A $50,000 arena eventing class has been added to the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show, to be held Saturday, Sept. 23. It takes the place of the dressage CDI component of the event, which was canceled due to unexpected horse and rider withdrawals.
The competition will several top national and international horse and rider combinations, including Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton. “I’m very excited to be a part of the Arena Eventing competition at the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show,” says Phillip, who is contesting the Adequan Advanced Gold Cup Final at the American Eventing Championships this weekend. “It will be an action packed evening and is an unrivaled opportunity to promote our sport and our riders to a new audience.”
An official rider list will be announced mid-week, and general admission tickets will go on sale next week as well.
Arena eventing, a two-round competition that incorporates both show jumping and cross country elements, has been growing in popularity here in the U.S. as a spectator-friendly exhibition platform to showcase our sport. At the Central Park Horse Show riders will contest an Intermediate/CCI 2* level track designed by Capt. Mark Phillips. Riders who complete the first round track under the time allowed without incurring any jumping penalties will move on to the final round of competition.
The show’s management team canceled this year’s dressage competition, originally scheduled for Sept. 22-Sept. 23, after its top international competitors were forced to withdraw.
“Due to a number of unexpected and unrelated circumstances preventing the top four top riders from participating, we were forced to make the difficult choice with the sponsor, Axel Johnson Group, to cancel the dressage portion of the event. The riders are just as disappointed as we are with the outcome, as they believe this show provides an unprecedented platform for the sport of dressage,” said Mark Bellissimo, CEO of International Equestrian Group, LLC (IEG). “While we are not able to host dressage this year in Central Park, we are incredibly excited to unveil an innovative arena eventing competition and welcome one of the most inspiring group of riders I’ve had the pleasure of working with.”
The Rolex Central Park Horse Show (Sept. 20-24) is in its fourth year of operation at Wollman Rink in the heart of New York City’s Central Park. In addition to arena eventing, the week will feature U.S. Open competition for the Arabian, show jumping and hunter disciplines, as well as host its popular Family Day on Sunday, Sept. 24.
For more information on the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show (RCPHS), visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com.