Oct 04, 2016

Virginia Horse Trials Gears Up for First CCI2*, Area II Championships and Adult Team Challenge

John Michael Durr, course designer for Beginner Novice - Preliminary at the Virginia Horse Trials. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Lexington, VA, October 4, 2016 - The Virginia CCI/CIC and Horse Trials (VHT) at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Va. has several exciting developments coming to the event October 27-30. This event serves as the 2016 Area II Championship for Beginner Novice through Intermediate levels, and the VHT team is preparing to host their first CCI2* in addition to the established CIC2* and CCI*.

“A lot of hard work has gone into getting ready for our first CCI2* and we are excited that it has all come together,” said VHT organizer Andy Bowles. “To host the CCI2* and our other FEI levels in addition to the Area II Championships and our popular Adult Rider Team Challenge will make for a great weekend with a good atmosphere and hopefully a lot of fun for everyone who attends.”

VHT is dedicated to providing great events and has heard the requests and reviews from competitors. In response, the team is making improvements wherever possible. One major new component of the Championship will be the addition of Junior divisions at all levels except Intermediate. There will also be two show jumping arenas featuring Brody Robertson’s beautifully crafted show jumps, and for divisions that finish on Sunday, awards will be given out in the competition rings at the conclusion of each class.

“Horse trials are a continual work in progress and we are always hoping to offer a bigger and better experience every time. Our hope is that the competitors at the fall event will recognize the changes we’ve made and feel encouraged to keep coming back.”

John Michael Durr Unveils New Championship Courses

Cross country course designer John Michael Durr joined the VHT team as a participant in the first cycle of the Course Design Mentor Program. With VHT’s FEI course designer John Nicholson as his mentor, Durr took over designing the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Preliminary courses.

“Part of our role as event organizers is to support bringing in new designers and help train them,” Bowles said. “One of the key decisions in choosing John Michael was that he has a feel for 'old-school' thinking. Not everything is made of machined timber. It’s open and flowing with natural fences and the idea to train the horses through the levels.”

Riders first tackled Durr’s new tracks at the May 2016 horse trials which featured brand new fences and a focus on horse and rider education. At the fall horse trials and Area II Championship, riders will see more new questions on course and paths that differentiate the difficulty of the horse trials compared to the Championship.

“The Championship is an opportunity to showcase what the level has taught the horses and riders all year,” Durr said. “The cross country should be difficult enough that it plays a role in the final results of the Championship, but riders should also feel like if they are successful at the Championship then they will be ready for the next level.”

Durr has designed the Beginner Novice through Preliminary horse trials and Beginner Novice, Novice and Training Championship courses on the Horse Center side of the road while Nicholson has designed the two-star, one-star, Intermediate and Preliminary Championship courses on the Oak Hill side of the road.

All Areas Welcome at Virginia Horse Trials’ Friendly Adult Team Challenge

The fall Virginia CCI/CIC and Horse Trials (VHT) will once again include a friendly Adult Rider Team Challenge on Halloween weekend. Adult riders from any Area are invited to compete in the Challenge, and you do not need to be a member of the USEA Adult Rider Program to participate.

“The team challenge is a great way to meet people and learn what the Adult Rider program is all about,” said Donna Bottner, Area II Adult Rider Coordinator. “Even if you don’t already have a full team when you sign up, we will find a team for you to join. The Adult Riders are a wonderful group of people and we always have a good time at VHT.”

One would be hard pressed not to leave the event without having made new friends, thanks in part to social opportunities like a Friday night dinner and a wine and cheese party sponsored by Stackhouse Saddlery and VTO Saddlery. Team challenge riders will also be stabled together in one barn, fostering team spirit and friendly competition with neighbors.

“The Adult Riders are always so enthusiastic about the team challenge,” Bowles said. “They are extremely supportive of each other and there is a great sense of camaraderie that adds a special element to the event. We are glad to have the Adult Rider Team Challenge back again this year.”

Riders who are competing in the Area II Championship at VHT may also be a member of a team for the challenge. However, all members of the team must compete at the same level. The challenge is for Beginner Novice through Preliminary teams only.

Team ribbons will be awarded through eighth place and Area II Adult Riders will receive a gift sponsored by Sagmae.

Include all stabling requests on your entry form and mail to the event secretary. Email Donna Bottner ([email protected]) with your team information or request to be placed on a team.

Visit www.vahorsetrials.com and the Omnibus page for more information about the fall Virginia CCI/CIC and Horse Trials. Get your entries in: the closing date is next Tuesday, October 11!

Jan 24, 2022 Leaderboard

The USEA Lady Rider of 2021 is Leading the Charge in Elevating Eventing Competition on the West Coast

Tamie Smith’s year has been nothing short of action-packed as she packed up all 25 of her competition horses and made her way to the East Coast for the first part of the year before hopping on a jet to Tokyo where she served as the U.S. team reserve for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She then stayed overseas and competed abroad for a little while before returning home to the West Coast. While this year has been full of opportunities to show, her aspirations are bigger than just competition. The 2021 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year has been full steam ahead chasing goals in both her riding career as well as in her impact on the sport’s future.

Jan 23, 2022 Area Resources

Meet the USEA Areas: Area I

Get to know each United States Eventing Association (USEA) Areas a little better in this new series, Meet the Areas! This month’s feature is USEA Area I which is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Founded in the 1960s, Area I was the birthplace of the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA) which was founded in 1959 and would later evolve into the USEA in 2001. In 2021 just under 800 members made up the membership count in Area I.

Jan 22, 2022 Instructors

A Treasure Trove of Information: Get Another Sneak Peek at the USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels

Trainers, riders, parents, and more are in for a real treat when the all-new USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is officially released. Those participating in the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first to set eyes on this all-encompassing guide that has been two years in the making.

Jan 21, 2022 Young Event Horse

Get Your Young Event Horses Ready: 2022 YEH Calendar and YEH Rule Change Updates Announced

The USEA established the Young Event Horse (YEH) program in 2004 to identify young horses that possess the talent and disposition to, with proper training, excel at the uppermost levels of the sport. While the goal of the YEH program is to identify horses that will be successful at the four- and five-star levels, horses with the potential for lower-level success are also showcased by the program.

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

The Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA