take place at Haras National du Pin, in Normandy, France. « This is a fantastic acknowledgement for all the volunteers of our association, who have been working on the organization of the ‘Grand Complet’ (currently the CCIO4*-S of Le Pin, ndlr) since 1995 » Valérie Moulin said, Chairwoman of the association. « The ‘Grand Complet’ was born and has grown up thanks to their unfailling involvement, but also thanks to the enthusiasm of the riders from all over the world. The ‘Grand Complet’ is first and foremost a large family passionate about eventing, great sport and fun. This result has also been obtained thanks to the support of local authorities – the Normandy Region and the Departmental Council of Orne, as well as the French Equestrian Federation. I sincerely thank them all. »
This is a well-deserved allocation to the venue as the place also known as the « Versailles for horses » welcomed the FEI Eventing European Championships in 1969. « We consider this as an opportunity to display oour organization skills. We had a year off in 2014 due to the WEG that we didn’t take in organising after having started eventing in the place in 2010. This shows if needed the excellence of the equine industry in Normandy. We will put all the energy it takes to make of this event a top level competition and a great example of all the savoir-faire in Normandy » Valérie Moulin said.
Sophie Dubourg, National Technical Manager at the French Equestrian Federation - FFE : "I want to congratulate the association Ustica for bidding with the support of the FFE. It is such a pride to stage this championship, in France, in such a great place as the Haras du Pin, for all eventing stakeholders in the country and it will be a source of unlimited motivation for the French staff."
The team Ustica is now focusing on the organization of the 23rd edition of the ‘Grand Complet’ - FEI Eventing Nations Cup leg from 7 to 13 August 2019, having meanwhile in its sight the next FEI European Championships.
After reflecting on the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Mars Equestrian and Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials held over the last couple weeks, and as we go into the cross country phase of the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event this weekend; the ERA of NA feels that promoting more discussion on the interpretation of the 15 Penalty Flag Rule among all FEI officials, organizers and competitors is required.
The mission and responsibility of the ERA of NA is to identify challenges within the sport and to advocate for the best solutions on behalf of all competitors. As such, we recommend the establishment of specific ground rules and guidelines so that all FEI officials are able to consistently and dependably interpretate and implement this new rule. As an organization, we stand ready to participate and collaborate in the development of these standards. The USEF, USEA, British Eventing, other National Governing Bodies and ERA (International, UK, and NA) must work with the FEI to establish a standardized, uniform policy whereupon competitors, owners and spectators need not question the consistency of its application.
Additionally, in order to ensure the most effective use of this rule, the Ground Jury must be completely transparent in its interpretation. For educational purposes, the timely access to all deciding factors in determining the assessment of 15 penalties is paramount, thereby ensuring all competitors are fully aware of the grounds on which this rule is applied.
It is clear the discussion that took place at Badminton has bettered the interpretation of this rule yet, as a Rider’s Organization, letting our voices be further heard is a priority to ensuring the fair and consistent management of our sport on all fronts.
ERA of NA is dedicated to the betterment of the sport of Eventing and we want to hear your opinions and input as we execute our mission. Please direct your questions and thoughts to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today the FEI issued a statement confirming rule 549.2 the “15 penalty rule” will remain unchanged for the remainder of the 2019 FEI eventing calendar and have issued further clarifications as to how this rule is to be applied.
We accept that we must follow FEI procedure and additionally accept that a full change to a FEI rule is not possible during a competition year unless based on the grounds of safety. The additional guidelines are a positive initiative by the FEI Eventing Committee to address uncertainty for athletes, officials and wider stakeholders but in our opinion do not go far enough.
The central issue remains as follows: the rule states that if any part of the body strays outside the line where the flag was originally positioned it should be penalised, therefore a horse who jumps the correct side of the flag but moves or dislodges it with the shoulder or pelvis is judged as not clear and is awarded 15 penalties.
Despite the over whelming majority of the Eventing Community sharing our view, we are all bound by a rule stating otherwise and today’s clarification does not change that.
The FEI Eventing athlete representative William Fox-Pitt requested the following clarification should be added: “the shoulder or body of the horse is permitted to move or dislodge the flag, and the horse should be judged clear so long as it has jumped the correct side of the flag”
Yesterday William Fox-Pitt wrote the following to the FEI Eventing Committee “I understand your position regarding the clarifications of the 15 penalty run out rule. As I have repeatedly stated I do not feel that this deals with the central issue at stake and my additions, which are the result of extensive consultation with riders from around the world, have not been incorporated. Regrettably, as the Rider representative I am unable to support the statement regarding the clarification”
Any rule should be clear, concise and easily understood by athletes and officials alike regardless of FEI level, location and access to technology. Even with the inclusion of the clarifications to rule 549.2 we, as riders, will be reliant on FEI ground juries to wilfully ignore the rule in cases where a horse drifts through a flag, in order to provide the result that we all feel is acceptable.
FEI Eventing athlete representative William Fox-Pitt, Chairman of the International Rider Working Group Harry Meade (representing the views of senior global riders), and the Eventing Riders Association International (ERA Int) have been overwhelmed by a consistent response from riders, officials, National Federations, event organisers and stakeholders from across the world. The message is the same. The definition of “clear” in the current rule is not sufficient in line with what riders feel is appropriate.
Since August 2018, at the rule’s inception, it was made clear to the FEI Eventing Committee that riders were opposed to the essence of the rule. That view was shared by the International Eventing Officials Club (IEOC) who expressed strong and similar views throughout the consultation period.
Please understand that we, along with the FEI eventing Committee and the FEI have been working hard to reach a satisfactory solution and in spite of falling short this far we will continue to do so.
Looking ahead to 2020 as an Olympic year, is it absolutely clear that for the good of the sport we all need a rule that is clear for the Eventing community and the new digital audience our sport appeals to.
We welcome the clarifications to rule 549.2 and openly thank all those who have inputted their valuable time and knowledge. We view the clarifications as a good starting point towards a workable rule for 2020 and beyond but urge the FEI Eventing Committee to remain open to change in the short term to ensure we can all live with a set of widely agreed guidelines for the remainder of 2019.
With the European championships, 5 high profile 5* competitions, Olympic team and individual qualifications and numerous regional FEI competitions at all levels left to play out in 2019, now is the time for consideration and change.
President of the Eventing Riders Association International.