Eventing, Remixed: The ERM Songs We’d Like to Hear in 2020, v1.0

Big scenes at EN HQ as we curate the ERM playlist of dreams. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The 2020 European eventing season is drawing ever closer, which means that the fifth iteration of the Event Rider Masters series is well on its way, too. One of our favourite parts of the series is the fact that riders are allowed to choose their own songs for the first phase, prompting the evergreen pub conversation starter: what would your ERM song be?

For all the thought we mere mortals put into it, though, sometimes it feels like the riders just aren’t committing. There truly is a limit to the number of times a person can hear ‘Castle on the Hill’ by Ed Sheeran, the Crowned King of Beige – and don’t even get us started on Coldplay. So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to choose some new tunes for some of this year’s potential competitors – and yes, we’re available to DJ the after-party.

A disclaimer: some of the songs included have naughty words in them. This post is all in jest (mostly). Feel free to skip past our quantifiably terrible taste in music. Don’t shout at us please; it hurts our feelings. As a wise woman (Lady Gaga) once said…just dance.

Fort Minor – Remember the Name

Who among us wasn’t once a twelve-year-old girl, making transition-heavy YouTube videos of ourselves jumping laughably small fences, all set to the aggressive overtones of Fort Minor? Oliver Townend, that’s who (probably). But we’re sad for him that he missed out on this essential formative stage, in which we all discovered that ‘Lose Yourself’ is truly the inferior hype track. Those of us who really knew pain (that is, had tumbled off a pony once or twice) knew what riding was really about: 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain…and 100% reason to remember the name. Oliver, if you need some inspiration, you’re always welcome to come play Equestriad 2001 at EN HQ.


Lizzo – Juice

We’re not sure what kind of juice Lizzo was referring to when she penned this feel-good anthem, but we’re going to assume it was the essential fuel of eventers everywhere – Pol Roger champagne. That makes this the ideal song for Laura Collett, who is one of Pol’s ‘Fizzy Rascals’, and as such, our favourite person to lurk near in the lorry park. All references to the sparkly stuff aside, this up-tempo bop sets the scene for some impressive dance moves – and Laura’s stable of hot trotters will certainly live up to its expectations. (My own ERM song of choice would also be a Lizzo track – but definitely ‘Truth Hurts’. Why are men great until they’ve got to be great? The eternal question, folks.)


Counting Crows – Mr Jones

There are SO. MANY. SONGS. you can easily rewrite to be about Richard Jones, five-star eventer and dedicated wearer of wifebeater tops. ‘Have You Met Miss Jones?’ by Frank Sinatra easily becomes ‘Have You Met Dick Jones?’, and ‘Me and Mr Jones’ by Amy Winehouse segues beautifully into ‘Me and Richard Jones’, while ‘Me and Mrs Jones’ by Billy Paul does the same job. But for pure crowd-pleasing throwback vibes, it’s got to be the Counting Crows’ ‘Mr Jones.’ Pass me a bottle, Richard Jones.


Outkast – Ms Jackson

Lucy Jackson took the Millstreet leg of the 2019 series with Superstition, and everything looked rosy for the inexorably cheerful Kiwi representative and her perfect partner. But then everything changed, as it tends to in this sport: with the Olympic deadline looming, Harry Meade made an offer she couldn’t refuse, and Superstition switched flags. That’s the way eventing goes, and no one ever begrudges anyone else for doing what has to be done – but if we were Harry, we’d curate a little ode to Lucy’s careful and sympathetic production of this exceptional horse, and it’d sound a little bit like ‘Miss Jackson’ by Outkast.


A really, really terrible (but remarkably catchy) mash-up of In Da Club and the Thomas the Tank Engine theme song

One of our favourite sartorial *moments* of 2019 came at Badminton, where Tom McEwen appeared to present Toledo de Kerser in a custom-made jacket that, well, made him look like he was running late for his shift checking tickets aboard the Gatwick Express. Unfortunately, none of this year’s legs fall on his birthday in May, but Chatsworth is the closest – so we’d like to see Tom embrace his inner trainspotter and enter at A to this masterpiece.


Will Smith – Gettin’ Jiggy With It

The ‘Year of the Pig’ hashtag certainly took off in 2019, but less popular was our assertion that Will Smith’s perennial banger ‘Gettin’ Jiggy With It’ ought to be the anthem of the annum. Except, you know, getting Piggy with it. Anyway, we stand by our convictions, and would love to see the sport’s leading lady join us for some unapologetic ’90s boppery in 2020.


ABBA – Lay All Your Love On Me

We’ve tried – we’ve really, truly tried – to get Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstal to embrace his heritage and ride to ABBA. (Also to help us put together a Billy bookcase or two, but again, no cigar.) This year, though, we’re certain he’s going to humour us. But which song would we choose? It seems obvious to gravitate towards Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight), which is, of course, ABBA’s best song, but for the sake of maximising those scores, we reckon ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ is the clear winner.


DMX – X Gon’ Give It To Ya

What’s X gon’ give to ya? A solid 10 for that halt, immobility, and salute, one would hope. But if not, he might at least offer up a little bit more impulsion – this, after all, is a beat- and bass-heavy track, and the speakers in the arena are notoriously loud, as France’s Karim Laghouag discovered back in 2018. Since he’s had a bit of practice with them, actually, perhaps he ought to take this one on – he seems like a streetwise sort of chap, right? …Right?


Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm 

It’s time for Ireland’s Brian Morrison to make his name known on the world stage, and what better way to do so than with some classic Monkeys? As far as the lyrics go, it’s pretty much solid gold: “Calm, collected and commanding, you leave the other stories standing/with your renditions and jokes/bet there’s hundreds of blokes/that have wept ’cause you’ve stolen their thunder.” GO STEAL SOME THUNDER, BRIAN. We’ll be busy bopping.


Jidenna – Classic Man

Has there ever been a man who’s fit the bill so perfectly as Alex Hua Tian? The Godfather of Chinese eventing, he’s never seen in anything less than an impeccably tailored suit (unless, of course, he’s actually on a horse – but even then, the cut is perfect, the whites are blindingly white, and there’s nary a hair out of place). We’re ready to see the Don return at his best this year, and we think this tune is the one to coax it out of him. (An aside, men of eventing: please consider taking your trot-up outfit inspiration from this music video. We promise to fancy all of you if you do.)


Ginuwine – Pony

We feel personally attacked every time another ERM leg wraps and yet again, no one has chosen ‘Pony’ by Ginuwine to do lots of thrusty sitting trot to (either avoiding eye contact with a judge or holding it, unblinkingly, depending on the type of person they are). This, surely, is the pinnacle of ERM songs. It’s instantly recognisable as a verifiable CHOON (thanks, Channing Tatum), and it’s a laughably sexy song that relies entirely on wildly unsexy equestrian references. 10s across the board from me for the first person who’s brave enough to crack this one out. Currently holding out hope that Andreas Ostholt is as confident as he looks.