Capt. Mark Phillips new FEI course designer for Virginia Horse Trials

cross country course
By Phelps Media Group, Inc.

Capt. Mark Phillips is the new FEI course designer for the Virginia Horse Trials on May 25-28, 2017, and October 26-29, 2017.

The Virginia Horse Center features two separate cross country courses, each with rolling terrain and a stunning view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Capt. Phillips will design the CCI*, CIC2*, CCI2* and Intermediate tracks, with VHT Organizer Andy Bowles assisting at the two-star level and John Michael Durr, designer of the Beginner Novice through Preliminary courses, assisting at the one-star level.

“We’re glad to be bringing Mark to VHT,” Bowles said. “Our hope is that his experience will increase the quality of our FEI courses and present to the competitors a challenge that is true to the level and appropriate for a destination event.”

The FEI and Intermediate competitors will experience a totally new cross country challenge than in past years. The course has been reversed and a second water complex will be built.

“There had been some concern that the Oak Hill course sent horses downhill too long near the end of the course, so to lessen the impact on the horses we reversed the track,” Bowles said. “Now all the significant climbing is done within the first third of the course. This will also place the finish line and vet box closer to the road crossing back to the barns.”

The team also received feedback on the cross-country footing and so have committed considerable efforts towards preparing the best possible galloping conditions. Construction and jump placement are scheduled to be completed early to preserve the footing on cross country, and all tracks will be aerated in advance of both competitions. Mowing has already begun and will continue on a regular basis throughout the year.

This year we’re really focused on good grass maintenance. Between mowing, aerating and keeping heavy machinery off the course as much as possible, we expect the footing to be better than ever,” Bowles said.

“We’re sincerely listening to competitor feedback and making every effort to set a high standard and provide a world-class experience for horses and riders.”

The second cross country area is home to the Beginner Novice through Preliminary courses designed by John Michael Durr. As a USEF “r” Course Designer, he joined the VHT team as part of the Course Design Mentor Program in 2015 under the tutelage of John Nicholson. As part of the natural progression for the program, Durr will be assisting Capt. Phillips in designing the one-star courses this year.

“It feels great to be involved in the design of an FEI course for the first time in my career,” Durr said. “My goal as a course designer is to educate horses and riders and prepare them for the next level. Being a part of the Mentor Program has given me invaluable experience, and I’m excited for the next step in my own education as a designer.”

The Horse Center course will also feature a newly constructed water complex that will be unveiled in May. Durr feels that this addition, as well as the multitude of other new fences constructed at VHT in the last two years, will “maximize the experience” for competitors.
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Virginia Horse Trials to host cross country schooling days

By Phelps Media Group
VHT1016_XC_Threlkeld-9907The Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) will host three Starter Horse Trials and Cross-Country Schooling Days this year at the Virginia Horse Center. The dates of the 2017 VHT Horse Trials Starter Horse Trials, Combined Test and Dressage Schooling show are April 2, a date to be decided in August, and October 1.

These events feature a unique educational format and award excellent prizes from sponsors. On Saturday, the cross-country course will be open for schooling, and the Starter Horse Trials will take place the next day. This year  will offer the opportunity to work with clinician Mark Combs during the cross-country schooling on Saturday.

Horse trials levels range from Green (2’3″) to Preliminary (3’7″). Competitors may choose to compete in all three phases or do a combined test with dressage and their choice of show jumping or cross country. There is also an option for beginner riders to do an Intro dressage test and jump an 18″ stadium course. Riders may also enter to ride standalone USEA, USDF or FEI Eventing dressage tests.

Presenting sponsor Blue Ridge Equine Clinic is giving embroidered quilted saddle pads to the winners of each horse trials division and providing a hospitality tent with beverages and snacks. McCauley’s Equine Formula, Easy Pellett Products, Merial and Buchanan Livestock, LLC have also donated prizes for the April 2, 2017 Starter Trials. Ribbons will be awarded through sixth place.

