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Badger
Nov. 29, 2007, 11:11 AM
The 2007 season is over. Anyone care to give feedback on their area's courses? Please state the area, the level, and which ones you'd recommend as "move-ups," "average to get your mileage," or "max/challenging."

There is a lot of talk on the training issues thread, as well as elsewhere, about "ranking" courses. I thought it would be interesting to see, if we took a stab at it here, whether there would be much concensus on courses or not. Could be an educationa discussion, I'll go first. ;)

Area IV: Prelim
Move-ups: Briar Fox, Heritage Park, Hill n' Hound
Average: Wayne (July tougher than August), Longview, Trott Brook
Max: Otter Creek

(I haven't run all of these, but this is my opinion based on my experience and that of friends I've talked to.)

GreyDun
Nov. 29, 2007, 11:42 AM
Awesome thread... anyone care to share some possible Prelim move-ups in Area II... preferably close to NoVa? If not, what about some great, challenging Trainings to get ready for a possible Prelim move-up? Thanks!:)

Invested1
Nov. 29, 2007, 11:44 AM
Awesome thread... anyone care to share some possible Prelim move-ups in Area II... preferably close to NoVa? If not, what about some great, challenging Trainings to get ready for a possible Prelim move-up? Thanks!:)

There was just a thread on this a couple days ago. :yes:

eqsiu
Nov. 29, 2007, 12:05 PM
The 2007 season is over. Anyone care to give feedback on their area's courses? Please state the area, the level, and which ones you'd recommend as "move-ups," "average to get your mileage," or "max/challenging."

There is a lot of talk on the training issues thread, as well as elsewhere, about "ranking" courses. I thought it would be interesting to see, if we took a stab at it here, whether there would be much concensus on courses or not. Could be an educationa discussion, I'll go first. ;)

Area IV: Prelim
Move-ups: Briar Fox, Heritage Park, Hill n' Hound, Queeny Park
Average: Wayne (July tougher than August), Longview, Trott Brook
Max: Otter Creek, Dunnabeck

(I haven't run all of these, but this is my opinion based on my experience and that of friends I've talked to.)

I've added my ratings

nc_eventer
Nov. 29, 2007, 01:13 PM
Area 3: Training
Average: Middle Tennessee Pony Club, Fort Rucker- the terrain is fairly challenging, hills, blind turns and then 2 strides to a jump, 2 4.5 ft drops into water plus a 2 stride bank with a 4.5 drop again! But not a Prelim prep course.

c_expresso
Nov. 29, 2007, 01:58 PM
Area II:

I don't wait to be overly critical or offence anyone in any way... but the XC at Green Hill Park was not very good. First, the terrain was HORRIBLY hilly. The worst I have ever seen. It makes VHT look as flat as a pancake, and I am not kidding. Second, the ground was horrible. I was stupid and ran my horse on it, I figured Novice, what the heck. But he went lame from it. I know September in VA is hard and dry but they could have done a better job. CDCTA did a GREAT job aerevating on concrete ground. So did VHT. Third, the course was badly designed. My first jump for novice was a straightforward hay bale/long, then a canter through woods on a narrow gravel road where people were and I almost ran over them. The 2nd jump was 2 strides out of the woods, on a left turn, on the side of a hill, going down hill. Jump 3 was an awkward little trekhener, then a SHARP roll back to 4, an easy square log, then up a STEEP hill [steep to the point of cantering really fast but going nowhere] then at the apex of the hill was a max house, land on a down hill, then sharp left turn, canter across said steep hill, then SLOW down because you had to wiggle in to do the 2nd step on the stairs. The dressage and SJ were very nice though.

Overall

Average or move up: all levels CDCTA

Hard for level but fair: all levels @ VHT

GreyDun
Nov. 29, 2007, 02:30 PM
I'm very familiar with the lovely terrain at Green Hill Park... Ugh, the number I've times I've dragged my butt up the hill when I was walking the course...

On a brighter note, I think they may have the entire course at the top next year, instead of starting it at the bottom and ending on that really rocky path. We'll see... The BREA meeting is coming up, maybe they'll decide something then.

Gnep
Nov. 29, 2007, 03:24 PM
Area X.
We have 4 locations for HTs

1. Cocconino
All courses are average to solid, BN and N are easy. Prelim and Intermediat are very tough time wise, narrow forest trails slow down the pace
Cocconino runs in the summer a Training 3D, lovely race track ( real race track )

2. St Johns HTs, is in the stage of a complet rebuilt, at the present easy to average but will be for Training and Prelim at the upper range of average. New Sunken Road and new Water are planed for 2008. I promise some very unique jump designs.

