Dec 20, 2018

USEA Events A-Z: Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm

Kira Topeka Photo.

The Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland (Area II) hosts three USEA recognized events each year. On back-to-back weekends in July, MDHT offers Novice through Intermediate levels and CCI*-S, CCI2*-S, and CCI3*-S divisions and USEA Future Event Horse (FEH), New Event Horse (NEH), and Young Event Horse (YEH) divisions and Beginner Novice through Intermediate levels on the second weekend. In mid-October, MDHT hosts a Hylofit USEA Classic Series Beginner Novice Three-Day as well as the MDHT New Event Horse Series Finale, Beginner Novice through Intermediate horse trials, and Advanced and FEI combined tests. Loch Moy Farm also hosts cross derby events, clinics, and cross-country schooling throughout the year.

Before the Maryland Horse Trials (MDHT) found its home at Loch Moy Farm, it was rolling terrain and cow fields in Adamstown, Maryland. Carolyn Mackintosh, the owner and organizer, started transforming the land in 2006 in order to turn her dream of building a top horse eventing facility into reality, catering to both lower level and upper level eventers.

Mackintosh has visited eventing venues all over the world, from Kentucky to New Zealand, France to Australia. She has been to all of the four-star events. Before her first event in 2006, Mackintosh visited the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event to see how things were set up and run by the top event in the United States. In MDHT’s second year, Captain Mark Phillips came from the United Kingdom to design the competition course and a brand new schooling course.

Dale Clabaugh with Volunteers Leah Fleming and Lauren Oyarzo. Photo courtesy of the Maryland Horse Trials.

Mackintosh’s introduction to eventing came because of her daughter, Alex, who evented in Area II. One of Alex’s favorite venues was Menfelt in Frederick, Maryland, which was a beautiful venue that was owned and run by Dale Clabaugh. When Menfelt closed, Mackintosh purchased equipment, cross-country and show jumps, logs, and the indispensable aggravator.

From the beginning, Clabaugh has been an integral part of helping to get the Maryland Horse Trials started, and she still continues to be very important to MDHT’s continued success. Clabaugh’s contagious personality has contributed to all of the different hats she has worn here at Loch Moy Farm, being our first volunteer coordinator and now announcing at our starter trials and judging show jumping, among other things.

Volunteer Mike Smallwood, course builder Tyson Rementer, and course designer Ian Stark. Photo courtesy of the Maryland Horse Trials.

MDHT is powered by its great base of volunteers. This year alone, we had over 400 volunteers that helped to run our 50+ competition days. Mike Smallwood has been at Loch Moy Farm from the very beginning. He is the type of volunteer that the Volunteer Incentive Program was made for. USEA uses eventingvolunteers.com to keep track of the numerous volunteer hours that are donated each year. The VIP program was created to give long overdue recognition to the volunteers that give their time, energy, heart and soul to our sport. Organizers can now give back to them! For our Volunteer Coordinator, Gena Cindric, it has been life changing. This enables Cindric to keep track of all of MDHT’s volunteers for all of the different events, which then frees up a lot of her time to do other important tasks. She is a Jack of All Trades!

Agata Newlacil, our Entry Coordinator, has been with MDHT for over 10 years and has been indispensable in setting up each event to be entered by the competitor, from scheduling all the way to scoring. Mary Coldren, our USEA recognized event secretary, has guided us through the entire process over the years. Coldren is a wealth of knowledge, experience, and, more than anything, common sense that we could not do without.

Gena Cindric, Susan Mannix, and Agata Newlacil. Photo courtesy of the Maryland Horse Trials.

After 13 years, the Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm runs over 50 days of competitions throughout each year, including FEI events, horse trials, starter trials, a Hylofit USEA Classic Series Beginner Novice Three-Day Event, USEA Future Event Horse East Coast Championship, plus FEH/YEH/NEH Qualifiers, Twilight Eventing series, cross derbies (including our popular Donation Derby in December which benefits different charities), Jackpot Jumper shows, and USDF and schooling dressage shows. We run Introductory through Intermediate Horse Trials plus FEI CCI*-S, CCI2*-S, and CCI3*-S divisions.

Mackintosh prides herself on listening to competitors. When she gets feedback, she takes it to heart and puts it into action. After one July recognized event, riders stated they felt the show jump warmup area and ring were too small. By that October, both show jump arenas had been expanded. MDHT has big plans for more improvements in 2019. Look forward to a new Normandy Bank by summer for the July FEI event. Course designer Ian Stark’s sunken road, built in 2018 by our wonderful course builder Tyson Rementer, who has been with MDHT for over 10 years, was a huge success. Course designer Hugh Lochore has also contributed in the past.

Mike McNally Photo courtesy of the Maryland Horse Trials.

In 2015, Mackintosh made a trip to Aston-le-Walls in the UK to see their all-weather cross-country facility. From this, Loch Moy Farm’s all-weather footing schooling began. The schooling is open daily from November through March and allows riders to school cross-country jumps, water, banks, and ditches on more than eight acres of all-weather rings with 100+ cross-country jumps. This allows those riders that don’t have the benefit of traveling to Aiken or Ocala for the winter to keep their horses fit and ready to event in the spring. During these months, we run a series of cross derbies incorporating cross-country jumps, banks, ditches, and show jumps into courses that are timed.

When spring comes, Twilight Eventing begins. This is a compressed full event format that Mackintosh traveled to New Zealand to learn about. She brought it to the United States because it is friendly to new riders, young horses, and those interested in moving up a level, and offers a choose-your-own-adventure format to the ride. Eventers ride their dressage, show jumping, and cross-country course within a 30 minute period. Each cross-country jump is flagged so that the rider can choose which level they would like to jump at that particular fence. They can also school any unflagged fences or obstacles on their way to the next jump. This is an untimed event that takes place on Wednesday afternoons that is great fun for everyone.

Mike McNally Photo courtesy of the Maryland Horse Trials.

Our July back-to-back USEA recognized event weekends are a great way to take your horse from one level the first weekend up to the next level on the second weekend. Second week courses are all new. On the first weekend, we hold Novice through Intermediate and CCI*-S, CCI2*-S, and CCI3*-S FEI divisions. On the second weekend, we run the Beginner Novice through Intermediate levels plus FEH/YEH/NEH divisions. Both weekends include the new Modified division. With ample stabling and accommodations, this has become a destination event. We look forward to seeing you at the Maryland Horse Trials in 2019! There’s always something new and exciting!

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