The Fork Horse Trials is returning to the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, N.C. for the third year in a row. The event often serves as horses and riders final prep runs before the Kentucky Three-Day Event – making it an exciting week of competition. This will be the first time that riders gallop on the cross-country course since the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) last September.
The Fork Horse Trials offers 10 different levels (Beginner Novice through CCI4*-S) so literally has something for everyone.
178 pairs are entered for the 2019 edition of The Fork.
The CCI4*-S has 30 entries which is just seven less from last year when the class was used as the test event for the WEG.
Only five of the 2018 Fork CIC3* competitors are returning to compete this year in the CCI4*-S. Sharon White and Cooley On Show were the highest placed – finishing third – can they better that this year? Tsetserleg (8th), Celien (9th), Deniro Z (10th), and Cecelia (24th) are also all returning.
QC Diamantaire is contesting his first CCI4*-S with Sydney Conley Elliott. Carol Stephens’ 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Diarado x Latana) is coming off a third-place finish at Carolina International.
Boyd Martin has two mounts entered in the CCI4*-S both owned by Christine Turner. The 13-year-old AES mare (Cabri D’Elle x On High), On Cue, is entered in her first attempt at the level while his WEG mount, Tsetserleg, a 12-year-old Trakehner gelding (Windfall x Thabana) is also competing.
The final two CCI4*-S debutants are Sapphire Blue B, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Heritage Fortunus x Lucy Blue) owned by Katie Lichten and ridden by Allison Springer and Great Expectations, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cobra x Cusheen Beauty) owned and ridden by Rachel Wilks.
Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp has three entries in the CCI4*-S including Fernhill By Night, Deborah Halliday’s 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Radolin x Argentina XII) and Deniro Z, the Deniro Z Syndicate’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero VDL x Zonne-Trend) who went one-two at Carolina International just a few weeks ago. Fernhill By Night is looking for his third consecutive win at the level having won the Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* last November as well.
The Advanced division has 13 entries including last year’s winner, Under Suspection, Mary Ann Ghadban’s 15-year-old Holsteiner mare (Contender x Naomagic I) who is returning with Lynn Symansky to defend her title.
Thirteen horses are using the CCI4*-S to prep for the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event: Harbour Pilot, Celien, Congo Brazzaville C, Deniro Z, Voltaire De Tre, Tsetserleg, Cecelia, Vandiver, Bolytair B, Unmarked Bills, Colero, Cooley On Show, and Woodstock Bennett; while six Kentucky-bound horses are entered in the Advanced: Pfun, Leamore Master Plan, Polaris, LCC Barnaby, Long Island T, and Under Suspection.
All FEI levels, Advanced, Intermediate, and Preliminary will run cross-country on the White Oak cross-country course (the WEG course) while Modified, Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice will use the land on the TIEC property (the Glade). The USEA prize list says “CCI4*-S and Advanced course fairly difficult with CCI preparation in mind. CCI3*-S/CCI2*-S and all national levels: more difficult than average, on similar tracks to the AEC, good for horses and/or riders with some experience at the level.” In an interview with Erik Duvander and TIEC, course designer, Capt. Mark Phillips, said that the CCI4*-S course will be quite similar to the WEG course.
The show jumping is being designed by Chris Barnard. All levels will show jump in the George Morris arena, which seats 6,000 spectators and was the location of the eventing and para-dressage at the WEG.
Gretchen Butts and Christian Landolt are the FEI judges while Robert Stevenson, Amanda Miller, Carol Bishop, and Mellisa Warden are judging the national divisions.
Andy Bowles is the technical delegate for the CCI4*-S and CCI3*-S and Andrew Temkin is the TD for the CCI2*-S and Advanced.
The Fork is offering $30,000 in total prize money for the FEI divisions with $15,000 to the 4*, $10,000 to the 3*, and $5,000 to the 2*.
Friday night TIEC is holding a comedy night at the Legends Club at 8:30 p.m. Saturday night is the famous “What the Fork” party at the Legends Club at 7:00 p.m. Sunday morning there will be a lakeside brunch held on the cross-country course at 11:00 a.m. to benefit Brooke USA.
A hunter/jumper show will be going on at the same time as The Fork, Tryon Welcome 3 (B/Level 3). You can find the full list of classes offered here.
A case of EHV-1 (neurological) has been reported in Ocala, Florida, similar in nature, but unrelated to the neurological strain of EHV-1 impacting Valencia (ESP) and other European countries. The horse was not shipped from Europe and was not on show grounds at the onset of symptoms. USEF is working closely with the Florida Department of Agriculture and state authorities who are completing contact tracing and identifying the potential source of the virus exposure.
Five-star eventer Kim Severson taught a show jumping clinic in January at Milestone Sport Horses in Lovettsville, Virginia where she instructed riders on the importance of forward riding for successful jumping. In this exercise, which Severson progressively adds additional pieces to, riders are instructed to focus on the quality of their canter.
On Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Central time, join Eric Dierks for a live stream interview with David O'Connor. David was an alternate for the 1988 Summer Olympics, and riding Wilton Fair, was part of the U.S. team at the 1990 World Equestrian Games, where he placed 35th individually and the team finished fourth.
Billy Jackson was introduced to horses at a young age through his local 4-H program. “One of my mom's close friends was a large animal vet and she really encouraged me to stay with it,” Jackson said. As an adult, he is a Marketing Project Manager, and when he’s not at work, he’s a lower level eventer based at Poplar Place Farm.
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