3. Las Cruces, old fashioned and very solidly built courses, traditional, average but with very good questions

4 Grass Ridge, I call all courses pritty much maxed out. Especialy Prelim and Training.
Prelim course is a textbook course design. It has technical questions that can be found at the Intermediat level, each of those realy tough combinations are precedet by an easier example, and than have recovery jumps. Prelim has no let up at the end. Very gallopy courses.

Threeday33
Nov. 29, 2007, 03:47 PM
I'll do Area IV/VIII preliminary level also. I haven't been to the events Badger posted as having good move up courses, so I'll have to pick my own:

Good move up course: Wayne DuPage (not always, but definitely this year)

Average: Maui Jim, River Glen, Indiana (June)

Max: Otter Creek (technical), AECs (technical and fairly big), Midsouth (October)

TexasTB
Nov. 29, 2007, 03:58 PM
Area V:

Move-up: Pine Hill (BN-T)

Average: Greenwood (all levels), Holly Hill (all levels)

Tough: Meadowcreek (the fences themselves arent particularly difficult, but the course is a tough ride because the flow is all out of wack);
Pine Hill (Prelim)

Kcisawesome
Nov. 29, 2007, 04:53 PM
Area V111

Jumpstart was an AWESOME move up.

Lori B
Nov. 29, 2007, 05:00 PM
Area II:

It's hard to find an appropriate elementary course. Some have suitably sized and various obstacles, but not very much real estate, so one doesn't get much of a feel for what the sport is supposed to be like.

That said, I think the elementary XC course at Fair Hill is wonderful. Open, welcoming, and feels safe to get moving between obstacles. I think that for a less experienced rider, it offers a great ride and experience. If you've schooled XC but are timid about doing anything very big and want to test drive the idea, it is very suitable and fun.

justasmidge
Nov. 29, 2007, 09:38 PM
Area III
Training

Rocking Horse- big and gallopy. Very open and inviting. Has a very large and airy training trakehner with a deep ditch and small log. May include corner, bounce bank up, drop into the water with some sort of combo, up bank one stride down bank.

Ocala- also big and gallopy. Has a very electric energy in the air, so atmosphere may phase some newbies. Very well decorated to the point of occasionally being spooky. First fence is a picture frame jump, but training jumps a log stack connected to the frame but not in. Water usually has some sort of turning question.

Note: Stop by the crepe people. You will eat many crepes and die of overeating, but at least you will die very happy! :)

Area II
Training

Southern Pines- Hilly. Was the AEC course, so walks slightly imposingly. Has two stride early in course, long gallop down the hill to a bullfinch right in front of the water. Big brush, airy trakehner, hedge, sunken road off a hill, can be twisty. Two waters, the second can be an eye opener for green horses and riders.

Fair Hill- Some fences maxed out, but very good early course. Has a turning question, drop into the water, small trakehner, half coffin, up bank one uphill stride to a coop. Very good course to learn about pace and rythm early in the season.

MCTA- Has some "rider fences" but not too many combinations. Has one very large hill to gallop down (if you can make it up the hill to the warmup without needing a nap in the first place!). Most imposing fence is a max table set on a very steep hill off a turn, but as long as you don't interfere with your horse they are fine. Has a trakehner with deep ditch, but the log is set very low so there isn't much ditch showing. Watch out for the horse- eating pony racers.

Plantation- Very hilly. Has some old, some new, some crumbling, and some big fences. ;) Has a trakehner, a big hedge off a tight turn and a full coffin, but a nice course is you have a plan. Try to find the shortcut (there is one!) or plan on booking, time can be tight. Need to get Triple Fresh to cater again.

Waredaca- Slightly hilly. Later courses can ask a lot of questions for the level. May include S turn tables, corner, half or full coffin, sunken road, trakehner, one stride steps, two waters with jumps in and out. VERY fun event. Smoothie lady attends.

ESDCTA- Great venue. Nice footing. Gallopy and open, good confidence course. Some fences big, but not all. May include related banks, full coffin, two waters.

Olde Hope (Unrec'ny)- THE BEST unrecognized event! Beautiful venue and jumps. Stadium can be turny, especially for the green combo's. Can be very spooky from all the decoration, but is twice as gorgeous as some recognized events. Would reccoment this for anyone, but sadly only goes to Novice.

Rubicon- Big and gallopy. May include full coffin, water with an island bank, and some other things I can't remember right now. Stadium has a dip in the middle so you go up a hill and jump and oxer, down the hill, etc..., but the parts with the jumps are flat. Very cool. Smoothie lady attends.

Radnor- small and twisty. Water is VERY trappy. Has a spooky downhill 1/2 coffin and big trakehner.

Loudon- Good move- up course. Gallopy. Has some elements that require actual steering, but everything is very manageable and inviting. Has corner option (you can jump it as a big table), bank out of water, turning question off a mound with a related distance, and half coffing with about ten turning strides between the elements.

LoriB, St. Augustine has a very nice elementary course. It is very similar in feel to Fair Hill, with slightly more hills. They also have intro.

That's all I can manage for now. Hope this helps!

justasmidge
Nov. 29, 2007, 09:56 PM
May be next year! ;)

Badger
Nov. 30, 2007, 12:54 PM
Great review, justasmidge.

Anyone else have input?

blackwly
Nov. 30, 2007, 03:00 PM
Areas III, IV, VIII:

Novice (spring events):
Fort Rucker - Twisty, hilly course predominately in the woods. Difficult to get rhythm going. Fences average difficulty.

River Glen - Straightforward start in large field, overall average difficulty with 1 or 2 combos and 2 run-thru waters. Some galloping on the side of hill and terrain features.

Poplar Place - Galloping, inviting, forward. Good moveup for novice, though there can be a lot to look at in places.

Training (summer events):
Hill N Hound - Great moveup. Inviting course with interesting questions built to not overface greener horses. Hilly terrain, time slightly challenging.

Gemwood - Also good moveup course. Straightforward terrain and fences. Terrain is generally flat and open, course is galloping.

River Glen - Average fence size and difficulty with several fair combinations and some terrain questions. Water jump straightforward, has half-coffin and turning questions. Can be challenging to make time.

Dunnabeck - Fences close to max size. Terrain very hilly and challenging. Course well built with good questions but overall tough- a good "get ready for prelim" course. 2 serious skinnies, 2 serious water jumps. In and out of the woods and fields.

Pine Top - Open, galloping. Interspersed combinations designed to be ridden forward. Fences close to max size throughout, but a confidence-building course. Time fairly easy to make. Highly recommend.

Prelim (fall events):
Hill N Hound - Overall, a fair course. Several combinations which were about average for the level. Chose it for my horse's moveup based on walking it in June. However, water jump was substantially more difficult and very early in course (fence 5)- probably one of the most challenging waters I have seen at prelim, largely b/c of position on course. Caused many eliminations. My horse jumped it well with mucho encouragement, but I can see difficulties for greener riders. Finished with 10 time faults and moved up from 9th to 3rd in OP due to lots of problems with the water and time penalities throughout the division (one ride under the time in OP.) But would still recommend it overall.

River Glen - 2 waters (one water-to-water, one fairly tough turning question), 2 fairly easy bank combinations, large trakener, skinny with option, corner, table angled line. Generally about average for prelim. Terrain features make it difficult to make time- but doable- we did as did 2 others out of about 20 in OP.

Poplar Place - Generally galloping with a few technical questions requiring a very accurate and precise ride. No options. Fence sizes average for prelim. Time easy to make for prelim as there is lots of room to gallop. 2 substantial water jumps, 2 very technical lines. Demands a fast horse who is also rideable, but also forgiving of greener horses (built to allow run-outs rather than falls.) Highly recommend.

FLeckenAwesome
Dec. 2, 2007, 01:53 AM
just got back from my first training three phase, so... :)

Area 3:
Jumping Branch Training Level:
XC: Very inviting move up course!! The maxed out stuff was big open gallopy fences - roll tops, tables, etc. The technical stuff wasn't maxed out and was good questions. Great to get the horses AND riders thinking without being Horridly crazy. Definately a great move up course. A few terrain questions, but mostly flat gallops. Lots of stretches to make up time or delay or take a breather. Great Footing!! it's aiken!
Stadium: great course, super fun. Not maxed out (in my opinion) in height, but has some tricky questions. a downhill jump that alot of people pull rails on cause they get sucked under it, lots of fun turns, ends on a triple!! which rode fantastic!!! in sand and a big open ring. More of a gallopy forward out of stride type course then the tight collected stadium jump type course... in my opinion.
Dressage: grass footing. Great, but can be a touch slippery in the dewy mornings.

