The Five Points Horse Trials are held yearly on the first weekend in September at the Carolina Horse Park (CHP) in Raeford, North Carolina (Area II) and this year will be offering Beginner Novice through Advanced horse trials and combined test divisions and USEA Young, Future, and New Event Horse classes.
When the Longleaf Pine Horse Trials moved to the Carolina Horse Park in April of 2000 and the Southern Pines Horse Trials followed suit in March of 2001, moving to the Horse Park from the Walthour-Moss Foundation Preserve, the management at the Carolina Horse Park decided it was time to add a fall event to the schedule to balance out the spring calendar. So, the first Five Points Horse Trials was held at the Carolina Horse Park in late September of 2001, offering Advanced, Intermediate, and Preliminary levels.
“As the Park continued to grow, we knew we needed an event for the fall so around 2001 the Five Points Horse Trials came to be,” shared Lefreda Williams, a founding director of the Carolina Horse Park. “The Park opened in 1998 so we had a few years under our belt before adding Five Points and it’s been running ever since.”
Three years later, the Carolina Horse Park won the bid to host the first-ever national eventing championships, the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC). The contract lasted three years, and so in 2004, 2005, and 2006, the Five Points Horse Trials gave up their spot on the calendar for the AEC. “Lefreda Williams and Gwen Parkins were big time with getting the AEC to the CHP,” said Shannon Habenicht, Development Manager at the Carolina Horse Park. “They got a note about the USEA wanting to host a national championships and Lefreda, Gwen, and the Park ‘gave birth’ to the AEC.”
The Five Points Horse Trials resumed in 2007, moving up the calendar from their original late-September date to a mid-September date. By 2010, they had settled on the first weekend in September. In 2013, Five Points added the USEA Future and Young Event Horse classes to their offering, and in 2018 was one of the first events in the United States to offer the Modified level. “That is something the Park really looks forward to as we are very supportive of educating the next generation of competitors – riders and horses,” said Habenicht.
Named for the intersection of Calloway Road, Montrose Road, and Horace Walters Road near the Park’s entrance, the Five Points Horse Trials now offers every level from Beginner Novice to Advanced, including Modified, and offers USEA Young, Future, and New Event Horse classes as well.
The Carolina Horse Park itself has grown from the original 125 acres purchased in 1998 to a 315-acre, nationally recognized, premiere equine competition venue. “The Park is dedicated to the preservation of open space for equestrian and recreational purposes,” said Habenicht. “CHP is one of the only equestrian facilities in the mid-Atlantic region with multi-disciplined capabilities suitable for championship level equine competitions. In addition, it hosts other agricultural events and fun outdoor activities.”
Marc Donovan, Carolina Horse Park’s Program Director and Event Organizer, designs all the show jumping courses for all levels at Five Points. Hugh Lochore is the cross-country course designer for Advanced and Intermediate, and Beth Perkins designs the courses for Preliminary down to Beginner Novice. Plus, the Carolina Horse Park has a strong and dedicated group of volunteers that make the events possible. “All CHP events rely heavily on our corps of volunteers to make each event a success,” Habenicht said. “From jump judging to scribing to manning the equine cross-country walkways, our volunteers are the best around. Our staff works endlessly to make sure all the current health protocols and safety requirements are met for horses and riders. This years’ event is sponsored by Foundation Equine Clinic which is based in Southern Pines.”
“The Five Points Horse Trial is usually the Park’s only USEF/USEA recognized event in the fall,” Habenicht said. “This year that’s slightly altered due to COVID-19. We run an annual unrecognized series called the War Horse Event Series and for 2020 we were able to also run recognized divisions to assist with people gaining the qualifying scores that they need for end-of-year awards and championships. During a regular year, Five Points would be our only recognized fall event.”
“It’s similar to our other events – fair but challenging courses, good terrain, great competition,” Williams concluded. “The event was, and still is, staffed by volunteers and everyone helps where needed.”
The USEA is profiling the history behind all USEA recognized events in the USEA Events A-Z series.
For over 20 years the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) has been educating all levels of eventing instructors to confirm their knowledge base, both theoretical and practical, upon which they will continue to build throughout their teaching lifetime. The USEA is now shining the spotlight each month on some of the 300 ICP Certified Instructors.
The future of three-day eventing is in the new USEA Event Management System (EMS)! This new software system will allow for competitors, coaches, organizers, and secretaries to have relevant event information in their hands. By using advanced technology, this new software system will be an all-encompassing tool used to provide a well-organized, smooth competition with limited contact and instant updates.
This past weekend, the footing of the new arenas at the Fair Hill Special Event Zone saw its very first hoofprints as competitors in the CCI3*-S at Fair Hill International also participated in the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Test Event. The new Fair Hill Special Event Zone, which has been specially designed with the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill in mind, consists of three brand-new arenas on the infield of the recently upgraded iconic turf track and a new cross-country course designed by Ian Stark.
How competitive have your Novice results been? What’s a good final score? What’s a good dressage score? What does it take to win? In our third installment of this series, EquiRatings showcases the Novice level. Use these graphs and statistics to help evaluate your Novice game.