Reddick, FL — The Ocala Jockey Club and Equiventures are pleased to announce that a record-breaking $100,000 in prize money will be awarded at the inaugural Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event to be held over Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 24-27, 2016, in Reddick, Florida. The purse is the highest amount offered by any recognized event below the four-star level in North America.
The pressing need to inject more prize money into the sport has long been lamented by professional event riders around the world, and Ocala Jockey Club owners Erik and Pavla Nygaard are committed not only to hosting a world class event at their facility, but also to offering a prize pot that will attract the sport’s top riders.
“The Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event has generated a great buzz in the U.S. eventing community and with international riders,” Erik Nygaard said. “We are excited about bringing top-level eventing to Ocala. This level of prize money fits with our desire to attract top eventing riders and will position the competition as one of the sport’s premier destination events for years to come.”
The event, organized by Equiventures and featuring 2012 London Olympics Eventing Manager Alec Lochore as Event Director, will host a CIC3*, CCI2* and CCI* at the inaugural Thanksgiving event, which will unveil brand new cross country courses from world-renowned designer Mike Etherington-Smith and Olympian Clayton Fredericks.
Equiventures CEO Richard Trayford believes professional event riders should be afforded the same opportunity to compete for a substantial amount of prize money like athletes in any other top sport.
“Event riders need the opportunity to earn enough at a competition to make a living out of being a competitor,” Trayford said. “We want to contribute to the goal of having professional riders be focused on competing.”
As Thoroughbred racehorse owners and breeders, the Nygaards have also earmarked a portion of the $100,000 in prize money to reward the top-placing Thoroughbreds competing in the Thanksgiving event.
“We want to build an audience for this sport,” Richard said. “It’s not about about how generous we are; it’s about a properly thought-out plan to improve the future of eventing by bringing in a bigger audience. The way forward is to modernize the sport and address the commercial aspect and demands.”
About 200 acres of the 950-acre Ocala Jockey Club property serve as a Thoroughbred training farm, and 400 acres have been set aside to build a cross country course and arenas to host a competition of this magnitude. The facility also includes a 9,700 square-foot clubhouse and rental townhouses.
It was when four-star event rider Jennie Brannigan rented one of the townhouses during the winter season two years ago that the Nygaards were first introduced to the idea of developing part of the property to host a prestigious eventing competition.
Construction is well underway on the new eventing facility, with Tyson Rementer and Levi Ryckewaert building the cross country courses. Four-star show jumping designer Richard Jeffery is designing the stadium courses and also developed the facility’s site plan. CIC3* cross country course designer Mike Etherington-Smith is also consulting with the overall event planning.
The Ocala Jockey Club will also bid to host a CCI4* event in 2018. If approved, the CCI4* would be the second event at that level in North America and the seventh in the world, joining Rolex Kentucky, Badminton, Luhmühlen, Burghley, Pau and Adelaide.
Ticket sales for the 2016 Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event will open June 1, 2016. For more information on the Ocala Jockey Club, visit www.ocalajc.com. For more information on event organizer Equiventures, visit www.equiventures.com.
Boyd Martin claimed the CCI4*-L victory at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event riding Luke 140, owned by The Luke 140 Syndicate. California rider Tamie Smith held the lead and second place with Danito and En Vogue, respectively, with the two swapping placings after cross-country, and Martin and Luke 140 maintaining third place through both phases. But two rails down for Danito dropped him to fourth place and En Vogue was relegated to third with three rails down, opening the door for Martin and Luke 140 to clinch the win.
Will Faudree shared the news yesterday that his legendary event horse, Antigua, passed away at the age of 32. In a Facebook post he said:
“I always thought I would have something profound to write. A eulogy that would encapsulate the impact you had on my life. And maybe those words will come. You taught me what a work ethic is, how to think in slow motion and how to just keep going. You laid the foundation for a career I dreamed of as a kid. Thank you will never be enough. I will miss you every day- rest easy my friend.”
While her two horses swapped places for first and second after cross-country, Tamra Smith maintained both the lead and second place with two clear rounds and minimal time faults at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event Presented by BW Furlong and Associates and Zoetis. The 16-year-old Hanoverian mare En Vogue (Earl x Laurena) is just a little more experienced than her barn mate Danito, also owned by Ruth Bley, so she was also a little quicker around the big, challenging course that twisted and turned through the Horse Park of New Jersey. En Vogue leads on a 27.1 and Danito is second with 31.9, with Boyd Martin maintaining third place with the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding Luke 140 (Landos x Omega VI), owned by the Luke 140 Syndicate.
California rider Tamra Smith holds the lead and second position in the CCI4*-L at the Jersey Fresh International (JFI) CCI at the Horse Park of New Jersey in Allentown. Smith scored 23.9 today with Danito, Ruth Bley’s 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Dancier x Wie Musik), to take the lead from her other mount, the 16-year-old Hanoverian mare (Earl x Laurena) En Vogue, also owned by Bley, who was the overnight leader after scoring 24.3 yesterday. Boyd Martin of Cochranville, Pa. holds third place with Luke 140, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Landos x Omega VI) owned by the Luke 140 Syndicate, on a score of 25.6.