Great facilities, but not much stabling. But...plenty of fantastic places to stable nearby.
Definately a thumbs up move up course :). but plenty of fun to not be boring as a not move up course :)0000000

grzywinskia
Dec. 2, 2007, 10:33 AM
I have competed at a bunch of venues this year at all levels

Area V:
Holly Hill:
SUPER well organized, Marty is the bestest. Footing is always awesome on XC but dressage can gt bad if lots of rain, stabling ok. SJ courses have been good for me. XC changes often which is good. The Prelim was challenging but asked fair questions and the Training and Novice are fairly easy but fantastically fun. My favorite Area V event.

Greenwood:
Very close to me so I haul in. Training course challenging but fun, Novice course fairly easy. I am not a huge fan of the SJ in the trees especially on a baby :) But my second favorite Area V event.

Pine Hill:
Fairly easy in my opinion, one day format nice if you only have one, but riding two in the same level was hard. Kinda far away from me so I didn't do the fall.

MeadowCreek:
My least favorite event in Area V. Beautiful setting. Prelim was easy, no corner, no coffin, no real skinnys. Championships course looked very hard though. Footing was rock hard. Training and novice are fairly easy but fun. I am not a huge fan of SJ on grass, but I like the area where they do it. I probably won't be back there next year at least with upper level horse because of the footing.

Area X:
Coconino: I was there for the summer series. I am not gonna lie... I am IN LOVE with that event. Ultra well organized, great stabling, great weather, great footing, nice people. The courses at Novice and Training were fair and fun. The only complaint I might have would be that the courses didn't really change between the two weeks. I would recommend this event highly to everyone.

Area VII (?)
The American Eventing Championships: Lived up to my expectations, electric atmosphere, fun challenging XC (training). The only thing I didn't like was that the SJ was quite easy. Deep cups, small jumps, etc.

Area VI
Galway: Prelim course was amazing, very different than what we see in Area V, perfect footing, the organizers are not very forgiving of conflicts (ie I was grooming for a CCI** rider and they wouldn't accomodate the time conflicts) but that was my only complaint. Fun, tough SJ. Cool event.

eventer_mi
Dec. 2, 2007, 09:24 PM
What a wonderful thread!

Area II:
Novice and BN

Carolina Horse Park - good BN course for a horse that's pretty brave - fences are close to max height, but all very inviting. Lots of room for galloping up and down the hills at all levels, which really gives you the feeling of the sport if you're first starting out. At first, they appear to wheel the courses tight time-wise, but due to the rolling nature of the course it rides very, very well and I've always come in about 30-50 seconds faster than optimum time, even on my draft cross who was WORK to gallop. Novice has a Trakehner but it rides pretty well, a nice bank up - one stride - log drop down. All courses have two waters, the second water can catch the unwary off guard if you take it for granted (the Duck Pond). They do a GREAT job of mixing the fences around (most are portables) so that you have a different course for each season - this year, they ran the BN, Novice, and Training backwards (sort of). Very well-organized show (Dana, you rock!) and tons of fun - well worth the entry fee.

The Fork - Novice and BN
NOT a move-up course at any level. Max fences, most are inviting, a few tough questions. The BN is particularly spooky - the first fence gets people all the time, and there are always people getting eliminated on course. Great rolling, galloping course - footing is usually very, very good. Half-ditch at BN, half-coffin at Novice. Novice has a couple of tough questions - the Hollow, which is a steep hanging log drop into a shady hollow, bending line galloping out, a bending line red cedar set of benches set on the side of a slight slope, and the half-coffin, which is very looky as they're galloping downhill to it. Another well-run event, although I'd advice bringing some sort of wheeled transportation as the stabling/trailer parking is about a mile downhill from the stadium/dressage arenas, and the xc is further yet - that's a lot of walking! They do run shuttles, though, which is quite nice if you don't mind waiting around for one.

The Ark
Novice and BN - Good move-up for both levels. Fences are all pretty inviting, solidly built, and interesting. Novice has some good-sized, maxed out jumps (the cordwood pile), and they took the ditch off the Novice so that you have a drop/bending line jump instead. The water usually rides very well, and they're constantly improving the track so that it gallops much better than it used to. One thing I don't like - the footing. This year, due to the drought, the xc footing was very dry and hard and there was manure everywhere as they use the course for pasture, which made it rather unappealing to spectators and course-walking.

Unrecognized, but still good:
Tamarack - Novice and BN
Good move-ups, or great for those just starting out. Some max height jumps, but most are on the smaller side and interesting, but not spooky. Some terrain challenges, as it's hilly, and it can get quite wet and slippery in some areas. Water is deep (if there's been rain) and rather uninviting at first glance, but rides very well. Nice, easy bank up, one stride across, drop down for Novice. GREAT for BN and Maiden for those who are a bit timid or have a green-bean. The only quibble I have with it is that if you're not paying very close attention, you can get yourself mixed up on course as it sometimes circles back on itself, which can lead to confusion. I'm definitely taking my green-bean there this year.

