Behind the Rider

Published : 10/03/2017 11:11:04
Categories : Latest News

Behind the Rider

Behind the Rider - Emily Mumford from Inkpot & Press

Emily Mumford from Inkpot & Press talks to us about what goes on behind the scenes at events – as a member of the Event Rider Masters team and as a PR and for a four star event rider, we hear what it’s really like…
I run a tiny little PR business offering PR, Social Media and Copywriting support to Equestrian, Artisan and Countryside-based businesses. Having worked for a very high-flying copywriter during Uni and then going on to manage a busy local cafe/restaurant and country clothing store situated on a privately owned stately home estate, I found my dream job as Assistant Events Director at BEDE Events Ltd where I learnt a huge amount about all aspects of running both National and International Equestrian Events from booking loos to looking after sponsors, I’ve done it all!
I somewhat fell into doing the marketing for BEDE which involved promoting Belton International Horse Trials, The Gillespie MacAndrew Hopetoun International Horse Trials and The Osberton International Horse Trials inc. The British Eventing KBIS Young Horse Championships as well as the five other national events that we ran at the time - Oasby (1) & (2), Shelford (1) & (2) and Prestwold Hall. I absolutely loved this part of my job although it took up a huge amount of my time… Seeing the results that effective marketing could achieve first hand gave me a huge buzz and coupled with my “logoleptic” tendencies, I decided to follow my dreams and set out on my own as a freelance PR agent in April 2016.

I’m currently working with a number of very exciting clients, some of whom are event riders, others run larger event and sales yards and some are companies immersed heavily in the world of eventing. There isn’t a prerequisite for my clients to be involved in the Sport, it just seems to have happened that way so far and I’m not complaining!
I am very lucky in that I get to work with the amazing James Sommerville and his team managing and delivering his PR. This involves liaising with both Equestrian and National main-stream media, sourcing sponsors, writing Press Releases, monitoring social media activity (his head girl Lucie is incredible with keeping everyone up to date over SM), attending events with the team and generally “fan-girling” at every given opportunity - which isn’t hard to do!

Another of my clients is the incredible Event Rider Masters. I don’t actually do the PR for ERM but am part of the team on a Freelance basis helping out wherever I can. I’ve been referred to as a “vitally important pair of safe hands” which is lovely and I guess describes exactly what I am to the ERM team.
My role is very flexible. If there is a hole that needs plugging I’m the one who plugs it, which I love. It enables me to learn and experience new things every time I work with the gang and so far everything I have been tasked with has been fab! Recently at Leg 2 in Wiesbaden I spent time working within the Graphics department alongside CGS. Our regular ‘equestrian eyes’ weren’t with us in Germany so I was deployed to be the ‘spotter’ and to keep the real graphics pros on the right lines. I even got to play with putting the graphics up on screen myself which I LOVED. Working closely with the Red Handed TV crew is incredible – they are a seriously talented bunch who are still only in their equestrian programme infancy and what they are achieving already is phenomenal. I genuinely can’t wait to see what they can do at Blenheim!

I experience so many “wow” moments in my job but my absolute highlight both professionally and personally has to be putting James (Sommerville) and his beautiful top horse, Talent, in to the Badminton start box for their first ever go at 4* this year. The whole team work so incredibly hard and Talent isn’t the easiest of horses but somehow they have got him to the very top of the sport and both boys were amazing all week. Personally being there with them gave me a huge buzz as Jimmy and Lucie have become very good friends of mine so to see them both achieve a goal as big as that was very emotional.
Unfortunately Badminton didn’t quite go to plan when, having ridden a near foot-perfect round, Talent and James had a misunderstanding at Fence 19 on course and parted company. The boys picked themselves up and reminded us all why they are so incredible by winning the Open Intermediate at Bishop Burton and finishing seventh at the CCI3* at Bramham International Horse Trials. I went to see the team on Saturday and took a trip to the Hiho stand too. I’m hoping to be walking James and Talent into another 4* start box at the beginning of September but I don’t want to jinx anything so shh!

The Event Rider Masters is, in my opinion, the most exciting thing to ever happen to eventing. Offering unprecedented Prize Money Pots, regular main stream TV coverage, live action online streaming and excitement the likes of which have not been seen in Eventing for a very long time, I genuinely believe that it is the future. Working towards making the sport more attractive to big player sponsors, the ERM team bring together expertise from the Worlds of event organisation, multi-media distribution, top-level event riding, racing and tv presenting to offer a Series that will revolutionise Eventing as we know it by showcasing it at it’s very best to Global audiences.
It was a year ago to the day that I was sitting in the Riders’ briefing at Bramham with my lovely friend Emily Prangnell (who was competing in the U25s) when Paul Tapner tapped me on the shoulder. They were short of someone to help with the live social media coverage of the ERM dressage and he wondered if I could step in and I haven’t looked back!

There have been a few already but my stand out favourite moment of the 2017 series so far has the be the look on Sarah “Cutty” Cohen’s face when she realised she had won Leg 2 in Wiesbaden. I genuinely don’t believe that there has been a more deserved winner than Sarah who keeps her lovely boy Treason at home in the field with her daughter’s pony and no facilities whatsoever. She kept referring to herself as a happy hacker which I loved!
I am seriously looking forward to going abroad again with the ERM gang and we head out for Leg 4 to Haras de Jardy just after Leg 3 at Barbury, but I think I am most looking forward to the Series Finale at Blenheim in September. The forward leaps that ERM has already taken since last year in terms of technology, coverage, organisation and support have been phenomenal so to see what they can achieve at the end of this year makes me very very giddy!

I was once asked if working in Event Organisation was as glamorous as it looks… I’m sure you can imagine my answer, and working for ERM is no different (don’t get me wrong though, I wouldn’t change any of my clients for the world!) The hours are long, the weather can be cruel and most of the time you are in the middle of a random field with sketchy internet and almost no phone signal. I will never forget seeing what I think epitomises Event Organisation when one of my BEDE colleagues walked towards me wearing ill-fitting marigolds, bin juice quite literally all over her and the Grantham Cup tucked under one arm… I’m not sure you can match the buzz though, standing back and watching what you have worked tirelessly to organise being enjoyed by thousands of people in exactly the way you hoped it would be…

Share this content