An early morning sprinkle gave way to a nice rainbow and then to brilliant sunshine as the Adequan USEA Gold Cup CIC3* horses gathered for the final jog and inspection this morning at the Richland Park Horse Trials. Twenty-three horses were presented. Woods Baughman with Montesquieu and Waylon Roberts with Kelecyn Cognac were held after their first jog. The vet had a quick look at each and reported no issues found that would keep them from jumping. They were re-presented for a long jog on a loose rein and each was successfully passed. All others were passed upon first presentation.
Here are some fun facts and things of note about the 2017 Richland Park Horse Trials:
Richland Park has been home to a stop on the USEA's Adequan Gold Cup Series since 2007.
Two riders have won the Richland Park CIC3* twice on the same horse: Leslie Law on Fleeceworks Mystere du Val in 2008 and 2009, and Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM in 2011 and 2015
Becky Holder also won the Richland Park CIC3* twice, the first time on Courageous Comet in 2007 and the second time on Can’t Fire Me in 2012.
Other winners of the Richland Park CIC3*: Will Coleman and Tight Lines in 2016 (they are back again in 2017 and currently in third place going into show jumping); Michael Pollard and Mensa in 2014; Boyd Martin and Trading Aces in 2013, and Selena O’Hanlon and Colombo in 2010.
Allyn Mann, Director Strategic Partnerships, Luitpold Animal Health talked about why Adequan sponsors the Gold Cup Series, "Horses and riders that compete in the discipline of three-day eventing are elite in equestrian sport. The stamina, fearlessness, and trust in one another (horse and rider), especially at the Advanced level, make for an exciting journey. It made sense, based on what we do, to support these amazing athletes. The Adequan Gold Cup series was the ideal competitive event to align our brand and company with."
Lisa Conlee, the area representative for Adequan and Luitpold Animal Health, is in attendance at Richland Park this year to cheer on competitors and support the event.
Rainbow over Richland Park. Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography Photo.
There are 402 entries this year coming from three Canadian provinces (Alberta, Ontario, Quebec) and, at least, 27 U.S. states (Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin). The first year an event was held at Richland Park they had 85 entries, which Kay Willmarth, event host with her husband Bob, notes in the program was “disappointing, but a perfect place to start.”
The parking proceeds from the Richland Park Horse Trials benefits the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center in Augusta, Michigan. The Cheff Center works with adults and children, including U.S. veterans and senior citizens, with physical, emotional and mental disabilities, as well as other special needs. For more information go to www.cheffcenter.org.
The Advanced division at Richland Park this year is named in memory of local eventer Philippa Kate Humphreys who passed away in 2016. The top female rider in the Advanced division will receive a check for $500 to honor the memory of Philippa.
An award for the lowest score in dressage by a Junior rider in the Training divisions will be awarded in memory of Megan E. Schoenmaker, a young eventer from Michigan and winner at Richland Park, who died in 2010 in a snowmobile accident at age 22.
Advanced-level eventer Katie Ruppel, who is originally from USEA Area VIII, and her family, are sponsoring a Richland Park Leg Up Award, to be presented to the lowest scoring Area VIII Young Rider competing in any of the Preliminary divisions. The winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship and a week of training and housing at Ruppel’s farm in Florida.
The USEA is holding the eventing licensed officials testing during Richland Park this weekend for candidates for the jobs of judges, technical delegates and course designers.
The famous Richland Competitor's Party last night. Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography Photo.
The FEI Ground Jury for the CIC levels are: Gretchen Butts; Jane Hamlin; Bobby Stevenson; Kellie Towers, Mark Weissbecker, and Susan Graham-White.
The FEI Stewards are: Trish Gilbert; Ann Haller, and Peggy Hambly.
The FEI Veterinarians are: Dr. Anne Baskett and Dr. Deb Williamson. The farrier for the event is Ian Dillman.
The Event Secretary is Rick Dunkerton.
The Stable Manager is Cathy Covey.
The Cross-Country Course Designer for the CIC3*, CIC2* and Advanced is Ian Stark. The Cross-Country Course Designer for the CIC*, Preliminary, Training and Novice are Bert Wood and David Koss. Course Builders are Bert Wood, Jay Hambly, David Koss and Tommy Neneman.
The Show Jumping Course Designer is Marc Donovan.
The announcers are Nigel Casserley, Allie Casserley and Kathy White and the official photographer is Shannon Brinkman. Official videographer is RNS Video.
Cheery volunteers! Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography Photo.
There are literally hundreds of friendly, efficient volunteers who staff the Richland Park Horse Trials, many of which have been volunteering for many years and some since the very beginning. The jobs range from stable management, parking, hospitality, sanitation, shuttle driving, cross-country fence judging and traffic control, bit checking for dressage, ground prep, warm-up supervision, scribing, jump crew, ring stewarding and more. People from a number of states travel to Richland Park Horse Trials and use their vacation to volunteer. Area groups are also involved in volunteering including a local Boy Scout Troop which assists with parking. Thanks to all of them for a job well done!
Richland Park has an epic competitors’ party which includes corn on the cob picked fresh on a neighboring farm, other culinary goodies and a live band which has performed at the horse trials for many years. Event hospitality volunteers travel around the grounds attending to the needs of spectators, officials and competitors alike. Patron supporters of the event are treated to amenities such as preferred parking and seating in a special tent alongside the show jumping course where beverages, snacks and lunches are served.
The Kalamazoo Valley II Pony Club cleans stalls at the end of the event as a fundraiser.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has approved additional modifications to the qualification period for the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. The AEC is scheduled to take place August 25-30, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, and the USEA is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and successful Championship, while also ensuring fair opportunities for all.
This has been a difficult decision, but with the current pandemic situation at hand, we feel that this is the correct and ‘common sense’ direction to take. We are developing a plan to host a shorter, smaller, and more focused competition. We will be using state and local protocols to help guide us through this. Safety is paramount at Rebecca Farm, for both equine and human participants.
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Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA
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The USEA is the official sport affiliate of U.S. Equestrian