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.
On this episode of the Equiratings Eventing Podcast, show host Nicole Brown talks to Pan American Games gold medalist and U.S. team stalwart Boyd Martin about his career to date, highs and lows, and coming back from injury.
On Monday, March 8 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, USEF will host a member webinar providing updates on the impacts of the case of EHV-1 (neurological) reported in Ocala, Florida. This case is similar in nature, but unrelated to the neurological strain of EHV-1 impacting Valencia (ESP) and other European countries.
As competitors rise through the levels, they often see the costs associated with competition rise and, unfortunately for most organizers, this can’t be avoided. With fewer competitors requiring more jumps, officials, footing management, etc., the expenses for running higher levels – especially FEI – are greater than lower levels.
Our sport is going to present you with many amazing opportunities, and some equally amazing challenges. While you’re sure to enjoy the opportunities, it sometimes takes a little more effort to enjoy the challenges. Contrary to the common misconception (from non-equestrians) that our sport is easy, it’s actually one of the hardest and most demanding sports of all!