Alec Lochore of Musketeer Event Management and Stuart Buntine of BEDE Events have joined forces to launch an exciting new CIC3* Grand Slam, thanks to generous sponsorship from Shearwater Insurance.
The Shearwater Insurance Tri-Star Grand Slam has a refreshingly tempting £50,000, ‘winner-takes-all’ prize for any rider who can win three of the five CIC3* events; Burnham Market International, Belton International, Houghton International, Hopetoun International and Burgham International in 2016.
Jeremy Lawton, Managing Director of Shearwater Insurance, is a long-standing supporter of eventing, Shearwater Insurance famously owning 2004 individual Olympic gold medal winning Shear l’Eau as well as his 2000 Olympic team silver medal winning brother Shear H2O. Jeremy’s in-depth knowledge of the sport ranges from horses starting out at their first events to those tackling the biggest competitions on the circuit.
“We are delighted to be sponsoring the Shearwater Insurance Tri-Star Grand Slam. Being experienced event horse owners ourselves we have supported the sport for many years and recognise the importance of offering good prize money across all levels of competition.
“The costs involved in owning, training and entering horses have only increased and we want to ensure that all riders have the potential to cover these costs. The hope is that by creating a prize pot of £50,000 we can not only support dedicated owners and riders but also raise the profile of the sport. By pitching the prize fund at the 3* level we believe that we have created a real opportunity for aspiring and amateur riders to win a significant amount of money,” explained Jeremy.
“As multiple event organisers and past competitors, Stuart and I are only too aware of the costs involved, both in competing and in ‘running the show’, said Alec Lochore. “Facilitating opportunities like this, I hope, show competitors that we are responding to their concerns regarding the level of prize money available in the sport and rewarding them for their skill and dedication.”
“To have such enthusiastic support from Shearwater Insurance is fantastic,” added Stuart. “Its generous prize fund is a real ‘golden goose’ that we hope will bring out the competitive nature of all riders competing at 3* level, and reward any rider who can achieve what is anything but an easy task.”
Martyn Johnson, organiser of Burgham Horse Trials, expressed his enthusiasm for the Grand Slam. ‘I am delighted Burgham is a part of the Shearwater Insurance Tri-Star Grand Slam. It is a great concept which I think will really help to promote the sport and is a giant step in progressing the issues surrounding prize money for riders. A huge thanks should go to Jeremy Lawton and Shearwater as well for joining Stuart and Alec in his support of this progressive initiative.’
Early rider feedback has been positive. Australian Badminton winner Paul Tapner commented: “Eventing is a hugely popular, exciting and extreme equestrian sport. It is long overdue a prize fund to match its exhilarating nature and reward the expertise and dedication of the participants, both human and equine.
“International Event Riders on the world’s most competitive competition circuit here in the UK will all be hugely excited and motivated by the Tri-Star Grand Slam innovation. We are massively grateful to Shearwater Insurance for their longstanding, and now substantially increased, support of our sport.”
David Holmes, British Eventing Chief Executive, added; “British Eventing are delighted to be a part of this exciting new Grand Slam initiative; delivering riders, owners, sponsors and spectators with a thrilling competition to follow throughout the season. It is great to see the support of Shearwater Insurance who are able to help provide riders and their connections with a generous prize pot to aim for through some of the most prestigious three star events in the country.”