The 22nd Red Hills International Horse Trials are taking place this weekend at Elinor Klapp Phipps Park in Tallahassee, Florida. Red Hills International marks the start of the 2020 FEI eventing season in the United States, with Red Hills hosting CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI4*-S divisions alongside Preliminary, Intermediate, and Advanced horse trials divisions.
A total of 155 horse-and-rider combinations are set to compete across the six divisions offered this weekend, including the 30 in the CCI4*-S and 13 in the Advanced.
Caroline Martin will be competing with seven horses this weekend, the most of any one rider. She will ride one horse in the CCI2*-S, three in the Open Preliminary, two in the CCI3*-S, and one in the CCI4*-S.
Will Coleman and Jennie Brannigan each make up 15 percent of the Advanced division with two rides apiece. Brannigan will ride Nina Gardner’s 10-year-old Thoroughbed gelding Twilightslastgleam (National Anthem x Royal Child) and 10-year-old German Sport Horse gelding FE Lifestyle (Leo von Faelz x Berina A), both who stepped up to the Advanced level at Red Hills in 2019. Coleman will ride Team Rebecca LLC’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Don Dante and the Off The Record Syndicate’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Off The Record (VDL Arkansas x Drumagoland Bay).
Jessica Phoenix has five horses competing in the CCI4*-S: her own and Jim Phillips 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Wabbit (Line of Departure x No Kissing), her own and Kelli Cull’s 9-year-old Trakehner gelding Watson GS (Humble GS x Woodstock GS), The Bentley’s Best Group’s 13-year-old Trakehner gelding Bentley’s Best (Hirtentanz 2 x Hauptstutbuch Baronesse XIII), Charlotte Schickedanz’s 14-year-old Trakehner/Canadian Sport Horse stallion Humble GS (Ferrari GS x Haiti GS), and her own 18-year-old Westfalian gelding Pavarotti (Pavarotti van de Helle x Fidelia).
Holly Jacks-Smither, Bobby Meyerhoff, and Leslie Law are the only other riders with multiple mounts in the CCI4*-S – they each will ride two horses apiece.
Three horses will be making their first attempt at the CCI4*-S level: Albano (Arctic x Lucy May), Bobby Meyerhoff’s 11-year-old Bradenburg gelding; Calicia Z (Papillon Z x Cassidy), Jennie Jarnstrom’s 9-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare; and Miks Master C (Mighty Magic x Qui Luma CBF), Laurie Cameron’s 8-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding.
The winners of the CCI4*-S from two of the last three years are returning to see if they can claim the title once again. Selena O’Hanlon and John and Judy Rumble’s 17-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding Foxwood High (Rio Bronco W x Evita II) won the CCI4*-S in 2019 and Hannah Sue Burnett and Jacqueline Mars’ 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Harbour Pilot (Cruising x Shannon) won the CIC3* in 2017.
In the last six years, the winner of the CCI4*-S has always been either first or second after the dressage phase, meaning a strong performance in the dressage phase is crucial to producing a win.
Michael Etherington-Smith and David O’Connor are returning for the fifth year in a row this year as cross-country course designers. Etherington-Smith is responsible for the CCI4*-S and Advanced tracks while O’Connor designed the CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S, Intermediate, and Preliminary courses. Get a preview of the cross-country courses for the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI2*-S courtesy of the Cross-Country App.
Chris Barnard is returning as the show jumping course designer for the fourth year in a row.
Red Hills’ vendor village will this year feature numerous vendors and exhibits as well as a food court with options to satisfy every appetite. Click here to view the vendor list!
For those interested in learning more about Elinor Klapp Phipps Park, which is owned and managed by the Northwest Florida Water Management District and the City of Tallahassee, the District land managers will be holding guided wagon tours on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The tour will take participants through the various habitats of the Park and offer more information on land management activities underway to preserve Lake Jackson and the surrounding natural resources.
Friday, March 6
8:00 a.m. – Dressage (All Levels)
Saturday, March 7
8:00 a.m. – Cross-Country (All Levels)
Sunday, March 8
8:00 a.m. – Final Horse Inspection (CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, CCI4*-S)
This year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L was on April 21-25 and was the first five-star event to take place in the U.S. since 2019. The entry list had the best riders in the world, previous Kentucky champions, Olympic hopefuls, and horses who have been eventing in the U.S. since they were 4 years old.
Please join the Equine High Performance Sports Group for their new Sport Horse Series. Interact with human athlete trainers, champions in equestrian sport, and their coaches, veterinarians, farriers, and grooms to translate and apply their knowledge in training, treatment, preventative medicine, services, etc. of equine athletes under your care.
Horses have so much power over us. They don’t know that, of course, but, unwittingly, they expose our personal weaknesses – and bring out our hidden strengths. This is something Allison Smith, a 28-year-old from Warrenton, Va., knows very well. Her passion for eventing and the pressure she put on herself to succeed in this many-layered, ultimately demanding sport exacerbated her anxiety and perfectionist tendencies. Yet one horse has changed her life in a way she never could have anticipated.
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