Top International Eventers in Search of Catch Rides for Aiken Showcase

Michael Jung has expressed interest in competing at Aiken’s inaugural eventing showcase. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Invitations have been sent out for the $50,000 Grand-Prix Eventing Invitational, and top international event riders have expressed interesting in competing in Aiken’s inaugural eventing showcase on March 1-2, 2019, at Bruce’s Field.

EN confirmed with event organizers that the following riders are interested in competing: Michael Jung, William Fox-Pitt, Astier Nicolas, Padraig McCarthy, Sarah Ennis and Anna Freskgård. If they decide to make the trip, they will need a catch ride to compete.

Australia’s Andrew Hoy has already found a catch ride and will definitely be making the trip across the pond.

The showcase is a USEF recognized competition held at Advanced level. Dressage will take place on the morning of Friday, March 1, using USEF 2018 Advanced Test B. Show jumping will follow on Friday afternoon with a course set at Advanced height and designed by Michel Vaillancourt.

Cross country will be held Saturday afternoon on March 2. Capt. Mark Phillips’s course will run across approximately 2,000 meters with 20 total jumping efforts, including a water complex and banks. Click here for a sneak peek of the jumps, all of which have an Aiken theme.

A total of $50,000 in prize money will be offered thanks to the presenting sponsor, LiftMaster: $15,000 for 1st place, $10,000 for 2nd place, $7,500 for 3rd place; $5,000 for 4th place; $4,000 for 5th place; $3,000 for 6th place; $2,000 for 7th place; $1,500 for 8th place; $1,250 for 9th place; and $750 for 10th place.

Are you interested in offering your horse as a catch ride? As a USEF recognized event, horses must meet the Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER) to compete in a CCI-L of the same height level. Horses need three Advanced MER, plus one Advanced MER with no more than 20 jumping penalties on cross country. One MER must be from within the 12-month period prior to the competition.

All owners will receive a VIP pass and invitations to all social events. The action will kick off on Thursday eventing with a welcome party, calcutta and charity draw. Friday’s festivities will include a champagne brunch in the morning, with an open bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres during show jumping later in the day. A luncheon will take place on Saturday, with an open bar for awards.

If you are interested in offering your horse as a catch ride, please email Shelley Page at [email protected].

General admission tickets will be available for purchase online starting at 7 a.m. EST on Monday, Jan. 14. Click here to purchase tickets.

If you can’t attend Aiken’s inaugural eventing showcase, EQTV Network will be streaming all the action live.

Click here for more information on the competition. Are you planning to attend? Let us know in the comments below.

This article has been updated to include the prize money breakdown.