The Event at Skyline in Mount Pleasant, Utah (Area IX) takes place twice yearly in May and September, offering Introductory through Intermediate/Preliminary levels.
Skyline Eventing Park was founded in 2015 by a group of hard-working women with a vision. Before Skyline Eventing Park was created, Area IX, which includes Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, and most of Montana and Idaho, had only 10 recognized horse trials. The creation of Skyline Eventing Park has helped grow the eventing community in the American west and provides a challenging, well-designed course for local eventers to continue to improve and grow in the sport. Skyline now runs two recognized horse trials, around four schooling events, and numerous clinics with international riders annually.
Skyline Eventing Park is currently organized by five local riders and trainers – Dr. Summer Peterson, Carrie Matteson, Lani Homan-Taylor, Travis Atkinson, and Taylor Timmerman. The effort to create Skyline Eventing park was spearheaded by Peterson, an equine vet and Intermediate eventer who also happened to live in the same county as the park. Summer recognized the opportunity and had the vision for the creation of a cross country course on 60+ acres of raw, rocky acres of municipally-owned land and helped facilitate early talks with government officials to help make Skyline Eventing Park a reality.
Peterson also helped with early fundraising efforts including an “Extreme Horsemen’s Challenge” which gave local riders and eventers a sneak peek of the new course and helped introduce riders from other disciplines into the insanity of the sport. The challenge included a few of the newly created cross-country obstacles as well as more “unique” obstacles such as a tire pull and riding your horse through a mock “car wash.” The culmination was an exciting and thrill-filled day where local cowboys learned more about eventing and vice versa. After all, it’s not every day that you see a cowboy with fringe chaps and a ten-gallon hat dropping into a Training level water complex!
Skyline Eventing Park is located at the Cleone Peterson Eccles Equestrian Center in Mount Pleasant, Utah. While it is certainly “off the beaten path,” regional riders are awarded with spectacular views of the local mountain range, and the small city of Mount Pleasant has all the amenities an eventer could need including a grocery store, regional hospital, hardware/auto parts stores, several local restaurants, quaint family-owned inn, and perhaps most excitingly, a new coffee shop.
The equestrian center boasts four all-weather rings, including a large indoor, and a new outside ring that Skyline Eventing created for dressage and show jumping for the recognized horse trials. The Center also has 200 stalls, four wash stalls, numerous RV hookups, and we are currently creating six new wash stalls with concrete pads.
The cross-country course is directly adjacent to the dressage and show jumping ring and encompasses over 60 acres of gently rolling terrain. We created the cross-country course from scratch, including digging out the tracks, filling in ravines, and creating sunken roads and two water complexes. The rocky terrain was an initial challenge for creating the cross-country tracks, and many times we felt like we were “fishing for rocks,” but our efforts were rewarded with beautiful sand cross-country tracks that provide excellent support and footing for our equine athletes. The river sand that was revealed underneath the rugged surface holds water exceptionally well and is firm enough for very little “slippage” when galloping and jumping.
The course is designed by James Atkinson who has created one of the most attractive courses in the western U.S., and the whole country. What makes Skyline Eventing Park’s course exceptionally unique is that it has a “mini” version of everything. The ditch wall for the intro course was built the same way for the prelim wall- with the same attention to detail, quality of building, and design put into every fence on the course.
One of the things that makes the Event at Skyline special is the connection to the local community and natural beauty of the surrounding areas. For example, in 2016, longtime local instructor and eventer Ellen Walker passed away unexpectedly. Skyline Eventing named the subsequent fall event after her and dedicated one of the new Preliminary fences in her honor. The “book jump” was built in Ellen’s memory (she was also an avid reader) and it remains one of the most beautiful, well-designed jumps on the course.
Another thing that makes Skyline Eventing special is the community itself. Area IX is spread throughout a large geographical area, but in many ways, our local eventers are some of the most genuinely supportive, caring riders you can find. Maybe because we know what it’s like to battle huge snowstorms in the winter and extreme summer temps- or hauling 12-plus hours in these extreme environments to make it to recognized horse trials.
One of the things that Skyline Eventing has become “known” for is our rocking competitors parties. Although quaint, Mount Pleasant, Utah doesn’t have the most audacious night-life, so we strive to make our Saturday night competitors party one the highlights of the event. Our parties have included barrel racing and pole bending competitions on borrowed rodeo ponies, bareback puissance, and insane relay races that include golf carts, roping, and blow-up bouncy horses. Of course, every competitors party includes a nostalgic music playlist, delicious food, and a healthy amount of margaritas.
We understand that Mount Pleasant, Utah might not be the center of the eventing world, but we promise that if you make it to one of our events, we do (almost) everything in our power to make it a positive, fun, educational opportunity for every rider at every level.
The USEA is profiling the history behind all USEA recognized events in the USEA Events A-Z series.
With the holiday spirit in full swing and the New Year just around the corner, it’s time to get ready for the 2024 eventing season. From paperwork to packing, there’s quite a bit to do before you’re ready to get out there and enjoy the season with your horse. Check out these tips from the team at STRIDER, and get your 2024 season kicked off in the most organized way possible.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation is pleased to announce the Eventing Pathway Program Lists for 2024, including the Elite, Pre-Elite, Development, and Emerging Programs. In addition to these Eventing Pathway Program updates, several opportunities will be available in 2024 for both Program and non-Program athletes.
The United States Eventing Associations’ (USEA) Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) is pleased to announce the dates and location of the upcoming 2024 ECP Symposium. The annual ECP Symposium, which is held in the southeast to accommodate the migration of eventers for the winter season, will be hosted at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, Florida, on Jan. 30 – Feb. 1, 2024. This three-day immersive educational experience is recommended for anyone who is interested in learning more about eventing coaching, including current coaches, riders, parents, owners or avid supporters. Click here to download the registration form today!
The USEA is incredibly proud to allow the thrill of the 'chase to live on for those who want to experience the unforgettable rush of the classic long format three-day event through our USEA Classic Series events. Long-format events from the Beginner Novice to Preliminary levels are still a reality with the USEA Classic Series and include roads and tracks, steeplechase, and cross-country on "endurance day," as well as horse inspections. In addition, educational activities are offered at the USEA Classic Series Events to help prepare competitors, especially those who are contesting their first-ever long format event.