HiJumpGrrl
Dec. 2, 2007, 10:03 PM
Unrecognized, but still good:
Tamarack - Novice and BN...
Actually, they run recognized Pinehurst at Tamarack!

Agree with everything Eventer_MI said. How are you doing, Kim?

Would add Fancy Hill to that list:
BN/N is very inviting, a good first-time event or move-up. consists of log-log-log-coop type fence progression. The course is hilly, and some of the fences are set on angles on a hill, making the approach/landing less straight-forward than it might look. The water is puddle-sized, and it's easy to get a run-out there if you're not steering. There is a ditch and small up-bank on the BN course.

eventer_mi
Dec. 3, 2007, 01:17 AM
Hey E - I've got a new pony to share! Ellie has a new home with someone who can appreciate her laid-back personality, and there's a new orange horse in my pasture who's already buddies with Sam. PM me for more details!

When is Denny coming home? I've emailed him, but no response.

LisaB
Dec. 3, 2007, 10:01 AM
Area 2:
Training
Waredaca - depends on which event but they are all fair and good. Nasty first water jump though. You need to have a positive water horse. The late fall event is the hardest and the others are a bit softer. Nice colorful stadium! It is influential. Nice unrec.
Loudon - Fall ground gets hard but not horrid. Gallopy course. One gotcha jump that if you ride it correctly is a no-biggie.
Spring - great to back going at training level. Morven is a nice venue.
Rubicon - great first time training. St is influential.
Fair Hill - we love it there. Also has unrec. Need experience here though.
VA HT - love it love it love it. Hills are influential. The venue is an eyeful. Not for a very green horse that hasn't been around the block (OTTB's do well here)
Surefire - love it. The x-c was really soft this year. We flew around like nothing.
MCTA - wonderful event. Big ass hill that you have to go down and little up. Water is kinda difficult, has a mini corner. We had some major disagreements in st here for some reason. They do have it on the more difficult side. (switched bits after he won the argument, bastard, we would have won).
The Fork - I found it worth the drive down there. Great venue! Really good season opener. Loved the novice there too.
Seneca - up and down course. Very small jumps then wham! Big one. We don't like it there. Seems to change out a lot.
Fancy Hill - just geographically not viable for training. I walked it and you spend a lot of time running and jumping up one hill.
CDCTA - not going to it

Prelim
VA HT - was the best pick in the spring for my first prelim. Schooling at the S HT in March and I'll be danged if they not only had brand new jumps and a brand new bounce bank at the rec. ht. Jump building crazy!
MHT - well, the st was unforgiving for a greenie. It looked like the x-c was on the tougher side but not impossible. That darned 2 refusal rule!
CDCTA - not going to it

Speedy
Dec. 3, 2007, 12:14 PM
How is training at Morven (spring)? Any details? Thanks!

c_expresso
Dec. 3, 2007, 11:18 PM
I second Speedy... Morven is the first on my list after I get home next spring.

asterix
Dec. 3, 2007, 11:42 PM
I did Morven spring Training this year.

It was mostly quite kind, with the exception of the hideous tire jump (which has since been dismantled, so no worries there!)...

Gentle start with a novice type water (ramp in, very small log out) and several simple fences...move to a looky but straightforward combo, then some bigger fly fences, including a big brush, small half coffin on a bending line, an accuracy fence or two, steps down (first time I did this at training but they rode extremely well) to a good sized trakhener (but rode well, and I am a huge trakhener-phobe -- it's the second to last fence on flat ground).

Was measured very, very short. Boatloads of time faults -- way more than normal for most divisions (the pros either went faster or actually wheeled it themselves and realized the issue, but for those of us who just took it on faith there was little hope of making time).

Stadium was NOT kind for early season -- VERY twisty and tight.

GreystoneKC
Dec. 4, 2007, 12:20 AM
The Fork - Novice and BN
NOT a move-up course at any level. Max fences, most are inviting, a few tough questions. The BN is particularly spooky - the first fence gets people all the time, and there are always people getting eliminated on course. Great rolling, galloping course - footing is usually very, very good. Half-ditch at BN, half-coffin at Novice. Novice has a couple of tough questions - the Hollow, which is a steep hanging log drop into a shady hollow, bending line galloping out, a bending line red cedar set of benches set on the side of a slight slope, and the half-coffin, which is very looky as they're galloping downhill to it. Another well-run event, although I'd advice bringing some sort of wheeled transportation as the stabling/trailer parking is about a mile downhill from the stadium/dressage arenas, and the xc is further yet - that's a lot of walking! They do run shuttles, though, which is quite nice if you don't mind waiting around for one.



