Demonstrating a commitment to safety, Red Hills International Horse Trials has built 18 frangible jumps for its six levels of cross-country courses.
Michael Etherington-Smith designed the CCI4*-S and Advanced courses and David O’Connor designed the CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S, Intermediate, and Preliminary courses.
Due to travel restrictions because of the pandemic, Michael Etherington-Smith designed the CCI4*-S and Advanced courses from England, coordinating regularly with O’Connor and course builders Tyson Rementer and Levi Ryckewaert.
“It was somewhat surreal having a facetime call with David, Tyson, and Levi setting the fences for this year’s four-star and Advanced courses whilst sitting back here in the UK,” Etherington-Smith said. “Fortunately, I am very familiar with the venue and can come up with plans for the courses without having to make a pre-visit even though it is obviously not quite the same, and I wouldn’t want to do it like this every year.”
This year, course designers and builders focused on making many of the jumps with frangible technology.
Red Hills is using both frangible tables and frangible oxers on its courses. “Mike and I designed many of the jumps to take advantage of the frangible technology because the sport has a strong initiative to incorporate this technology to reduce risk to horse and rider,” said David O’Connor. “The technology we are using on this course originated in Sweden.”
The frangible technology is easy to implement and if the jump collapses because of a horse and rider interaction, it is easy to set back up.
“It is always fun and challenging utilizing the latest safety fences in different and interesting ways,” said Tyson Rementer. “The commitment to safety at Red Hills is ongoing and constantly evolving to use the most up to date features available to us today.”
For more information, visit rhht.org.
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