TALLAHASSEE, Fla., –The organizers of the Red Hills International Horse Trials have announced the launch of two major initiatives today in preparation for the 2016 event that will be held March 10-13, 2016.
World renowned cross country course designers, Michael Etherington-Smith and David O’Connor, will combine their efforts and design new courses for 2016 and beyond. Etherington-Smith has assumed primary responsibility for designing the three star course and will collaborate with O’Connor on the one star and two star. A priority for the new design team is to expand the galloping lanes and give the horse and rider teams increased distances out in the open.
“Etherington-Smith’s international experience at the highest levels of the sport, combined with O’Connor’s 17 years of experience competing and coaching at Red Hills creates a true dream team” said Marvin Mayer, co-organizer of Red Hills. “Needless to say, Red Hills is extremely proud to have two of the sport’s premier professionals as part of our family,” he continued.
Improvement of footing for all three event phases began immediately after this year’s event, and has been the number one priority this spring. Aeration, addition of lime to the soil, top dressing and seed drilling have been completed on the new cross country courses and the results are already evident. Another improvement is the addition of fiber to the crushed stone arenas that were first introduced in 2015. This application is intended to give the horse a more cushioned surface for the Dressage and Show Jumping phases and continues the organizer’s commitment to improving event infrastructure. By the 2016 event dates, it is expected that a marked improvement to footing will be evident as a result of these efforts.
In closing, Mayer remarked that, “The future is bright with a spotlight already shining on the next event. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the new and improved Red Hills in 2016.”
Red Hills International Horse Trials is a United States Eventing Association annual event held at Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park in Tallahassee, Florida. For more information, visit www.rhht.org or find us on Facebook.
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Lisa Pragg is a busy woman, but between her normal day job and competing her own 19-year-old Thoroughbred Impeccable she still prioritizes time to volunteer - both at horse trials and as a volunteer firefighter. Pragg understands the importance that volunteers play in the eventing community and makes sure to give whatever time she can back as a fair gesture.
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