Feb 29, 2016

Area II Welcomes New Carolina Eventing Challenge

By Shelby Allen - USEA Staff
2012 T3D Winners Bonnier Mosser and Isbond (l) and Jeannette Ford aboard Emily Bug (r) at Southern Eights Farm. Diana De Rosa Photos.

Area II now offers a new competition series for all Beginner Novice through Preliminary riders looking for what some have called the “Lower Level Triple Crown of Eventing.” The Carolina Horse Park (CHP) and the Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day Event have teamed up to form the inaugural Carolina Eventing Challenge (CEC) which will kick off in a few short weeks.

The CEC consists of three Events: Southern Pines H.T., March 12-13; Longleaf Pine H.T., April 23-24; and Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day Event (HOTC), May 4-8. Competitors may choose between Southern Pines and Longleaf (or both!), but are required to compete in a USEA Classic Series division at the HOTC finale.

This series is the brainchild of The Eventing Director of the Carolina Horse Park, Marc Donovan. He brought his potential theory to co-organizer of HOTC, Cindy DePorter, who was eager to be involved.

“The HotC and the CHP share a belief that the sport of Eventing should offer a certain level of education at these levels - making us ideal partners. I'm also a proponent of keeping the competitions fresh and innovative. Prizes, championships, and the concept of "a series" encourage entries by adding a healthy degree of competitiveness,” Mark elaborated. “The Carolina Eventing Challenge seemed like a good way to merge these concepts. We are trying to do our part to help build good Event riders with strong foundations. We want everyone to have the opportunity to train, compete and learn at quality horse shows.”

Southern Pines and Longleaf Pine Horse Trials are both held at the Carolina Horse Park. Seated on 250 acres in Hoke County, Nc. CHP is a premiere venue for Eventing enthusiasts. These CHP Events will be a great opportunity for CEC participants to qualify for the long format final at the HOTC. Click here for qualification requirements.

HOTC is hosted by Southern Eighths Farm which boasts hundreds of acres fully equipped roads and tracks, steeplechase and cross-country courses for Beginner Novice through Training levels. Preliminary riders are not required to complete a long-format Event, but instead will compete Combined Test featuring a hybrid derby jump course that will include both show jumping and cross-country fences.

HOTC will give riders the opportunity to experience the thrill of the ‘chase as they tackle the long format of Eventing. Co-organizer of HOTC, Leslie Threlkeld, encourages anyone curious about the Classic Series to give this challenge a try. “Hopefully it will give people the little extra push they need to try something new like a traditional Event. The USEA has done a great job supporting the long format and the only way we can keep it going is to keep participation rates up.” HOTC will also feature great educational opportunities from clinicians including Carol Kozlowski and Sally O’Connor.

The series is open to all riders – amateurs, professionals and juniors alike. Riders are required to sign up as there is no automatic enrollment. Click here for a sign up form. Forms should be submitted to the organizer at either of the first two Events hosted by the Carolina Horse Park. A rider may compete in all three Events, but final placings for the CEC will be calculated by combining their two lowest scores.

Everyone involved in the planning and organization of this fun series looks forward to the new opportunity this presents to lower level riders. “It’s a special opportunity for the lower level competitors to be involved in something new. It’s like the Olympics for lower level riders,” Threlkeld said.


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