The 2019 Event Rider Masters series is full speed ahead, and this weekend we land in Belgium for Leg 3 at the stately Arville Castle. The action takes place amidst the family estate of Guillaume de Liedekerke, a proper fancy backdrop for some of the proper fanciest event horses in the land. (Note to American eventing: We need more castles.) Twenty combinations representing seven different nations will tackle Rüdiger Schwarz’s challenging cross country course for a piece of the £50,000 prize pot and the chance to sit atop the ERM throne.
Leg 3’s star-studded crop of riders includes two ERM series champions, six leg winners, four five-star winners and last year’s Arville victor. The rundown:
Australia: Chris Burton, the 2018 ERM series champion and last year’s Arville victor, is just 2 points off the top of the series rankings following Leg 2. He’ll be looking to retain the Arville title this weekend with Quality Purdey. Perennial favorites Bill Levett and Shannondale Titan, who finished third last year at Arville, will return in search of another podium placing for Australia.
France: Gireg le Coz brings forward Aisprit de la Loge, who is new to the level but shows promise having placed 6th in the CCI3*-S at Saumur earlier this year.
Germany: Dirk Schrade is entered with Bettina Hoy’s very competitive five-star partner Designer 10, while Niklas Bschorer will ride Lord Shostakovich.
Great Britain: Laura Collett currently tops the rankings alongside Michael Jung and will look to pick up valuable series points at Arville with Dacapo. With one ERM leg win already this season at Chatsworth, Laura also has strong Arville form, having finished second last year with London 52. In addition to Laura, Great Britain brings forth a strong contingent including 2017 ERM series champion Gemma Tattersall, who will ride her Chatsworth 2017 winner Quicklook V. Blenheim 2017 winner Izzy Taylor comes forward with Fonbherna Lancer for the horse’s CCI4*-S debut. Team GB’s quest for the Arville podium is further strengthened by Wiesbaden 2017 winners Sarah “Cutty” Cohen and Treason; Jardy 2018 victor Alex Bragg with Alcatraz; and Nicola Wilson and Bulana, who won individual bronze at the 2017 European Championships. Tom Jackson also brings forward an exciting entry in Capels Hollow Drift, who finished second in the 7-year-old World Championships at Le Lion d’Angers last year. Look out also for 3* European Champion Franky Reid-Warrilow with My Squire de Reve, Nicholas Lucey with Kroon Leader, and Kirsty Johnston with WTTL Opposition Sky Law.
Italy: Vittoria Panizzon will look to secure Italy’s first podium finish with her brilliant mare Borough Pennyz. She is joined by national teammate Pietro Sandei and Rubis de Prere.
The Netherlands: Reigning Dutch champion Tim Lips brings forward Eclips for the horse’s second ERM outing of 2019.
New Zealand: All eyes will be on New Zealand power couple Tim and Jonelle Price, who are bringing two Luhmühlen CCI5*-L winners in Wesko and Faerie Dianimo, respectively. Tim is also in red-hot form coming off the back of a Luhmühlen win with Ascona M, a mare he competed in the ERM previously for 10th at Barbury 2018 and second at Blenheim Palace 2017. Both Tim and Jonelle are still hunting for their first ERM leg win.
Who will top the podium for Leg 3? Watch live and for free on www.eventridermasters.tv on Saturday, June 22nd and Sunday, June 23rd.
The full starting list with times is available here. Watch a video of the draw here. Dressage takes place Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon CEST (2:30 to 6 a.m. EST), to be followed by show jumping at 4:45 p.m. CEST (10:45 a.m. EST). Cross country follows on Sunday at 1 p.m. CEST (7 a.m. EST).