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.
A total of ten USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) graduates are now in the race to Le Lion! The 2021 FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France will be held on October 21-24. The 6-year-old Championship is a CCIYH2*-L and the 7-year-old Championship is a CCIYH3*-L.
“Schooling shows are about learning, not about being intimidated,” says Miranda Kettlewell, VP of Dressage for Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association (CDCTA).
For horses and riders, schooling shows are a great way to practice without the added stress and expense of a recognized or sanctioned competition. Venues and clubs can offer schooling shows as a way to open the door to their communities, increase their revenue or membership, and partner with local businesses.
US Equestrian has announced a horse substitution for the U.S. Eventing Olympic Team ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Luke Syndicate's Luke 140, the selected mount for Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.), will be replaced by Martin’s first direct reserve, Tsetserleg, a 14-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner, Thomas Turner, and Tommie Turner. Luke 140 sustained a minor injury during his training preparation and has been withdrawn from consideration for the team but is expected to make a full recovery.
If we go along with the edict that preparation is everything, then getting the warm-up right for each phase at a competition is crucial and should be treated as though it is as important as what happens inside the arena or on the course. CCI5* rider Jennie Brannigan gives us her top tips for a good warm-up for the jumping phases.