Nov 27, 2015

Pine Top Farm Wraps Up 25 Years of Eventing with Thanksgiving H.T.

By Shelby Allen - USEA Staff
Hoof Clix Photo. Photo via Pine Top Eventing Facebook Page.

As many Eventers are enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers today, some Area III members are packing up their trailers and headed to Pine Top Farm for their annual Thanksgiving Horse Trial. This Event will be the last USEA recognized show of the year, and it boasts a unique holiday atmosphere.

This show is additionally special to farm managers Glenn and Janet Wilson, as it will wrap up their 25th year of hosting Horse Trials. “Glenn and Janet Wilson organized their first event in February of 1990. It was their vision that built Pine Top Farm to what you see now, hosting their first CIC 3* in February 2016,” explained media contact and co-organizer Virginia Wilson.

“The Thanksgiving Horse Show is especially important to Glenn and Janet because it truly showcases the amateur, leisure rider and young rider,” Wilson explains. “There's a special relaxed energy that resonates through the trees during the Thanksgiving horse show. Competitor's bellies are full from a big Thanksgiving feast and everyone seems to have gotten a few extra hours of sleep. Horse Trailers roll into the farm on Friday and it’s really a big family reunion weekend. A lot of families on holiday will camp on grounds for the weekend, spending extra time with their children who are off from school on holiday.”

Many riders do, in fact, feel like this show is a continuation of their family involved holiday experience. “It’s such a fun show, laid back and friendly. Everyone goes. It’s like celebrating Thanksgiving with my horse family,” Pine Top regular, Holly Breaux explained warmly.

Photo via Pine Top Eventing's Facebook Page.

Because it is the final show of the year, many Eventers arrive looking for a last opportunity to accomplish their season goal, or just enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the venue. “Thanksgiving weekend is really the last show of the calendar year. What we've come to expect, a lot of riders ‘move up’ divisions at our Thanksgiving show. We see a lot of first time horse and rider combinations competing their first Preliminary or Training run,” Wilson commented. Area III rider Callan Littrell agreed, and always is sure to include Pine Top’s Thanksgiving H.T. on her calendar. “I find it’s a great Event to move up because the course and all the jumps are inviting,” explained Littrell. “You have to ride confidently and appropriately for the level, but nothing seems impossible.”

“You can hear extra loud cheers coming from clear rounds of show jumping on Saturday or Cross county on Sunday. It's especially rewarding for a competitor to move up at Pine Top and perform really well. Pine Top has the very best terrain for a horse to really stretch out and gallop,” Wilson said, proudly.

Abby Hamblin has competed at Pine Top Farm for many years, and made her Advanced debut at the farm earlier this year. “I love Pine Top!” Hamblin exclaimed. “I always feel so welcome there. I never have a bad time, even if I have a bad weekend riding-wise.” Hamblin is bringing her upper level horse for a confidence inspiring run to end her season. “My goal for Silver Flash this weekend is just to have a good solid Event. He has been such a champ packing me around my first Advanced and [CCI3*] Events this year. I want to end the season enjoying what we both love so much,” Hamblin explained.

“The most important contribution Pine Top makes to the sport of Eventing is a great cross country course with really good dirt,” Wilson claimed. Pine Top Farm revamped their image earlier this year with a new website, Facebook Page, tagline “Good Dirt” and a cross-country redesigned by Derek di Grazia. “We're proud of that and the organizer and staff take their job very seriously. The Thanksgiving Horse Trials in the end of our 25th show season and it’s been an amazing journey. We can't wait to see what the next 25 years will bring.”

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