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.
Whether you are a rider preparing for a move-up or a trainer looking to ensure your training program is well-rounded, the soon-to-be released USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is the go-to guide to assist you in navigating key decisions. Lucky enough, attendees of the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first people outside of the those involved in its creation to access this passion project that the ICP Committee has put two years of research and hard work into developing.
In 2021 Cynthia Smith recorded 536 hours and 59 minutes of volunteer time, setting the standard with the most amount of volunteer hours recorded in a single year since the creation of the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program in 2016. The record-breaking number of volunteer time earned Smith the 2021 USEA Volunteer of the Year title.
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.
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.