Eric Bull and his team have been hard at work building the cross country course for the $50,000 Grand-Prix Eventing Invitational, presented by LiftMaster, which will serve as the inaugural eventing showcase at Bruce’s Field on March 1-2, 2019, in Aiken, South Carolina.
Invitations will be extended to the top 40 riders in the world to compete in a two-day competition featuring a morning of dressage and an evening of show jumping on March 1, followed by an afternoon of cross country on March 2.
Capt. Mark Phillips designed a 2,500-meter cross country course that will include 20 jumping efforts, all of which will have Aiken-themed names and serve as a tribute to the iconic equestrian community. Click here for a sneak peek at the fences, which have names like the Carolina Bay water complex, the Banksia Bank, The Willcox table, the Hitchcock Woods Fox Squirrel and St. Mary’s Church.
When the late Bruce Duchossois purchased the land that would become Bruce’s Field in 2000, he had a vision to grow it into South Carolina’s premier equestrian facility while also maintaining its historic character and paying forward the spirit of generosity.
The Aiken Horse Park Foundation announced yesterday that the showcase will also serve as a Ride for Charity, with the riders representing local non-profit organizations. During the Thursday evening welcome party, each rider will be partnered with a charity. The winning rider will receive $2,500, with second place receiving $1,500 and third place receiving $1,000 — all of which will go to the corresponding charities. Local charities can apply to participate here.
“Because of the late Bruce Duchossois’ support of my career and the ensuing success of Aiken’s eventing community, I am particularly honored to recognize Bruce’s legacy through the creation of what will be an annual highlight to Aiken’s equestrian season,” Phillip Dutton said.
“The eventing showcase format provides a unique experience for both horse and rider while allowing spectators a close and personal perspective.”
Boyd Martin, the three-time undefeated winner of the Wellington Eventing Showcase, has also announced his intent to compete, and we are expecting an all-star entry list. The weekend will also serve as a fun-filled event for the community, with a beer fest featuring local craft beer and other activities for the whole family.
If you can’t make it to Aiken to watch the inaugural eventing showcase in person, EQTV Network will also be streaming all the action live.
A slew of sponsorship opportunities are available, including sponsorship of the one-of-a-kind cross country jumps being built for the showcase. Click here to view sponsorship opportunities and contact Tara Bostwick at [email protected] for more information.