Barbury 2016: Event Rider Masters CIC3* Preview

Statistically the Barbury leg of the Event Rider Masters series will present the most challenging cross country test. On average, just 63% of combinations jump clear.

  • Bramham (67%)
  • Blair Castle (67%)
  • Chatsworth (70%)
  • Gatcombe (71%)
  • Blenheim (79%)

If they do jump clear … the cross country time will be a serious factor here.

Chatsworth (0.3% within time on average) is the most difficult leg in the series in this regard and produced just one clear within the time (Chris Burton and TS Jamaimo).

Bramham (16%) was by far the easiest leg in the series based on past trends and it produced 11 combinations within the optimum time.

Barbury Castle trends at 4% within the time, but in 2015 it hit an all-time high and 11% came home without time penalties. However, from 2005 to 2008 no one managed to beat the Barbury clock, and the first person ever to do so was EquiRatings founder Sam Watson (Horseware Bushman in 2009)!

Event Rider Masters Series: Jumping

Show jumping clear rounds are likely to be more frequent at Barbury than we have seen so far in the series. Bramham (26%), Blenheim (29%) and Chatsworth (32%) are trending as the tougher venues to attain clear rounds since 2010.

Blair (36%), Gatcombe (37%) and Barbury (40%) have been the easier venues in recent years over the CIC3 star tracks. So far in the ERM series, Chatsworth produced 17 clears (43%) and Bramham produced just 9 (25%).

Records to Watch

The record dressage test at Barbury was set in an Olympic year. In 2008, Lucinda Fredericks posted a 30.8 with the prolific Headley Britannia. She then on to win the competition and 36 days later she led the Olympic Games with a very similar score of 30.4. Can Olympic fever once again see records tumble?

Dressage supremos have a strong record at Barbury. Only seven combinations have scored below 35 and all of these 7 went on to finish in the top three — four of them went on to win! Headley Britannia was one of them and the other was Barbury legend Avebury who has won here a staggering four times, three of which came from a sub-35 dressage score. Both of these horses are by the stallion Jumbo.

The record finishing score appropriately belongs to Avebury. His fourth title, won last year (2015), saw him lead from start to finish on a score of 33.9 and it surpassed his own previous record of 35.2 which he set in 2013. Andrew Nicholson holds five of the best eight finishing scores on record at Barbury.

The best dressage test by some margin so far in the ERM series belongs to Kitty King (Ceylor LAN) with her 32.9 at Chatsworth. The best finishing score comes from leg 2 at Bramham where winner Alex Hua-Tian finished on his dressage score of 40.1.

For the Fans

The 2015 finishing score is 25 marks lower than the 2005 score, and the trend in between has supported a steady drop in scoring. It provokes a lot of questions, all of which can be supported by good data analysis. Is Barbury getting easier? Is the standard getting higher?

No one made the time at Barbury until 2009. Up to and including 2010, 3 from 630 (or 0.5%) had beaten the clock. Last year 11% went inside the time.

Is the time easier to get or are more people capable of going faster?

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