Feb 20, 2020

USEA Events A-Z: Valinor Farm Horse Trials

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
Photo courtesy of the Valinor Farm Facebook page.

Valinor Farm in Plymouth, Massachusetts (Area I) hosts their yearly horse trials in mid-June, offering Introductory through Modified divisions.

Nestled in the rolling hills of Plymouth, Massachusetts is 60 acres that is home to Valinor Farm, owned by the Risso family. Valinor Farm is a boarding, training, and lesson facility that caters to eventers, although all disciplines are welcome. In addition to their yearly USEA recognized horse trials, they also host unrecognized horse trials and schooling jumper shows throughout the year.

Valinor Farm offered their first USEA recognized horse trials in October of 2005, offering just Beginner Novice and Novice levels. “Our daughters were in Pony Club and we were introduced to eventing at that time,” recalled Robyn Risso, owner of Valinor Farm and organizer of the Valinor Farm Horse Trials. “My daughter asked for a cross-country course for her 16th birthday, and so it began!”

Joan Davis/Flatlandsfoto Photo.

In 2007, Valinor Farm added Training level to their offering and in 2008 switched their show date from October to June. In 2009, Valinor Farm offered two horse trials, one in June and one in August, and continued to do so until 2016, when they went back to hosting one show a year in June. In 2019, Valinor Farm offered the Modified level for the first time.

For the Risso family, the Valinor Farm Horse Trials is a family affair, with everyone pitching in to do their part. “We have four daughters who all contribute 100 percent to running the event,” Risso said. “Their significant others are all put to work that weekend as well. Our boarders all help too, and we really could not do it without them.”

Risso said that as time has gone on, the facilities at Valinor Farm have adapted to suit their needs. “Valinor has changed so much over the years, it seems like we are always clearing land,” she said. “Over the years we’ve added an indoor, more outdoor rings, and recently expanded our cross-country fields significantly.”

Photo courtesy of the Valinor Farm Facebook page.

“Our farm is quite hilly – which is great from a spectators view as you can see much of the course from several vantage points,” she continued. “From a competitor perspective, we have amazing gallops! We believe the terrain adds to the character of our venue and the designers work it into many of the questions on our tracks.”

Risso explained that her favorite part of hosting an event at Valinor Farm is the chance to give the competitors a good experience. “It’s seeing that our hard work is appreciated and helping to keep eventing fun and enjoyable for the lower levels. It is indeed a family affair, and we do it because we love it and want to contribute to the sport.”

“We are a smaller event but try to give the competitors a top-notch experience. We take feedback seriously and are always trying to improve.”

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

May 12, 2021 Competitions

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Announces $300,000 Prize Money for Inaugural Event

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced athletes and horses in the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill (CCI5*-L) will be competing for $300,000 in prize money. Additionally, the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) Eventing National Championship (CCI3*-L), running in conjunction with the 5 Star, will award $25,000 in prize money. Both events, as well as the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Young Event Horse East Coast Championships, will take place this October 14-17 at the new Fair Hill Special Event Zone in Cecil County, Maryland.

May 12, 2021 Education

Pre-Purchase Examination 101: With Dr. Shauna Spurlock

You’ve seen a horse you like. You’ve ridden it; you love it. The money’s right; you’ve agreed to buy it. What happens next?

Pre-purchase veterinary examinations are one of those topics that a roomful of horsey people could discuss - and argue amongst themselves about - for hours. For the amateur rider, that can be confusing and slightly alarming.

So, let’s simplify it. What is a pre-purchase examination, why are they done, and what should you expect?

May 11, 2021 Intercollegiate

Eyes on the Prize at the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships

The USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships will take place later this month at the Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) in Lexington, Va. across May 27-30. Following the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, the USEA is working with VHT organizer Andy Bowles to ensure the Championships are still a destination competition for all Intercollegiate event riders, packed full with an opening ceremony, the traditional “college town” area, the prestigious spirit award, and an abundance of prizes.

May 10, 2021 Eventing News

2021 FEI MER Changes effective July 1

The FEI passed rule changes impacting Minimum Eligibility Requirements in November 2020 that go into effect on July 1, 2021. The changes will impact athletes who are uncategorized, “D” and “C” athletes competing at the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, CCI4*-L, and CCI5*-L levels. Please see below for the highlighted changes. The USEF requirements to compete at these levels remain unchanged, but please remember that the USEF requirements must be achieved within 12 months of the competition. These changes will be adopted into the USEF Eventing Rulebook by July 1. See Appendix 3 for qualification requirements.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Horse Clothing of the USEA