What is a half-ditch? And a half-coffin? I know what a ditch and a coffin is at this point, but halves of them??

Eventer13
Dec. 4, 2007, 12:29 AM
What is a half-ditch? And a half-coffin? I know what a ditch and a coffin is at this point, but halves of them??

A half coffin is two elements of a coffin: so rails to ditch, or ditch to rails (obviously with only a few strides between them). I'm guessing a half-ditch is one with only one side revetted.

I ride Gibson
Dec. 4, 2007, 05:50 PM
Fair Hill- Good move up. Stadium was in the ring (:lol:) for the spring and in the grass in August. XC very straightforward, combinations good for level, not many maxed out jumps.

Plantation- first spring events are good move ups. The first one usually takes you around the downhill narrow/elephant trap combination. Combinations are pretty straightforward; full coffin, blind brush jump into woods to skinny, single corner. SJ always on grass and v. forward.

Seneca Valley- A favorite. Good questions, not necessarily a move up course though. Couple of maxed out fences, good bank to skinny questions, water was jump, turn, log-off-bank, through water and out over a skinny.

Middleburg- Sizeable. many problems in September at Prelim (and intermediate...). First four jumps v. straightforward, then a bank combination, several road crossing combinations and a decent water complex.

Marlyand - good prelim courses; average in that some fences are maxed, most combinations include turning; water is straightforward. Biggest drawback is that is in the middle of summer and wow the ground was HARD. Turns out my pony doesn't show jump so great on concrete.

pwynnnorman
Feb. 5, 2008, 11:16 AM
I have no basis to judge, but what about Rocking Horse? Seemed pretty straightforward to me.

BTW, I posted pics of the OI course last weekend, here:
http://community.webshots.com/album/562361909TgVBco (http://community.webshots.com/album/562361909TgVBco)

And here's winner Mandiba on the part of the course that included the water:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eajkACfi4Ds (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eajkACfi4Ds)

Catalina
Feb. 5, 2008, 12:45 PM
Area II:

It's hard to find an appropriate elementary course. Some have suitably sized and various obstacles, but not very much real estate, so one doesn't get much of a feel for what the sport is supposed to be like.


Loch Moy :). It is a short course event so stadium and XC are combined, but the last two that I went to last fall were up on the competition course, so the babies and greenies in Elementary got to experience the real deal, which lead to lots of eyeballs bugging out of heads :eek: :lol:.

rivenoak
Feb. 5, 2008, 11:23 PM
Area X:
Coconino: I was there for the summer series. I am not gonna lie... I am IN LOVE with that event. Ultra well organized, great stabling, great weather, great footing, nice people. The courses at Novice and Training were fair and fun. The only complaint I might have would be that the courses didn't really change between the two weeks. I would recommend this event highly to everyone.

This is an good point to bring up, because it can work for or against you, depending on your plans. If you're anywhere in the west and want to move a horse up, "our" back-to-back series in July is great because you can do one level the 1st weekend, then move up the 2nd! You'll have just run over the terrain so you know it and had a chance to walk a similar course at the new level. :winkgrin:

Gryzwinskia, hope we'll see you again in '08. I don't think we met last summer, as I was just the scorer, but be sure to ask for me at check-in if you're in Flagstaff this spring or summer!

PS, that goes for any COTHers...be sure to say hi! Especially before I get sequestered upstairs and start pulling my hair out and swearing. :lol:

apachepony
Feb. 6, 2008, 05:00 AM
eventer_mi: Do you remember more about Tamarack's BN and maiden courses? I'd assume in BN you'd either go up the ramp and drop of the bank, or the other way around, but what about maiden? Does either level do the ditch? Pass through the water?

I'm planning on taking my uber greenbean.

octavian_jazz
Feb. 6, 2008, 09:39 AM
Area II Prelim:

Rubicon: I wouldn't recommend it as a first prelim or first event of the season. The course was nice, but I felt like the fences were max and the combinations were asking a lot. However, I would love to ride the course now. It looks like a blast when you have some experience under your belt at the level. Phases run FAST. I think I had *maybe* an hour between my dressage and stadium and then we went straight to cross country.

Difficult Run: A really nice course. I would say moderate for preliminary. My only complaint was the warm up situation for stadium. I didn't like warming up in the back and then having to hack back up the stadium ring.

MDHT: Wonderful! Seemed easy to me, I would recommend it as a move up course. I loved how open it was. There is not a lot of room for galloping, but lots of opportunities to make up time by being effecient with turns. A few fences were max, but I would say that it was one of my favorite courses at prelim.

VHT: It seems to fluctuate from event to event. They are sometimes when I would recommend it as a good move up course, but for example, this last fall, I definitely would not have. This last fall there was a bounce, in and out, lots of combinations where you had to have your line right, a skinny at #3 (with an option), and lots of wonderfully, big, solid fences. I love the hobbit houses. The good thing about the course is that it is always changing, this fall we got to take an entirely new route through a patch of woods, another field, and then come back out near the water. The water was a chevron, two strides, in the water, 2-4 strides, and a jump out of the water.

devcubber
Feb. 6, 2008, 09:39 AM
I adore Hoosier Horse Park in Indiana for Novice and Training. Very challenging but so rolling, the horses seem to eat those courses up.

For move-ups/confidence building/AEC qualifying after-the-fact, Queeny Park HT in Area IV is a good choice. For 2008, the icky wrong trakehner will be gone from Training level, and I think all tracks are going to be reworked, route-wise and directionally speaking.

Also, Queeny runs an AWESOME Starter Novice for a greenie experience at the HT level; unrecognized, of course, but so fun and the jumps are mini versions of really good questions.

Badger
Feb. 6, 2008, 10:04 AM
Can anyone tell me about The Fork training and prelim tracks? (Second Fork, not the one with the big guys running FEI.)

bornfreenowexpensive
Feb. 6, 2008, 02:07 PM
Bringing up an older topic...

I'm trying to pick the first training of the year... don't need a 'moveup course', but not a mini-prelim for the first time for the year.

Options are Morven, Southern Pines, and Loudon. Someone wanna give me the lowdown on these XC courses? THanks!


I did the first two.

Morven, end of March is very straight forward Training. Always like the courses at Morven and thought this was a nice first course to dust off the cob webs...

Southern Pines...not sure which one you mean. I did Southern Pines II last year..it is earlier then Morven. It was a solid training. Ran over the same track as the AECs when they were held there. Was a good last training before Prelim or if you have had a few starts down south. Tougher course then Morven. I loved the course and event....but might not use it as a first course unless my horse is very soild and I've had a few schoolings.

Loudon....I think that they run over the same course as Morven...just later in the spring.

bornfreenowexpensive
Feb. 6, 2008, 03:17 PM
Thanks! I was thinking of SPII. The dates don't work for me for that one anymore... going out of the country and the horse can't have a week off before, but we're doing Morven instead. I wanted to do a harder course, but maybe that will be good for the first outing of the year.

From reading over the Area II descriptions of the prelim courses I'm thinking MDHT (II) would indeed be a good first prelim?


I walked the first one and thought it looked very do able (horse was hurt so didn't run). The June Plantation is also a good first prelim...really just a very beefy training so it does sort of depend on how much of a move up you want. I moved up at the April Plantation and it looked much harder then the June Plantation and I'm thinking similar to MDHT. Both the April Plantation and first MDHT were definately prelim courses but not super technical. Both have pretty tough SJ though.

Of course it all depends on what you consider tough.

Given my choice...I think I'd pick Plantation (April) over MDHT ....I think it is an easier course to get a good gallop rhythm but they are both nice. I also think that Fair Hill can be a good move up as well...true prelim but nice turf and good gallopy course....I like gallopy! Doing the Prelim at Plantation in June followed by the first MDHT isn't a bad idea either if the footing is ok. (summer it can be very hard even though both venues will do what they can to prep the footing).

eventer_mi
Feb. 7, 2008, 06:07 PM
eventer_mi: Do you remember more about Tamarack's BN and maiden courses? I'd assume in BN you'd either go up the ramp and drop of the bank, or the other way around, but what about maiden? Does either level do the ditch? Pass through the water?

I'm planning on taking my uber greenbean.

The toughest thing about Denny's Maiden (and BN, for that matter) is not getting lost :winkgrin:. I accidentally jumped a fence in the wrong order my first time there, thus getting the Big E, and I walked that darn course THREE times! Seriously, Maiden is quite inviting and good for the greenie, as long as you're comfortable with terrain.

To answer your questions (and they change it around every year, but this is what I remember):

BN does not go off the big bank, or up it. There is a teeny-tiny little sort of bank - the takeoff is higher than the landing, but not by much, and that's what they go off. Maiden, I think, is similar. No ditch on either course - I think you see the ditch at Novice. No water pass-through, either.

