The Longleaf Pine Horse Trials are held every April at the Carolina Horse Park in Raeford, North Carolina (Area II) and offer Beginner Novice through Preliminary level horse trials as well as Beginner Novice through Advanced combined tests.
The Longleaf Pine Horse Trials celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016, making it one of the longest running events in Area II. In the beginning, the event ran at Longleaf Pine Farm, a racehorse breeding and breaking facility in the heart of Southern Pines, North Carolina. The original organizers were racehorse breeder Cosy Lathrop and equestrian professionals Sue and Buck Smithson. In 2000, the competition moved to the Carolina Horse Park in Raeford, North Carolina where it is now held annually. The Carolina Horse Park continues to uphold Cosy’s level of passion and dedication to the sport.
Sue Smithson has been an integral part of the event since its inception. She has had a hand in almost every role including organizer, President of the Ground Jury, Technical Delegate, Dressage Judge, Show Jumping Judge, Dressage Steward, volunteer . . . the list goes on! Following the move to the Carolina Horse Park, devoted volunteer and familiar face Margaret Crevar took on the role of coordinating the dressage and show jumping. She works tirelessly to ensure these phases run smoothly while also working a full-time job.
The Carolina Horse Park is a prestigious multi-disciplined venue and home of the Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CIC and Horse Trials. The 250-acre park has multiple all-weather arenas, Green as Grass through Advanced level cross-country course, steeplechase track, driving obstacles, and top-notch stabling.
The cross-country courses for the Longleaf Pine Horse Trials are designed by Janine McClain of Bethel, Vermont. The encouraging and straightforward courses are set over rolling terrain on meticulously maintained footing. McClain is adept at asking questions appropriate for each level making every course challenging and fun. Beginner Novice through Preliminary riders can expect competitive dressage and thoughtfully designed show jumping courses on our state-of-the-art Attwood Footing.
The Longleaf Pine Horse Trials is also part of the Carolina Eventing Challenge. A Championship award is presented to the Preliminary, Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice lowest score winner from the three participating competitions: Southern Pine Horse Trials, Longleaf Pine Horse Trials, and Heart of the Carolinas Horse Trials. Horse and Rider combinations that compete at all three competitions are eligible for the Championship prizes!
The organizers want eventers to know Longleaf Pine Horse Trial is run to the same standard as every Carolina Horse Park event. The Park focuses on horse and rider safety as well as offering unparalleled competitor and volunteer hospitality. Every year, we look forward to welcoming competitors to Longleaf Pine Horse Trials and continuing the tradition Cosy Lathrop started 42 years ago.
The USEA is profiling the history behind all USEA recognized events in the USEA Events A-Z series.
The FEI has announced that the Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel has had to be euthanized after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course during Equestrian Eventing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 1, 2021.
In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .
The British team cemented their gold medal position at the Tokyo Olympics with three magnificent cross-country performances, all clear inside the time. Added to that, their first rider, Oliver Townend, holds pole position individually after the dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, picked up 11 penalties for triggering a frangible device.
The 2012 and 2016 individual Olympic champion, Germany’s Michael Jung, blazed into first place after dressage at the Tokyo 2020 Games with a superb test on Chipmunk.
Deservedly scoring 21.1 - a record for both rider and his country at an Olympics, according to EquiRatings - it was a joy to watch. From the first extended trot, the pair looked secure, positive, and harmonious. The test was as accurate and as well-delivered as that of long-time leaders Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class (GBR), but with more expression and ease. Jung and the Contendro 13-year-old demonstrated all this specially-written, short Olympic test asks for and each movement flowed into the next.