Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) has been approved to run at the Virginia Horse Center on July 21-24, 2020. This is the rescheduled date for the Memorial Day horse trials, which was forced to postpone as a result of COVID-19.
The plan is to run the same levels expected from the May event during the July edition, which includes Starter through Intermediate horse trials plus CCI*-L, CCI2*-S, CCI2*-L, and CCI3*-S. VHT in July will run on Tuesday through Friday, with national classes running as either a one-day or two-day competition.
“One of our main goals for rescheduling is to make sure competitors requiring qualifications will have the opportunity to obtain them. We have also opted to run midweek in order to reduce the impact on other weekend events,” said VHT Organizer Andy Bowles.
“We are trying to make the most of a frustrating situation for competitors and organizers around the country. Many events are attempting to reschedule, and competitors are very anxious to get back on course. I would like to thank the Virginia Horse Center for working us into their very busy schedule.”
VHT is working closely with the Virginia Horse Center to ensure compliance with all USEF, USEA, state, and local health and safety requirements. Bowles said, “We feel very confident, given the size of the Horse Center and our facilities, that we are in a good place to offer a safe competition.”
Some of the changes that will be implemented in order to ensure the safety and welfare of all participants include online entries and low density stabling. International horse inspections will be held in an open space, maintaining social distancing protocol. With much regret, the popular competitor party will not be offered, and there will be no award ceremonies. However, VHT is pleased to offer discount vouchers to future events to the top placing competitors in every division.
“Some things will be different, but what has not changed is our dedication to running a quality event. The high standards competitors have come to expect from VHT will be upheld,” Bowles said. “We hope to see many familiar faces at VHT in July and hope all our friends have been safe during this uncertain time. Hopefully our announcement today gives them something to look forward to.”
Please note, this change of date is for 2020 only. The November Virginia Horse Trials remains scheduled for October 29-November 1, 2020, and VHT’s standard Memorial Day date will resume in 2021.
Additional announcements and full details of the COVID-19 safety plan will be available on the VHT website prior to the event.
After the first day of competition, Canadian Olympian Colleen Loach and her horse FE Golden Eye lead an international field in the CCI4*-L division of the MARS Bromont CCI.
Stone Gate Farm Horse Trials, located in Hanoverton, Ohio, announced they would cancel their fall horse trials, which were scheduled for Sept. 23-24.
Morgan Rowsell had just wrapped up organizing a successful Essex H.T. in Far Hills, New Jersey, on June 4, but as he turned his attention to his next show two weeks later, he was faced with challenges presented by the effects that wildfires from Canada are now having on equestrian sports in the Northeast. “The very next day, the smoke came in,” he said. “It looks like a warm, humid, hazy day, but it’s not humid, it’s not warm, it’s actually quite cool. There’s no air. There’s very little breeze. There’s a northeast wind coming out of Canada that is bringing all the Novia Scotia and Quebec smoke to us, and it smells like smoke.”
The first USEA Classic Series competition of 2023 at the IEA H.T. in Edinburgh, Indiana, from June 2-4 brought out the best in event horses with different breeding, backgrounds, and sizes. There was Primrose BMD, originally bred for dressage by a Dutch Harness Horse stallion out of an Andalusian dam, showing how much she relishes jumping by finishing on her dressage score 31.8 to win the Training Three-Day (T3D) with Anna Banks aboard. Then, April Hays and her Holsteiner gelding Anteros HSH won the Novice Three-Day (N3D) with a score of 26.7 despite not knowing if they’d be able to make the competition until the last minute. And, Halley Widlak and her 14.2-hand Connemara pony mare Starscream captured the Beginner Novice Three-Day (BN3D) with a score of 25.7 for the third blue ribbon the pair has earned in four USEA-recognized events together.