Jan 30, 2020

USEA Events A-Z: Texas Rose Horse Park Horse Trials

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Texas Rose Horse Park (TRHP) in Tyler, Texas (Area V) hosts three horse trials a year in March, May, and November. They offer Introductory through Intermediate levels at all three horse trials and also offer USEA Young and Future Event Horse classes at their March event. Texas Rose Horse Park is a multi-use facility that hosts competitions for other disciplines as well as dog shows, corporate events, and weddings.

The Texas Rose Horse Park Horse Trials first ran in February of 2010, offering Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels. Kathy Brunson, owner of Texas Rose Horse Park and organizer of the Texas Rose Horse Park Horse Trials, is an eventer herself and had dreams of hosting her own horse trials. “We bought this place to make it an event facility and do different shows,” said Brunson. “Of course, we love eventing, and we got back into it about two years after we moved here and began developing the equestrian center.”

USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Prior to being purchased by the Brunson family, the Texas Rose Horse Park had been a private equestrian facility. The Brunsons had previously owned a Wagon Wheel Ranch, a small equestrian center in Coppell, Texas, where they had offered smaller schooling shows. When they sold Wagon Wheel Ranch and purchased the property in Tyler, they took what was there and added to it until they had the multi-use facility that stands on the property today. “Our dream was to have events – all kinds of disciplines – and here we developed it to be a multi-purpose facility,” Brunson said. “We also host dog shows, private events, weddings, all kinds of stuff.”

The Texas Rose Horse Park sits on 1,700 acres east of Dallas, Texas. With the ability to house 700 horses, six all-weather outdoor arenas, and an Introductory through Advanced cross-country course, the Texas Rose Horse Park is more than adequately outfitted to host horse trials for all level of horses and riders. “It was a beautiful piece of property here in east Texas,” Brunson recalled when they purchased the property. “It had rolling hills and all the trees – it made it natural for the horses.”

USEA Photo.

Carsten Meyer was the Texas Rose Horse Park’s first cross-country course designer, and Captain Mark Phillips joined the course designing team in 2013, the first year that the USEA American Eventing Championships were held at Texas Rose Horse Park. “We were fortunate enough to have the USEA American Eventing Championships here for three years,” Brunson commented. “Mark Phillips was very instrumental in developing the site. He was involved when we did the Championships. His and Carsten’s passion for it was amazing.” In 2018, James Atkinson took over course designing from Meyer and John Michael Durr is now serving as Texas Rose’s course designer.

“Most of our volunteers are from the local area,” Brunson shared. “We also have other people that are in the actual competition – whatever discipline it is – but most of the help are families in the surrounding area. They think it’s great that they get to be together as a family and do something new. They love it.”

Anthony Trollope/Shannon Brinkman Photo.

Brunson most looks forward to the different people that come out to enjoy the event at Texas Rose Horse Park. “It’s a fun sport and we want people to have fun and feel accomplishment when they compete, no matter what level.”

“That’s what it’s all about, connecting the people and the horses and watching the joy in people. Not everybody is a first-place winner, but it doesn’t matter.”

The USEA is profiling the history behind all USEA recognized events in the USEA Events A­-Z series.

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