The Professional Riders Organization ended a successful weekend at the Cosequin Stuart Horse Trials on Sunday. The weekend included guided course walks, a reception for new members, an exciting silent auction and PRO riders winning top honors.
“We were pleased by the reception the Professional Riders Organization received at Stuart,” said Laura VanderVliet, a distinguished event rider and PRO founder. “Not only are we grateful for the encouragement and excitement riders and spectators expressed, we are extremely proud of how our riders performed.”
PRO kicked off the weekend with guided course walks led by PRO member Karen O’Connor on Friday. Following the course walks, PRO hosted a wine and cheese reception with Bit of Britain. Dozens of riders attended to learn more about PRO and express interest in membership. More than 20 riders and fans joined PRO’s ranks throughout the weekend.
PRO celebrated Stuart’s 20th anniversary of competition on Saturday with riders signing autographs and offering photo opportunities. PRO also launched an exciting silent auction that will continue through September. All proceeds from the auction will benefit PRO’s Prize Money Fund, which will issue its first award at the Plantation Field International Horse Trials.
“The start of our silent auction generated a lot of excitement and participation,” VanderVliet said. “PRO was formed by career riders who have devoted their lives to the sport, and the PRO Prize Money Fund will directly benefits their livelihoods.”
PRO was formed in 2009 by a group of leading professional riders who felt they had a special obligation to and interest in strengthening the sport of eventing. In addition to representing the goals and objectives of professional riders, PRO is also dedicated to elevating the level of competition, contributing to ongoing rider education, improving the standards of competition and promoting safety while working to attract new fans, sponsors and participants.
Though formed with professional riders in mind, PRO plans to work with the eventing community to increase spectators’ involvement. As eventing grows in popularity, PRO will work with both current and prospective fans to raise its profile to that of more mainstream, high profile sports. Through partnership with sponsors and spectators, PRO will work to make eventing more exciting and dynamic as it continues to evolve.
The weekend at Stuart was a success for PRO on and off the course. Eleven PRO riders competed at varying levels at Stuart. Among the crowded field, successful finished included:
- Bonnie Mosser and Merloch in 2nd place in the CIC**,
- Karen O’Connor and Mandiba in 3rd place in the CIC**,
- Sinead Halpin and Manior de Carneville in 1st place in Intermediate,
- Mara Dean in 2nd place in Open Intermediate, 1st place in Open Preliminary A and 2nd place in Open Preliminary B,
- Matt Flynn in 3rd place in Open Preliminary A,
- Peter Atkins in 3rd place in Open Preliminary B,
- and Doug Payne in 1st place in Novice Horse.
For more information on PRO, please visit www.professionalriders.org.