Jumping takes a punt with new series
An exciting new show jumping series which will see national and international riders competing for a generous prize-fund of €20,000 kicks off at the Millstreet International Welcome Tour this week.
This will form the first of four qualifiers of Bet Show Jumping Live, which hopes to make show jumping more accessible to the general public by offering betting on the horses and riders.
Initiated by Robert Fagan of Mullingar Equestrian Centre, and supported by sponsors Devenish and the HSI Innovation Fund, the series will also take in qualifiers at Louth County Show (April 25), Galway Equestrian Centre (May 3) and Mullingar International (May 30), with the final taking place at the venue the following day.
The four qualifiers will be contested over a similar course. Height will be set at 1.30 metre, rather than the standard 1.50 metre for international competitions. This will be replicated at each of the four venues.
A form sheet, similar to a race card, will be distributed to the audience and the off-course betting punters prior to the final to assist them in placing their bets.
There will be an open draw to form the four groups of eight riders in the final. The winning horse and rider from each of the four groups will then go forward to the final. The winner will receive €10,000, with €5,000 for second place, €3,000 for third and €2,000 for fourth.
Owen Brennan, executive chairman of Devenish, explained the importance of this competition.