The Middleburg Horse Trials is excited to announce that it will change venues to run at the historic and beautiful Great Meadow Field Events Center in The Plains for 2018. The Middleburg Horse Trials is organized by Middleburg Orange County Pony Club (MOCPC) as a fundraiser for its club.
The Great Meadow Foundation has a history of running three-day events that dates back to the 1980s when legends like Bruce Davidson, Jim Wofford, and Karen and David O’Connor participated in U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) sanctioned events. After a brief hiatus, high-performance eventing returned to Great Meadow in 2014 after the Foundation purchased the adjacent Fleming Farm exclusively to run eventing competitions. After initially running a USEF training session to prepare the U.S. Eventing team for the 2014 World Equestrian Games, the Great Meadow International (GMI) was born. GMI ran a CIC3* in 2015 and then later became the first venue outside of Europe to host a leg of the prestigious FEI Eventing Nations Cup TM, which still runs today.
MOCPC is thrilled to bring its long running and popular horse trials to Great Meadow on June 9-10, 2018. From MOCPC Organizer, Max Corcoran: “We are so excited to be moving the Middleburg Horse Trials to Great Meadow. With the purchase of new land by The Great Meadow Foundation, it has opened up the opportunity to have another horse trial in addition to Great Meadow International. It is a top-notch facility that is very historic and special to the equestrian community.”
Course designer David O’Connor and MOCPC course builder John Wells have plans to build a beautiful course on the Fleming Farm parcel. Middleburg Horse Trials will run its usual levels of Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, and Preliminary. From David O’Connor: “We are excited that the historic Middleburg Orange County Pony Club will be moving their event to take advantage of the fantastic facilities at Great Meadow. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the venue.”
Show Jumping will take place in the state-of-the-art arena with adjacent warm-up arena, both with Atwood footing. Dressage will run on established turf.
Although the venue has changed, the same great MOCPC organizing committee will reconvene joined by the organizers of GMI to bring you this wonderful event. “There are a few of us from the Great Meadow International (GMI) who will be part of both competitions,” Corcoran explains. “David O'Connor will be the course designer - he knows that land better than anyone; Darrin Mollett, the organizer for GMI, will also be part of our team; and I run the show jumping and safety for GMI. The MOCPC has a tireless group of parents who have been working to continue this horse trials - it all wouldn't happen without them.”
The expansive venue brings new opportunities for Middle Horse Trials sponsorship and vendors. Click here for more information about these opportunities.
And, there is always the opportunity to participate as a volunteer. Sign up as a volunteer on Eventing Volunteers. Volunteers will receive a voucher for free cross-country schooling on Monday, June 11 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
A move like this is costly and MOCPC is working on acquiring funds to establish the cross-country course. Thus, MOCPC will be running fundraising events leading up to the horse trials. “The MOCPC will be co-hosting some clinics to help fund a new water jump - we hope everyone will keep an eye out for more information,” announced Corcoran.
Entries open on April 24. Be sure to get your entries in early, as the event is expected to fill quickly.
• Primary MHT contact: Philippa Fewell at [email protected], 703-472-1541
• Vendor contact: Lori Freeman at [email protected], 703-932-6540
• Sponsor contact: Anne Quanbeck at [email protected], 540-454-3247
MOCPC is a chapter of the United States Pony Clubs, Inc., whose mission statement is to develop character, leadership, confidence and a sense of community in youth through a program that teaches the care of horses and ponies, riding and mounted sports. For more information about MOCPC, please visit their website.
Preparing for your first horse trial and not sure what is expected of you at each level? Over the course of the next few Rule Refreshers, we will be diving into each level and the performance expectations of each phase. Want to better prepare yourself or your students for their first competition or a move-up? The USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is a free resource to all USEA members that outlines clear and consistent guidelines for riders and trainers to refer to when navigating their way through the competition levels.
What happens to a dream deferred? Steve and Vicki Sukup wouldn’t know, because frankly, that’s not their style. Steve is the president and CEO of family-owned Sukup Manufacturing, and also happens to be the co-owner of another Iowan delight—Mo Donegal, the Belmont Stakes winner who was dressed in white carnations earlier this month. Steve and his wife Vicki also have another equine connection who is pretty well known in the eventing world: Elisa Wallace.
Anyone who has ever gone from driving a runaround to taking the wheel of a Ferrari can testify that that there are cars—and then, there are cars. Ben Noonan had a similar epiphany on horseback when he went from riding a trail horse over cross-country fences to riding an eventer. “I didn’t really understand why everyone liked eventing so much,” said Ben, now 18 and on the cusp of a professional career, “until I was riding an event horse.”
From the tadpole division at the local starter horse trials through the CCI5* at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day, equestrian competition brings people together. At every level, horse shows can expand community and foster growth for the sport of eventing.