The Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) International got underway today at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia. The organizing staff is pleased to welcome nearly 400 horse and rider combinations to this week’s competition.
This event was rescheduled from its original Memorial Day weekend date due to COVID-19.
“In rescheduling the event, we wanted to make sure competitors requiring qualifications would have the opportunity to obtain them,” said VHT Organizer Andy Bowles. “The Virginia Horse Center kindly worked us into their busy schedule, and we are grateful that so many competitors have chosen to come to VHT this week. I want to thank everyone for their support.”
VHT is hosting Starter through Advanced/Intermediate horse trials plus CCI*-L, CCI2*-S, CCI2*-L, CCI3*-S, and USEA Young Event Horse Series divisions. The schedule spans Tuesday through Friday, with national classes running as either a one-day or two-day competition.
On the first day of competition, the CCI2*-L and CCI*-L competitors presented to the ground jury of Gretchen Butts (USA) and Helen Brettell (GBR) for the first horse inspection. Dressage for these divisions will begin on Wednesday.
The CCI3*-S completed the first two phases of competition. Boyd Martin and Luke 140, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by the Luke 140 Syndicate, lead the way on a two-phase score of 23.9. Martin sits nearly 10 full points ahead of the rest of the field heading into tomorrow’s final test of cross-country.
Three Novice divisions and one Beginner Novice division completed a one-day format competition. Future stars of the sport also competed in the USEA Young Event Horse Series 4- and 5-year-old classes.
VHT is strictly adhering to all USEF, USEA, state, and local health and safety requirements for COVID-19, and we thank all participants for their cooperation.
James Alliston made out like a king earlier this summer at The Event at Rebecca Farm with wins in the CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L aboard Paper Jam and Nemesis respectively. We caught up with Alliston to chat about his horses, competing on the West Coast, his time in the States, and how it compares to competing in England.
Three clear show jumping rounds in the CCI4*-S at the Plantation Field International Three-Day Event have placed Allie Knowles in first, third, and sixth place with Ms. Poppins, Morswood, and Business Class all owned by Katherine O’Brien. Phillip Dutton and Quasi Cool, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quo Vados I x B-Estelle) owned by Caroline Moran, kept their cool to put in a double clear round and move up to second from overnight third place.
It was a historic week for U.S. Eventing as American athletes achieved their best results ever in the CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen. The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team of Will Coleman and Off The Record, Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire, Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan, and Tamie Smith and Mai Baum took second place in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup – the highest result by a U.S. team at the prestigious event.
Perhaps one of the best reasons to be a member of USEA is the opportunity to qualify for and participate in the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. This year there was a record 1,178 entries and a waitlist of over 150. There were 1,009 pinnies handed out and 939 horses started the competition. All combined it made for the largest horse trials in USEA history. Competitions ran in all USEA divisions and additional prizes were given for teams, incentive programs, amateur, and young rider divisions.