The launch of the TRM/Horse Sport Ireland New Heights Champion Series, today at Ballypatrick Stud received a positive reaction from the showjumping fraternity. This year, the prize fund will stand at over €105,000 and along with this, a range of new prizes have been announced. The series will be sponsored by long term supporters TRM, alongside the National Body, Horse Sport Ireland.
Playing host to the first round, is The Meadows Equestrian Centre in County Armagh on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of April.
The popular series, will consist of eight rounds and a final, which will be take place in Barnadown at the Irish Breeders Classic in September (2nd September). Rounds of the series will also be held in Portmore (29th April), Ballinasloe (27th May), Galway (17th June), Omagh (7th July), Tattersalls (22nd July), Maryville Stables (29th July) and Mulling (5th August).
National Chairman of Showjumping Ireland said: “It is great to have TRM and Horse Sport Ireland’s support for the New Heights Champions Series 2018.This year, the series will be run across nine venues with the final leg being held at the Irish Breeders Classic Show at Barnadown Equestrian Centre on the 2nd of September. After 18 years, Louth County Show is no longer running and our opening leg will now take place at The Meadows Equestrian Centre on the 22nd of April. We have kept the Breeders and Owners Prizes which were there last year and have introduced a Young Rider and Grooms prize at each leg of the series. I would like to wish all our competitors and their teams an enjoyable and successful season.”
The series, which stemmed from the TRM/Horse Sport Ireland Premier Series is without a doubt considered as a valuable stepping stone for riders and horses moving on to the international circuit. Combinations are put through their paces by leading international courses designers, with fences standing at 1.50m
Regarded as the pinnacle of Irish Showjumping, it boasts a lucrative prize fund, both in the individual rounds and for the overall winners. The overall prize fund for the winning athlete combination is set at €2,000, with the runner-up receiving €1,000. There is also a breeders prize up for grabs for the overall top Irish Bred Horses of the series. The winner will receive €2,500, runner-up €1,500, and third place will receive €1,000.
In recognition for their work, grooms will also feature in the prize funds this year, with €200 for the winning groom at each leg and €1,000 to the overall leading groom of the series.
There will also be a €100 TRI Voucher for the top placed Young Rider at each leg and €200 TRI voucher for the top placed young rider at the final. Owners will also be acknowledged, with a token prize being presented to the winning owner of each leg.
Speaking ahead of the series, TRM Managing Director Raoul Masterson said: “TRM are very proud to be associated with the New Heights Champions Series. The inaugural running of this event last year was a resounding success and allowed the perfect platform for many riders to reach their potential. In addition to the lucrative prize fund, there are prizes for owners, grooms, young riders ensuring everyone is rewarded for their hard work and commitment to the sport. We wish all competitors the best of luck and are looking forward to visiting the many wonderful venues throughout the country this summer.”
CEO of Horse Sport Ireland, Ronan Murphy said: “Horse Sport Ireland are delighted to sponsor the New Heights Champions Series again in 2018, in partnership with TRM. The New Heights Champions Grand Prix Series is at the pinnacle of our National show jumping circuit and plays a critically important role in the development of both horses and riders, many of whom use the league as a stepping stone to international competition. We look forward to attending the New Heights Champions Series and watching our talented, National riders compete for a coveted prize fund of over €105,000. We are also looking forward to working closely with SJI, show organisers, riders, owners and all stakeholders for the future development of this important National Show Jumping series”.