Mar 26, 2021

USEA Events A-Z: Miami Valley Horse Trials at Twin Towers

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
A rider schooling at Twin Towers Horse Park. Photo courtesy of Beth Weisberger.

The Miami Valley Horse Trials is held at the Twin Towers Horse Park in Yellow Springs, Ohio (Area VIII) in early May, offering Starter through Training levels.

Horse trials have been running at Twin Towers Horse Park since long before the Miami Valley Equestrian Association (MVEA) was formed. The Greater Dayton Horse Trials were held there for more than 25 years – the last Greater Dayton Horse Trials was in May of 2014 – and the Gemwood Horse Trials ran on the last weekend in July until 2011. Both of these events were originally spearheaded by George Maharg.

When Maharg was ready to retire, he sold the licenses for both events to Laura Beaver, who ran the events for several more years before electing to move away from hosting USEA recognized competitions. After that, Twin Towers sat largely unused for several years, except for the occasional unrecognized schooling show or clinic.

Photo courtesy of Beth Weisberger.

Twin Towers Horse Park is part of the Greene County Park System, so the maintenance for the park is managed by the county government. The Park sits on 102 acres and has 27 permanent stalls, two dressage courts, a grass area for show jumping, and a cross-country course with obstacles up through the Preliminary level.

Beth Weisberger, a current member of MVEA’s board, has been involved at Twin Towers since when Beaver was running events at the facility. While Beaver was still running events there, Weisberger found an excavator and worked with the maintenance team at Twin Towers to install a more comprehensive water complex. In the last couple of years, she’s also spearheaded the construction of two new bank complexes with options for Starter through Preliminary.

Through her involvement with MVEA, Weisberger met Amy Grayson, who came to Ohio from Indiana where she had done some work with the Hoosier Horse Park. Together with MVEA’s president Emily Hansen-Palmus, Weisberger and Grayson hatched the idea to bring USEA recognized eventing back to Twin Towers.

Unrecognized events and clinics have been part of MVEA's offering at Twin Towers. Photo courtesy of Beth Weisberger.

First, they started offering unrecognized schooling events, jumper derbies, and similar activities, to test the waters and get a feel for what it would take to organize a larger event. “They were pretty successful,” Weisberger said. “And so we said let’s try for a [recognized event].”

Once they’d decided to move forward with organizing a USEA recognized event, Weisberger called Carolyn Borgert (volunteer coordinator for the Kentucky Three-Day Event), Mary Fike (organizer of the Kentucky Classique, Hagyard Midsouth, and Spring Bay Horse Trials), and Janice Holmes (owner of Holmestead Stables) for advice on how to proceed. Weisberger went through the process of submitting the application to the USEA, and before she received a response she was contacted by Equestrian Events, Inc. “Carolyn called me and said that EEI was interested in running our event,” Weisberger said. “Then we would have an organizer that really knows what they’re doing helping us.”

Photo courtesy of Beth Weisberger.

This happened while the fate of the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event was still uncertain. When Kentucky was ultimately able to move forward, EEI had to back away from helping with Miami Valley. Still interested in having support from an experienced organizer at this point, Weisberger reached out to Fike to see if she would be willing to come on board to help organize instead.

The plan is to run over two days, plus a bit. Training level will do dressage on Friday afternoon, with the remaining levels doing their dressage on Saturday. All levels will run cross-country on Saturday, and then all levels will show jump on Sunday. They’re planning to bring in temporary stabling to accommodate those who want to stay overnight, and there is plenty of room for trailer-ins as well. They’ve set the capacity for this first event at 210 horses.

“Our biggest draw for shows in our area is the lower levels,” Weisberger explained of the decision to only offer up through Training level for the time being. However, she said they are considering adding Modified in the future if there’s enough interest.

Construction on one of two new bank complexes at Twin Towers. Photo courtesy of Beth Weisberger.

Cathy Wieschhoff has come on board as the course designer for Miami Valley, and helped Weisberger with the construction of the two new bank complexes. Not only does she design the courses, but she comes to Twin Towers to set all the courses and make sure every jump is exactly where she wants it to be. “She’s got the master plan of how she wants to run things,” Weisberger described.

It’s full steam ahead now for the Miami Valley Horse Trials, whose opening date was on Tuesday of this past week. While Weisberger, Grayson, and Hansen-Palmus are all experienced eventers, they are excited to have Fike on board to help with the details of organizing the event so that competitors can have the best possible experience. “There are details that we want to make sure we get right the first time so people come and have a really good experience,” Weisberger said. “Now that we have Mary with us, I think we’re good to go!”

“We are going to hold the best possible event we can,” Weisberger concluded. “Every single person is highly motivated to make it be successful.”

The USEA profiles the history behind each USEA recognized event in the USEA Events A­-Z series.

Jan 28, 2023 Membership

Now On Course: Woodrow Goes Wild to Mild

Did you know that there are over 53,000 wild mustangs in holding facilities across the United States? My mustang journey began in February 2018 after losing my heart horse whom I had just shy of 20 years. I wanted another horse of color, and my friend sent me the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) internet adoption link. I was amazed at all of the horses available on the internet auction, but I quickly fell in love with Woodrow. I learned that he was a popular band stallion in Wyoming and had been followed by photographers for close to three years.

Jan 27, 2023 ATC

Introducing the New Modified Rider Division at the 2023 AEC

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the addition of the Modified Rider division beginning at the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. The USEA AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky August 29–September 3, 2023.

Jan 26, 2023 Young Event Horse

Get a Taste of Eventing with the New Event Horse Program

Are you interested in competing in the sport of eventing but aren’t quite sure how to get started? Do you have a horse that is looking for a new career? Consider participating in a USEA New Event Horse (NEH) competition in 2023! The USEA NEH Program was created to be an introduction to the sport of eventing for both horse and rider, and the 2023 NEH Calendar is now available here.

Jan 25, 2023 Profile

Dondante Steps Into The Spotlight with 2022 Standlee USEA Horse of the Year Title

Will Coleman had a huge 2022 with his string of horses, including a team silver medal at the FEI World Eventing Championship in Italy on Off The Record and top four-star placings with Chin Tonic HS, but it was Dondante whose consistency paid off to earn the Standlee Premium Western Forage USEA Horse of the Year title.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA