Event Horse Madness: The Sweet 16

We’ve survived an epic round of 32 of the world’s best event horses – now, we’re taking sixteen forward in the quest to be the winner of EN’s March Madness sweepstakes.

HOW IT WORKS

32 of the world’s best event horses will come together in an NCAA-style bracket, with the winners of each bracket advancing to the next round and facing a formidable new opponent. In order to avoid a year-long argument amongst team EN — and because we’d really, really love to bypass any aggressive comments chastising us for missing anyone — we pull our contenders from the Olympic rankings, which are updated to the end of 2019. Then, we use those rankings to fill four categories, as follows:

  • Seven horses from North America
  • Seven horses from the UK and Ireland
  • Seven horses from continental Europe
  • Seven horses from New Zealand/Australia

“But that doesn’t equal 32,” we hear you protest. And you are not wrong, you little math whizzes. The next step is to find the four best-ranked horses from the rest of the world. Each of them will then be added to one of the above groups in chronological order, and seeded based on their position in the rankings.

These horses represent the top ranked six of each of their global regions. If a horse has since been sold to another region, they’re skipped over. (Before you come for us, know that this only happens in one case — and its previous rider is still represented by another horse in the bracket.)

Once pulled from the rankings, each horse is given a seed number within its group. The higher their position within the Olympic rankings, the higher their seed number. Winners of five-stars or major championships in 2019 will automatically be given top seed.

HOW THE WINNER IS CHOSEN

It’s all popular vote, baby, so the fate of your favourite is entirely in your hands. We wholeheartedly encourage as much devious social media campaigning as you fancy undertaking. This is, after all, Very Serious Bizzness: the winner will get full bragging rights as the EN readers’ favourite horse in the whole WORLD.

Each round will open up for voting as follows:

Round of 32, Part 1: Wednesday, March 18
Round of 32, Part 2Friday, March 20
Sweet 16: Thursday, March 26
Elite 8: Saturday, March 28
Final 4: Monday, March 30
Championship: Wednesday, April 1

TODAY’S LINE-UP

This is where it starts getting really tough, folks – we’ve narrowed each region down to four contenders, and none of them are messing around. Badminton winner Vanir Kamira takes on fan favourite Ivar Gooden over in Camp Great Britain/Ireland, while the Vermiculus v. Deniro Z battle will be a seriously tough one for North American fans to call. Over in continental Europe, fischerChipmunk takes on the two-time Dutch National Champion, Bayro, while up-and-comer Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam faces off against three-time Adelaide winner Willingapark Clifford in the Antipodean camp. Gird your loins, gang – it’s all getting serious.

Get voting, get sharing, and make sure your favourite horses advance to the next round – voting will close on Saturday, March 28!

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