Chesterfield, S.C. — The Carolina Horse Park and Southern 8ths Farm event organizers are pleased to announce that the Carolina Eventing Challenge (CEC) will return for the 2017 spring competition season. The CEC was introduced in 2016 and created to provide a unique series format for competitors at the Preliminary level and below and inspire riders to compete in a long format three-day event.
“Carolina Horse Park is proud to once again team up with Southern 8ths,” said Marc Donovan, the Program Director at the Carolina Horse Park. “To us, the Carolina Eventing Challenge possesses all the key elements needed to help strengthen the foundation of the sport. Challenging competition paired with a deeper education for the horse and rider is a wonderful formula for inspiring a fun and safe competition.”
Two horse trials at the Carolina Horse Park in Raeford, NC–Southern Pines 1, March 13-14, and Longleaf Pine, April 23-24–serve as qualifying competitions for the CEC. Horse and rider combinations must compete in at least one of these events to be eligible to ride for the grand prize at the series finale taking place at the Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day (HOTC) at Southern 8ths Farm in Chesterfield, SC May 3-7.
“We’re excited that we’re partnering again with the Carolina Horse Park to offer the CEC for a second year in a row,” HOTC Organizer Cindy Deporter said. “We appreciate the support of the competitors that we had last year and we hope that this year will be as big of a success.”
Southern 8ths Farm is the only venue in Area III to host a USEA Classic Series competition at the Novice and Training level, and it is the only place in the country where Beginner Novice level competitors can experience the thrill of the long-format. This exclusive opportunity is highlighted in the CEC as riders competing in the final at HOTC must compete in one of the long-format divisions to be eligible for the grand prize.
Preliminary level CEC participants will not compete in a long-format finale but will instead be treated to a different type of competition experience. Preliminary riders may qualify for the Challenge by competing in either the horse trials or combined tests at the designated Carolina Horse Park events, but the series finale at HOTC will be formatted similar to an eventing derby, with a jumping course composed of both stadium and cross country type obstacles.
“This is truly a unique challenge and we are delighted to bring it back for 2017,” said HOTC Co-Organizer Leslie Threlkeld. “It’s a joy to be able to provide an eventing series geared towards the lower levels that not only rewards the winners with exceptional prizes but encourages all participants to set a major goal for their season that will take their eventing education to the next level.”
The series winner for each level will be the horse/rider combination with the lowest combined score from the HOTC finale and their best performance at a qualifier. Sign up at each event is required for scores to be counted. Registration forms can be found in rider packets at each event or click here to download.