The very first Fork Horse Trials was supposed to be held in April of 2002, but the event was rained out and didn’t debut until the next year. The Fork went on to run every April since 2003 except for in 2020 when the event was forced to be canceled due to COVID-19. While The Fork was originally held at Jim and Bernadette Cogdell’s farm in Norwood, N.C., this will be the fourth year that it is run at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, N.C.
The Fork has something for everyone – offering every single national level as well as FEI short format levels from CCI1*-S to CCI4*-S.
There are 304 entries for the 2021 edition of The Fork, 126 more than competed in 2019. However, the CCI4*-S numbers remained steady with 30 competing in 2019 and 30 again this year.
The two horses making their debut at the CC4*-S level are both Cooley-sourced horses sired by Cobra. Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp is riding The Monster Partnership’s 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Cooley Moonshine (Cobra x Kilpatrick Duchess) in his first CCI4*-S. The 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Cooley Northern Mist (Cobra x Neat Moonlight Clover) is entered in his first CCI4*-S with his rider/owner Andi Lawrence who is attempting her first time at the level as well.
Doug Payne is the busiest rider in the CCI4*-S with three mounts entered: Quantum Leap, Starr Witness, and Vandiver.
Fourteen horses are using the CCI4*-S as a prep run before heading to the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L later in April: Bolytair B, Deniro Z, Favian, K.E.C. Zara, Mai Baum, On Cue, Palm Crescent, QC Diamantaire, Quantum Leap, Steady Eddie, Tsetserleg TSF, Vandiver, Voltaire De Tre’, and Wizzerd. There are another seven in the Advanced aiming for Kentucky: Business Ben, Cecelia, Islandwood Captain Jack, Long Island T, Mama’s Magic Way, Pfun, and Qorry Blue D’Argouges.
This is the 15th edition of the CCI4*-S at The Fork (previously the CIC3*). In the past 14 competitions, there have only been two pairs to win it twice: Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda and Buck Davidson and My Boy Bobby (the only pair to do it back to back). With the 2019 winners entered there’s a chance of the third pair to be added to the history books – can Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF do it?
The Technical Delegate at The Fork for the FEI levels and Advanced horse trials will be Wayne Quarles (USA). Sharyn Antico (USA) will assist for the FEI levels and serve as the primary Technical Delegate for the horse trials levels from Beginner Novice to Intermediate.
The CCI4*-S and CCI3*-S will share a ground jury: Mark Weissbecker (USA) and Gretchen Butts (USA). Amanda Miller (USA) and Beth Wheeler (USA) will serve as ground jury for the CCI2*-S, CCI*-S, and Advanced divisions.
Cross-country courses at all levels are designed by Captain Mark Phillips (GBR) and will all run on the White Oak Golf Course. The prize list description says: CCI4*S and Advanced course fairly difficult with CCI preparation in mind and will run on the golf course with 10-year-old established turf and 10% on all-weather footing for bridge crossings, etc. CCI3*S, CCI2*S, and all national levels: more difficult than average, on similar tracks to AEC, good for horses and/or riders with some experience at the level. All courses are over rolling hills with beautifully maintained grass turf. Courses will be irrigated and aggravated as needed.
Michel Vallincourt (CAN) is the show jumping course designer for all levels.
Spectators will not be allowed at The Fork in accordance with the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan guidelines and procedures. All those present on-site are asked to wear a mask at all times.
Due to the recently reported cases of EHV-1, the Tryon International Equestrian Center is requiring all horses to obtain 72-hour veterinary certificate and perform twice-daily temperature checks. More information is available here.
Lisa Pragg is a busy woman, but between her normal day job and competing her own 19-year-old Thoroughbred Impeccable she still prioritizes time to volunteer - both at horse trials and as a volunteer firefighter. Pragg understands the importance that volunteers play in the eventing community and makes sure to give whatever time she can back as a fair gesture.
Attention USEA members! Registration
for the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is now open! The convention will be held in person on December 7-11, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel in Savannah, Georgia.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is proud to announce the selected Young Rider athletes for the Emerging Athletes 21 Program (EA21) national camp, now that the EA21 regional clinics have concluded. Twelve riders were accepted into each of the five regional EA21 clinics, taught by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) instructors, and now riders have been selected from the regional clinics to participate in the inaugural EA21 national camp this winter.
Ninety percent of training a horse is getting the horse to understand exactly what you want them to do. In general, horses are generous and willing creatures who want to please us; very seldom do they behave badly on purpose. Horses don’t come out and say, ‘Let’s make Mom’s (or Dad’s) life miserable today by going as poorly as possible - most prefer to do the right thing, as long as they know what that is.
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