There’s plenty to play for as the cash-rich Event Rider Masters rolls into Millstreet in Ireland.
It’s the first time the ERM has been contested there and as the penultimate leg of the 2019 series plenty of top-flight combinations chasing valuable points including a clutch of Kiwis.
Jonelle Price may be leading the series at the moment on 67 points, but she’s not entered in the CCI4*-S, leaving the door wide open for a number of riders, including husband Tim who is in on his old mate Wesko. The 16-year-old Dutch-bred gelding won the ERM at Arville in June and has podiumed plenty of other times, right through to 5* level. Tim is currently in ninth place on the ERM leaderboard.
Jesse Campbell lines up with his 13-year-old grey gelding Amsterdam who has won at
CCI3*-S level at Millstreet before and since stepped up the grades.
Lucy Jackson is the only other Kiwi on the ERM card with her 10-year-old bay gelding Superstition who was fifth in the CCI4*-L at Bramham at their last start and made the podium in the ERM at Chatsworth earlier this year. Lucy will be looking to move up from her 13th place spot on the ERM leaderboard.
Also on the 28-strong card are Bill Levett (AUS) who is hot on Jonelle’s heels on the leaderboard and has the very solid Shannondale Titan entered, his countryman Chris Burton is the king of cool – and last year’s ERM champ – and is in on his Blair Castle winner Graf Liberty. Oliver Townend (GBR) has his young gun Ulises, while Gemma Tattersall (GBR) is in on Quicklook V and Alex Bragg (GBR) aboard Zagreb are both former leg winners. There’s a clutch of super strong Irish combinations including Sam Watson, Sarah Ennis, Cathal Daniels and Esib Power.
In all there are eight former leg winners in a field sporting riders from eight nations. There are points, placings and the better part of £50,000 on the line.
But it’s not just about the ERM at Millstreet with plenty of other New Zealand combinations across the fields.
Jonelle Price has entered the CCI4*-L aboard her eight-year-old mare Grappa Nera, with Jesse Campbell and his nine-year-old German-bred gelding Diachello also on the 27-strong card.
With 64 combinations entered in the CCI4*-S, it’s going to be a hotly-contested class. Included in the list is Tim Price is in on both 13-year-old Xavier Faer and 10-year-old Falco. Xavier Faer was third in the 5* at Kentucky this year.
There’s a familiar horse on the start list who since 2011 has been ridden under the New Zealand flag but has now switched to Ireland. Sir Mark Todd’s Leonidas II has now gone to the stable of Irish eventer Padraig McCarthy. With Sir Mark, the grey was seventh at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, represented New Zealand at the 2014 World Equestrian Games and completed five Badminton Horse Trials for two fourths and a sixth.
It’s another big list in Millstreet’s CCI3*-S where New Zealand is represented by Team Price with Tim on Emotion II and Jonelle aboard Curly Girl.
New Zealand is also represented on the officials’ list with Jenny Draper the president of the ground jury for the CCI3*-S, Andrew Bennie the president of the ground jury for the CCI4*-S ERM and CCI2*-L and Campbell Draper assisting course designer Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR) across all classes.
The first horse inspections were on Wednesday, followed by dressage starting tonight.
WHAT: Millstreet International Horse Trials
WHERE: Co. Cork, Ireland
WHEN: August 21-25, 2019
MORE INFO: https://www.millstreet.horse/eventing/
CLICK HERE FOR START LISTS & RESULTS
The horse details:
Diachello – owned by Kent Gardner and Jesse Campbell
Grappa Nera – owned by The Grape Syndicate
Amsterdam – owned by Craig Campbell
For Fame – owned by Nick Brooks
Falco – owned by Sue Benson
Xavier Faer – owned by Trisha Rickards, Nigella Hall and Tim Price
Wesko – owned by The Windrush Equestrian Foundation
Superstition – owned by Gillian Greenleas
Emotion II – owned by Eventing First PLC
Curly Girl – owned by Katie Amin, Lucy Sangster, Kate Holmes and Jackie Oliver
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison