The Tryon Riding & Hunt Club launches its 42nd consecutive Horse Trials, Oct. 21-22 at Foothills Equestrian Nature Center, just 2.5 miles from Reynard’s Retreat with over 125 riders hailing from 11 surrounding states.
A Horse Trial requires every rider to demonstrate their and their horse’s ability in dressage, cross country galloping and jumping, and stadium jumping. Divisions for Preliminary, Training, Novice, Beginner Novice, and Starter will be offered.
The event will kick off with Dressage at 8 a.m. on Saturday in three rings on the equestrian side of the complex. Judges will be Amanda Miller (Clayton, N.C.), Nanci Lindroth (Jackson Springs, N.C.), and our own local Margaret Freeman.
Cross county will start at 10 a.m. with the Preliminary riders taking on a course stretching 3,120 meters across 19 jumps designed by local Landrum expert Gregg Schlappi. The other four divisions will follow with progressively shorter courses and fewer jumps. The intro level Starters will traverse just 1,400 meters over 14 jumps. All divisions will have to navigate jump combinations at the newly designed water obstacle. The course will be decorated in a holiday theme by Amy Barrington.
Stadium Jumping will begin at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning beginning with the higher divisions and riders jumping in reverse order of standings. The riders scoring highest in dressage and cross country will jump last. This ensures some tense rides by the leaders in each division as they go for the “double clear,” a clean ride with no rails knocked over and quick enough to stay within the time allotment, to hold their positions. The stadium jumping course is designed by Chris Barnard from New York.
A course walk scheduled for 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 is open to the public and will be led by our local 4* rider Eric Dierks and international 4* rider Doug Payne. Eric is a local competitor, trainer, and teacher based in Tryon. He is heavily involved in Pony Club and rejuvenating retired Thoroughbreds for jumping competitions. Doug is one of the top 10 riders on the USEA’s current annual leaderboard, recently placed 2nd at the American Eventing Championships at TIEC, and just returned from England after competing in one of the top CCI*** at Blenheim.
Tryon Daily Bulletin – submitted by Terry Lynch