“Blue Ridge Equine Clinic is proud of its long history of collaboration with the Virginia Horse Center and the Virginia Horse Trials. We are always excited to participate in the horse trials each year,” said Dr. Donovan Dagner, BREC President. “This year we are looking forward to an increasing role in the expansion of the Virginia Starter Trials and their new ties to the War Horse Event Series at the Carolina Horse Park. The War Horse Event Series is a great community event in support of noble and worthy causes.”

All three 2017 VHT Starter Trials will be considered qualifiers for the $20,000 War Horse Event Series Championship taking place at the Carolina Horse Park November 11-12, 2017. To be eligible for the Championship, a horse and rider must either A) place 1st or 2nd once or complete all three schooling shows at the Virginia Horse Trials or B) place 1st through 6th once or complete all five schooling shows at the Carolina Horse Park.

Eventing in Virginia sets Jumper Derby Jan. 28 and Feb. 11 at Virginia Horse Center

Eventing In Virginia

At the Virginia Horse Center, Lexington, VA

January 28 & February 11, 2017

Points will count for Eventing In Virginia year end awards!

A Jumper Derby combines stadium jumps and cross country jumps that might typically be encountered at an event or horse trial. This is a good test of your horse’s willingness to jump a mix of fences or varied terrain. This competition is open to any eventer, hunter or jumper who wants to practice for the upcoming season or wants to add a little variety and fun to their jumping. Anyone who wants to have fun in a low key casual atmosphere is welcome!!!

All Divisions will consist of 3 rounds:

Round 1: Optimum time round. Set course, the rider with the least amount of penalties and closest to optimum time wins. (time will not be disclosed prior to the round until all riders  have gone).

Round 2: Speed round with Jump off. Set course, if clear rider can stay for jump off round after bell or whistle. Least penalties and fastest time wins.

Round 3: Gambler’s Choice round. All obstacles will have a set value, each rider will be given a set amount of time to jump as many of these obstacles clear as possible, the rider with the most points at the end of the division wins.

Entry Fees:

  • $25/class or $65/division plus $20 Grounds fee applies to every horse not stabling PRE-ENTRIES ONLY! TIMES WILL BE ASSIGNED PROIR TO EVENT!
  • Entries close Wednesday, January 25.
  • Entries available online http://www.eventinginvirginia.com or mail them to Eventing In Virginia, PO Box 13, Greenville, VA 24440. PayPal available.  Make checks payable to GC Equestrian/Brookhill

Divisions: if enough entries will divide into Senior/Junior

Tadpole – Rails on the ground up to 6 – 8 inches tall

Green – Fences up to 18” tall

Advanced Green –2’0 – 2’3 verticals

Beginner Novice – 2’4 -2’7 verticals & oxers

Novice – 2’8 – 2”11 verticals & oxers – may have fake Liverpool and skinny

Training – 3’0- 3’3 verticals, oxers – may have Liverpool, corner and skinny

Preliminary – 3’4 – 3’7- verticals, oxers may have Liverpool, corners & skinnies, bounces

Intermediate/Advanced – 3’7-4’3 verticals, oxers, Liverpool, corners & skinnies, bounces.

 

General Rules and Regulations:

  • Generally run according to USEA rules where applicable. The organizer further reserves the right to combine or split classes within the division if entries warrant. No classes will be run out of order.
  • MUST PRE-ENTRY! Entries close Wednesday January 25th & Wednesday February 8th.  TIMES WILL BE POSTED & EMAILED BY THURSDAY AFTERNOON/FRIDAY MORNING BEFORE SHOW & POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE.
  • Entries available online http://www.eventinginvirginia.com or mail them to Eventing In Virginia, PO Box 13, Greenville, VA 24440. PayPal available.  Make checks payable to GC Equestrian/jumper derby
  • No unauthorized assistance will be allowed. Riders must perform their courses from memory
  • Horses may be competed in up to 2 consecutive divisions
  • Attire: Informal but neat and tidy. SEI/ASTM Helmets are required. Medical armbands strongly recommended.
  • Tack & equipment: only running martingales are permitted.
  • Courses will be open for walking the night before the event, the morning of prior to 8am and just prior to each division. Arena will be open for flat schooling only the day before and prior to 8am the morning of. Competition will begin no earlier than 8am.
  • Ribbons 1st – 6th for each class and Champion and reserve champion for each division. All points accumulated will go towards Eventing In Virginia 2016 year end awards.
  • Event will fill in a first come first serve basis
  • Please include current coggins with the registration form
  • $5 off total discount for Area 2 Adult Riders members and Pony Club member, must have proof!
  • Address: Maury River Road, Lexington, VA
  • Stabling: On grounds, $30/stall per day
  • For more information, please email Gammon Castellvi (gammonlee@gmail.com)

Virginia Horse Trials under way at Virginia Horse Center

The Virginia CCI/CIC and Horse Trials began today at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia, when the CCI* and CCI2* competitors presented their horses to the ground jury during the First Horse Inspection.

Virginia Horse Trials is hosting three FEI divisions this week — an Adult Team Challenge, Beginner Novice through Intermediate horse trials, and is also the site of the 2016 Area II Championships for the second consecutive year. With close to 550 horses on the grounds, it is one of the largest events in Area II.

“We are thrilled with the turnout for this year’s fall event. We have about 50 more entries than we did this time last year and it’s great to see the event growing and a positive response to the new CCI2*,” VHT organizer Andy Bowles said. “A lot is going on between the FEI classes, the Adult Team Challenge and the Area II Championships, but we have a great staff here to help everything run smoothly and we are looking forward to a great event.”

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Dressage begins Friday for the CCI*/CCI2* and Intermediate competitors, but the first nine horses in the CIC2* went down the centerline this afternoon. Olympian Boyd Martin was the first to enter the ring on Christine Turner’s 9-year-old mare Kyra. “(The entries) are impressive and it goes to show how strong the sport of eventing is in America at the moment. I’m excited to be a part of it,” he said.

Martin will compete a total of eight horses in the Intermediate and FEI divisions and said he was thankful the VHT organizing committee added another CCI2* to the calendar. “The venue is well suited to a CCI. It’s a big open space with undulating country and the jumping and dressage is always top notch here.”

Martin will ride all of his entries on the cross country course on the Oak Hill side of the road, a track which is designed by John Nicholson of New Zealand. VHT is the only event in the U.S. where Nicholson designs. “It’s good to have a bit of variety,” Martin said. “The course will have a different flavor than our usual American course designers. That’s good. We’ve got to get used to different types of questions.”

Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champion Ryan Wood has brought five horses to VHT as a wrap up to the fall season. Wood has one FEI ride, one in the Preliminary Championships and three horses competing at the Training level. “It’s a good event for the young horses to get experience,” he said. “It’s a good strong course for the one-star and a good test to set them up to go Intermediate and (aim for) a spring two-star.”

The Beginner Novice through Preliminary horse trials and Beginner Novice through Training Area II Championships cross country courses on the Horse Center side of the road have been designed by John Michael Durr. His work was featured first during the May Horse Trials as part of the VHT Course Designer Mentor Program. This weekend he unveils fresh tracks and a variety of newly built fences.

The Area II Adult Riders Program is once again hosting an Adult Team Challenge, a friendly team competition open to riders from any Area that are aged 21 and older. A total of 18 teams will compete together at the Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels, vying for neck ribbons and medals for the top finishers and enjoying several scheduled social activities throughout the weekend.

Follow Virginia Horse Trials on Facebook for photos and updates throughout the event. Live Scores can be found on Event Entries by clicking here.

Virginia Horse Trials to host first CCI2* event at fall championships Oct. 27-30

john-michael-durr_0
John Michael Durr, course designer for Beginner Novice through Preliminary courses at the Virginia Horse Trials. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

The Virginia CCI/CIC and Horse Trials has several changes coming to its fall event at the Virginia Horse Center. The Oct. 27-30 competition serves as the 2016 Area II Championship for Beginner Novice through Intermediate levels. The Virginia Horse Trials team is also preparing to host their first CCI2* in addition to the established CIC2* and CCI*.

One new component of the championship will be the addition of junior divisions at all levels except intermediate. For divisions that finish on Sunday, awards will be given out in the competition rings at the conclusion of each class.

With the group’s FEI course designer John Nicholson as his mentor, John Michael Durr designed the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Preliminary courses on the horse center side of the road. Nicholson designed the two-star, one-star, Intermediate and Preliminary Championship courses on the Oak Hill side of the road.

The competition will once again include a Adult Rider Team Challenge this year. Adult riders from any area are invited to compete in the challenge, and you do not need to be a member of the USEA Adult Rider Program to participate.

Riders who are competing in the Area II Championship at Virginia Horse Trials may also be a member of a team for the challenge. However, all members of the team must compete at the same level. The challenge is for Beginner Novice through Preliminary teams only. Team ribbons will be awarded through eighth place and Area II Adult Riders will receive a gift sponsored by Sagmae.

Include all stabling requests on your entry form and mail to the event secretary. Email Donna Bottner (drbottner@gmail.com) with your team information or request to be placed on a team.

Visit www.vahorsetrials.com and the Omnibus page for more information about the fall Virginia CCI/CIC and Horse Trials. Get your entries in: the closing date is Tuesday, October 11.

Virginia Horse Center to host first USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Team Championship

The Virginia Horse Trials in May at the Virginia Horse Center will host the inaugural USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Team Championship in 2016, the United States Eventing Association recently announced in a news release.

The championship will take place May 26-29 as part of the Virginia Horse Trials. Beginner Novice through Advanced/Intermediate levels will be offered as well as CCI1* and CIC2* divisions. All affiliated schools are encouraged to attend and compete for the title of Intercollegiate Champion.

“The Virginia Horse Trials have hosted challenges that include colleges and universities for a number of years.  First under the leadership of Brian and Penny Ross, and now under Andy Bowles,” USEA CEO Rob Burk said.  “As the birthplace of Intercollegiate Eventing Team Competition it only seemed fitting to award the inaugural USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Team Championship to this top-class facility and event.”

Each team in the Championship will consist of three or four members. Only three individual scores will count toward the collective team score, so teams of four will have one a “drop” score. Schools may send multiple teams, and each team may consist of riders competing at different levels. To account for differences in level difficulty, a coefficient system has been put in place.

The team with the lowest collective score wins. Top teams will be recognized and presented with prizes in a collegiate awards ceremony at the end of the competition.

“I am very honored to have been chosen as the inaugural USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Team Championship, as part of our ongoing commitment to team competitions we will be adding a dedicated member of staff during the Event, to assist in the smooth running from entries to results and the overall experience of the teams,” said Virginia Horse Trials Organizer Andy Bowles.

Although this Championship Event will determine which college or university team will be named the 2016 Intercollegiate Champions, collegiate individuals will still be recognized for year-end points accumulated throughout the season.

Related:

 

GET YOUR HORSE FIX: Equestrian events Feb. 14-15 near Roanoke

A deep plunge of cold air is coming just in time for Valentine’s Day this year, which may not make you enjoy heading out with the horses quite so much. But if your heart yearns only for horses, no matter the weather, you can still feed that hunger.

VIRGINIA HORSE CENTER

The Polar Bear Horse Show is a very aptly named event this year. The hunter schooling show will be held in the East Complex at the center. The event includes classes on the flat and over fences and begins at 8:30 both Saturday and Sunday. Casual attire is permitted except in the equitation classes. Find the schedule of classes here.

TAKE A ROAD TRIP

  • Clinic:  Lana Affemann Performance-Horses and Stark Performance Horses will be holding a clinic on grooming your horse and showing in halter and showmanship Feb. 14-15 in Smithfield, Va. (4-hour drive from Roanoke.) For more information or to RSVP, contact Hillary Stark at Hrstark184@yahoo.com or (757)705-3648.
  • Gymnastics Clinic with Paul Ebersole at Morven Park’s indoor arena in Leesburg, Va. (3-hour drive). Lessons will last one hour for groups of three or four riders, for all levels from Green horses and going up through the Eventing levels (Baby BN, BN, N,T,P,I)  Ebersole will also offer a cross country clinic Feb 28-Mar 1st at Morven. Cost is $90 per horse which includes Morven’s ring fee. Auditors are welcome to watch at no charge. To sign up, please email Pat Palmer at ppalmerwheatland@aol.com.

ONLINE

arabian
The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is the largest all-Arabian horse show in the world.

If you’d rather just stay wrapped up in a blanket inside during this bitter weekend, thankfully these days you can do so and still be at the horse show.

A LOOK AHEAD

GET YOUR FIX: Horse events in the Roanoke area Jan. 17-18

We just had our first messy snowfall and the recent single-digit temperatures here in the Roanoke Valley may have you feeling a bit fuzzy, but that doesn’t mean the horse world has ground to a stop. And now when your own horse activities may have slowed down for the winter is when you just might need that horse fix the most. Here are this weekend’s activities, plus some things to look forward to.

VIRGINIA HORSE CENTER

  • The Stonewall Country Horse Show: This show is USEF “A” rated Hunter and Jumper horse show. This event is owned and operated by the VHCF and managed by Leslie Brown and will be held in the Anderson Coliseum and the East Complex arena. Judges are Phoebe Sheets and Downing Nyegard. Find a schedule of classes on the prize list. Note: Braiding is optional in all classes and divisions. The show will open Thursday at 7 a.m. with Working Hunter classes all day in the Coliseum. On Friday, Working Hunters will be in the Coliseum and Jumpers in the East Complex. Saturday will feature Children’s Hunters and Amateur Hunters in the Coliseum for the morning and afternoon with Open and Junior Working Hunters toward the end of the day. The East Complex will host pony hunters and short stirrup classes throughout the day with much the same schedule layout for Sunday as well. This show benefits the VHCF, an facility that has become incredibly important in the Virginia’s horse industry. This show will repeat on Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at the VHC.
  • Winter Schooling: If you are simply seeking for a great place to ride during the winter months, the Virginia Horse Center is open for schooling through March 1. Call the Stable Office at 540-464-2966 for reservations.

FARTHER AWAY

  • Maryland Horse World Expo: (4 hour drive from Roanoke) The Horse World Expo will return to the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Maryland, this weekend. (4 hour trip from Roanoke) Daily admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children aged 6-12. Younger than 6 are free. The Expo includes seminars, clinics, demonstrations, stallion avenue and parade of breeds, and of course shopping. This year’s speakers include Roxanne Bowman on saddle fitting, Olympian (Eventing) Stephen Bradley, Dana Bright on Driving, Kenny Harlow on training and AQHA judge and auction manager Mike Jennings on Buying and Selling horses. For a full list of speakers visit www.horseworldexpo.com/MDbios.shtml.
  • Kentucky Hunter Jumper Association Clinic featuring Bernie Taurig at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky on Monday. (5 1/2 hours drive from Roanoke)
  • Dressage Clinic with Britta Johnston, Understanding, Starting and Perfecting the Flying Change: A lecture discussing the flying change will begin at 12:30 p.m., Saturday at Capriole Farms in Catlett, Va. (3 hours drive from Roanoke) Horses working on flying changes will follow. Rides: $90 for a 45 minute lesson $20 for day stall, limited number. Auditors: $10.

  LOOK AHEAD

ONLINE

  •  Watch the 2015 George Morris Horsemaster Session on demand at USEFnetwork.com.