The Red Hills Horse International Horse Trials will be held March 11-13 in beautiful Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park in Tallahassee, Florida. The equestrian competition, which has been held annually for more than 20 years, is thrilled to welcome back spectators this year. The 2021 trials were held without spectators because of pandemic.
“We missed our 20,000 visitors last year and look forward to welcoming them back this March,” says Jane Barron, co-organizer of Red Hills Horse Trials. “Red Hills is a fun, outdoor community event. You don’t need to know anything about horses to come out and enjoy a day with family and friends.”
Spectators of all ages are welcome. In addition to the competition, visitors can enjoy shopping, a food court, exhibits, and local and regional vendors of jewelry and art – all beneath the beautiful overhang of southern live oaks.
Riders and spectators come from around the globe to attend this world-class competition. Red Hills serves as a qualifying competition for riders seeking berths on their respective countries’ Olympic and World Equestrian Games teams.
The three-day eventing competition is best described as an equestrian triathlon. Each horse and rider must complete three tests during the weekend: dressage, cross-country and show jumping. The horse and rider pair with the fewest penalty points after the three tests is the winner of the division.
Dressage, which will be held on Friday, March 11 is hosted in the arena where onlookers can observe by sitting on bleachers or standing.
Saturday’s cross-country brings out tailgaters and families looking for an exciting outdoor weekend. Spectators are encouraged to bring a picnic, blankets and folding chairs to sit by a favorite jump or near the two water obstacles on course.
Gold Medal Olympic rider David O’Connor and world-famous course designer Michael Etherington-Smith partnered to create the different levels of the event’s cross-country challenge.
It’s a “great spectator course,” O’Connor said of the Saturday event where non-riders can get close to the jumps and the horses. O’Connor explained that he and Etherington-Smith map out the run each year with the audience in mind to make it spectator friendly.
Sunday wraps up the weekend with the final stadium jumping round hosted in the sunny center of the venue.
Spectators may purchase tickets in advance at rhht.org/tickets/. Children 12 and under are free. Free parking is available at the park’s first entrance on Miller Landing Road. City of Tallahassee Starmetro provides complimentary shuttle service from the parking area to the event’s Welcome Tent.
Private hospitality tents and tailgates are available for purchase. More information is available at rhht.org/sponsor/.
Dogs are welcome but must be leashed and may not ride in the shuttles.
More than 600 volunteers help make this event happen.
“It’s one of the more special places,” O’Connor said of the equestrian weekend in Tallahassee.
What: Red Hills International Horse Trials three-day equestrian competition
When: March 11-13, 2022
Where: Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park, 1775 Miller Landing Rd., Tallahassee, FL, 32312
Cost: $40 for a three-day pass; $15 for a single-day pass; kids 12 and younger free
Parking: Spectator parking is available at the park’s first entrance on Miller Landing Road. City of Tallahassee Starmetro provides complimentary shuttle service. Dogs are welcome but must be leashed and may not ride in the shuttles. Handicap parking is available. If a person with a disability requires a reasonable accommodation, please contact Volunteer Chair for Handicapped Services Kristy Carter at [email protected].
Morgan Rowsell had just wrapped up organizing a successful Essex H.T. in Far Hills, New Jersey, on June 4, but as he turned his attention to his next show two weeks later, he was faced with challenges presented by the effects that wildfires from Canada are now having on equestrian sports in the Northeast. “The very next day, the smoke came in,” he said. “It looks like a warm, humid, hazy day, but it’s not humid, it’s not warm, it’s actually quite cool. There’s no air. There’s very little breeze. There’s a northeast wind coming out of Canada that is bringing all the Novia Scotia and Quebec smoke to us, and it smells like smoke.”
The first USEA Classic Series competition of 2023 at the IEA H.T. in Edinburgh, Indiana, from June 2-4 brought out the best in event horses with different breeding, backgrounds, and sizes. There was Primrose BMD, originally bred for dressage by a Dutch Harness Horse stallion out of an Andalusian dam, showing how much she relishes jumping by finishing on her dressage score 31.8 to win the Training Three-Day (T3D) with Anna Banks aboard. Then, April Hays and her Holsteiner gelding Anteros HSH won the Novice Three-Day (N3D) with a score of 26.7 despite not knowing if they’d be able to make the competition until the last minute. And, Halley Widlak and her 14.2-hand Connemara pony mare Starscream captured the Beginner Novice Three-Day (BN3D) with a score of 25.7 for the third blue ribbon the pair has earned in four USEA-recognized events together.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
After not running in 2020 and 2021, the MARS Bromont CCI Three-Day Event returned to the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Center in Quebec, Canada, in 2022. America's Jennie Saville (née Brannigan) and Twilightslastgleam won the CCI4*-L, as the chestnut Thoroughbred gelding (National Anthem x Royal Child) bred and owned by Nina Gardner moved up from eighth after dressage into the lead after cross-country with the fastest round on wet ground over the tracks designed by Derek di Grazia. Canada's Lindsay Traisnel and Bacyrouge, a bay Selle Français gelding (Mylord Carthago x Lelia) owned by Patricia Pearce, finished second, and they are among four from the top-10 in the CCI4*-L in 2022 that return in 2023.