April 19, 2008

The global sponsorship deal signed by HSBC and the FEI has paved the way for a new prize pot for eventing riders.

The deal covers the sport's prestigious 4* events which will be known as the HSBC FEI Classics. The five 4* events currently on the FEI calendar - Kentucky, Badminton, Luhmuhlen, Burghley, and Pau - will make up the HSBC FEI Classics.

The top ten riders at each 4* event will amass vital points which go towards the HSBC FEI Classics overall ranking where the top five are awarded with prize money. The $US1,000,000 contributed by HSBC will be distributed over the next three years, which when broken down makes the highest prize pot available in the world of eventing on a yearly basis.
1st: $150,000
2nd: $75,000
3rd: $50,000
4th: $33,333
5th: $25,000

The concept has met with support from multi-World, Olympic, and European medallist, Badminton and four-time Burghley winner William Fox-Pitt, who said eventing was renowned for low prize money. "This is fantastic news. Hopefully this sort of prize fund will help raise the profile of the sport generating more media interest, give riders a thrilling target and reward the sponsors. This is a very exciting step forward."

Alex McLin, FEI Secretary General, said: "We are convinced that this new formula will mark the start of a new chapter in the development of Eventing and have no doubt that this energizing momentum will also have positive effects on equestrian sport in general."