The Fresno County Horse Park (FCHP), located in Fresno, California, is under new ownership as of November 15, 2020. John Marshall, who purchased the equestrian facility (known then as Ram Tap) in 2012 from Bill and Margaret Burton, has sold the park to Terry Hilst, an Area VI eventer who previously organized the horse trials at Camelot Equestrian Park in Butte Valley, California.
“I have some great news for all of you,” Marshall said in a statement on the FCHP Facebook page. “I have sold Fresno County Horse Park to Terry Hilst. The Horse Park has the best cross-country footing and the best drained footing in California and is best able to run early in the year during the rainy season. It would have been a shame for this facility to cease to run and Terry will keep it going. There are many, many people who have supported me and the Horse Park over the last eight years and I very much appreciate it.”
Hilst confirmed that Marshall will be staying on to assist in the transition and as co-organizer of the FCHP Horse Trials in 2021. Course designers Jay Hambly and Bert Wood along with Kim Goto Miner, Chris Hoyt, Ashley Ross, Stefanie Gladen, Nick Salwasser, and many others involved with the Horse Park will continue to assist as well. “There are so many people that don’t want to see the Horse Park go and have offered their assistance,” Hilst confirmed. “People are stepping up and we have tremendous support in the Area, and John Marshall has done so much for this facility and for Area VI.”
“We have lost so many venues in Area VI,” Hilst said, “And we need variety. I believe Area VI riders need a variety of courses and terrain to give them a chance to go forward. We are centrally located and have footing that can be used year-round.”
FCHP was founded by Pat and Marian Humphrey in 1957 and they passed the torch to the Burtons in the early 1980s. Events at FCHP are some of the longest-running in the country, and eventers in Area VI have long supported the venue. Learn more about the event’s history in the USEA Events A-Z article.
FCHP’s tentative schedule for 2021 includes the following:
Questions about the transition and events at FCHP in 2021 should be directed to Terry Hilst at [email protected].
All the major contenders passed the eventing final horse inspection at the Tokyo Olympics and will carry on to contest the show jumping phase in a few hours’ time.
The ground jury (Nick Burton, GBR, Christina Klingspor, SWE, and the U.S.A.’s Jane Hamlin) and vets only failed to accept one horse - Fantastic Frieda, ridden by Poland’s Joanna Pawlak, who had completed the cross-country in 41st place with a refusal and 25.2 time-faults.
The FEI has announced that the Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel has had to be euthanized after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course during Equestrian Eventing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 1, 2021.
In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .
The British team cemented their gold medal position at the Tokyo Olympics with three magnificent cross-country performances, all clear inside the time. Added to that, their first rider, Oliver Townend, holds pole position individually after the dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, picked up 11 penalties for triggering a frangible device.