For the first time, the Rolex Central Park Horse Show will welcome a fast-paced, action-packed $50,000 Arena Eventing competition to the official show schedule on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 8:00 p.m. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show is scheduled to run Sept. 20-24 in the heart of New York City’s Central Park in Wollman Rink.
The evening will feature an elite class of 24 three-day event riders, eight of which are ranked within the top 10 by the U.S. Eventing Association, and eight Olympians. Oliver Townend, currently ranked sixth in the world, who most recently won the iconic Burghley Horse Trials CCI**** (England), will make an appearance for the first time in Central Park for Great Britain, alongside the legendary William Fox-Pitt, who remains one of the most decorated event riders in history.
“As an organization, we always try to inspire new and creative ideas to engage and introduce equestrian sport to a broader audience. The competition, which we have termed Arena Eventing Pairs, is a derivative of arena eventing and will be new to both equestrian sport and the Rolex Central Park Horse Show,” said Mark Bellissimo, CEO of International Equestrian Group. “Eventers bring a new dimension to the show and it is a great opportunity for the riders to shine against the incredible New York City skyline. We anticipate a fun-filled, action-packed evening for both our competitors and spectators.”
Arena eventing has become a popular exhibition platform to showcase the sport of eventing. The two-round competition will incorporate both show jumping and cross-country elements of the sport, as riders are paired into teams of two to contest a track set by renowned British course designer Captain Mark Phillips.
The competition will have 24 top riders organized into 12 teams. The teams will be named after significant New York City locales and compete against each other in a speed competition against the clock. Each team will position themselves in the ring at the same time and participate in a relay-based speed competition, where riders will move through a course themed after iconic New York City fixtures, and what will include a soon-to-be iconic “Big Apple” jump.
The top six teams, based on cumulative time from Round 1, will then compete in the final “money” round for the overall $50,000 in prize money, which they will split based on final rankings in the second-round speed competition. The competition will run with a faults-converted format, adding 2 seconds to a team’s overall score per jumping fault. The winners of the competition will earn the title of U.S. Open Arena Eventing Champions.
The following rider teams are scheduled to compete in the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show $50,000 Arena Eventing Team Competition:
- Dominic Schramm (AUS)/ Clayton Fredericks (AUS)
- Ryan Wood (AUS)/ Kate Chadderton (AUS)
- Selena O’Hanlon (CAN)/Jessica Phoenix (CAN)
- William Fox-Pitt (GBR)/Oliver Townend (GBR)
- Phillip Dutton (USA)/Julie Richards (USA)
- Hannah Sue Burnett (USA)/Holly Payne-Caravella (USA)
- Boyd Martin (USA)/ Sharon White (USA)
- Marilyn Little (USA)/ Sara Kozumplik-Murphy (USA)
- Jennie Brannigan (USA)/Caroline Martin (USA)
- Will Coleman (USA)/Matt Brown (USA)
- Buck Davidson (USA)/Lynn Symansky (USA)
- Doug Payne (USA)/Erin Sylvester (USA)
CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for the $50,000 Arena Eventing competition, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 8:00 p.m.