Oct 04, 2018

USEA Events A-Z: Longleaf Pine Horse Trials

By Christine Phipps - Carolina Horse Park
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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.

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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.

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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.

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