Pretty good event for your first time out! I'll have a friend there on his uber green-bean, and my Paint will be there possibly doing a Novice move-up. See you there!

apachepony
Feb. 7, 2008, 08:22 PM
That's a plus! That ditch wigged poor Felix out!

AUeventer
Mar. 11, 2008, 08:38 PM
Area III, Training level

Move up: Jumping Branch, Enoch Ministries at Big Bear Farm (formerly Pine Mountain), Flat Creek (no longer recognized)
Average: Rocking Horse, Poplar Place
Max: Ocala (in Jan. everything was HUGE, lots of galloping), Pine Top (not as huge, but super technical, lots of questions)

Prelim

Move up: Jumping Branch
Max: Pine Top

zerofaults
Mar. 11, 2008, 11:13 PM
The Fork's max at all levels, height and technicality. Nice event though.

pegasusmom
Mar. 12, 2008, 08:01 AM
Can anyone tell me about The Fork training and prelim tracks? (Second Fork, not the one with the big guys running FEI.)

Badger - depends on what they flag - but. . . there is nothing about that course I consider easy. It has terrain, footing can be iffy, although with all the $$ the owner has you get a good view of what money can buy for footing prep. I have seen them irrigate the entire course bringing water up from the river. First part of the course winds up, round, and down a group of hills - beautifully built solid fences. First three or four are straight forward. Then you get to a gully-ish thing - quasi sunken road - I think training jumps a big log, then does a drop, prelim jumps a cord wood up the hill, comes down and does a max drop, through the gully and bank up. Has caused trouble in the past. A little later on in the course is a long down hill approach to grey chevrons followed by a ditch (one stride for P, 2 for T) Second half of the course is flat - there is a trahkhener later in the course that seems to cause lots of trouble as well. There used to be photos on their website - but along with show management, they seem to have changed all sorts of things this spring.

Lots of atmosphere, gorgeous place, not userfriendly for competitors - bring your motor bike or golf cart.

Badger
Mar. 12, 2008, 08:21 AM
Thank you! I asked around and it sounds like The Fork prelim is max, considered a final prep for one-star, and not what I wanted for a first run after 5-1/2 months of off-season, much of that stuck in the indoor. So I'm going to run their training as a pipe-opener before bumping back to prelim. Glad to hear it's a max training, that should be a good fit. Is the gully similar to the one at Maui Jim?

saje
Nov. 30, 2008, 09:32 AM
Bumping this thread back up for the '09 season!

Anyone see any changes in their favorite course this year (good or bad)? Anyone find a great new venue, or one that posed particular problems?

I'm tackling Training this year, and am looking for good move up courses in Areas II, III, and/or VIII.

Time to start filling in the calendar! :D

Guyot
Nov. 30, 2008, 10:15 AM
Would love to hear some feedback from Area I for move ups to prelim? thanks!

rennyben
Nov. 30, 2008, 05:34 PM
:) Silly me. When I first read the start of this thread, I didn't realize it was old. And I was thinking, wow - I wish people would put this in www.xcreview.com so we could gather and collect this information. Then I realized it was old and had been bumped up. :)

So, anyways, I spent last weekend adding the fall events to www.xcreview.com -- there were a few that I was having technical trouble with, so I'll try to get those up this week. But I invite you all to rate/review your fall events on the site and use the site as a resource when planning your upcoming competition schedule. Cheryl and I decided to not double up on venues with multiple events. For example, if XYZ Farm has a Spring and a Fall Horse Trial -- you may only see it listed once. If the course changes between the two events you can indicate which one you're reviewing.

Thanks!! :cool:

rennyben
Nov. 30, 2008, 05:41 PM
I'm an idiot.
It's www.crosscountryreview.com
doh!
:)

saje
Nov. 30, 2008, 07:03 PM
Well hey, how did I miss that site! That's great, Thanks!!

:D

KBG Eventer
Nov. 30, 2008, 09:12 PM
Bumping this thread back up for the '09 season!

Anyone see any changes in their favorite course this year (good or bad)? Anyone find a great new venue, or one that posed particular problems?

I'm tackling Training this year, and am looking for good move up courses in Areas II, III, and/or VIII.

Time to start filling in the calendar! :D

I am shooting for a move up to Training in the Spring, and the places I am thinking about are Jumping Branch, Chattahoochee Hills, River Glen, and Maydaze. It depends on how things are going. I hope I get to go to FL again because the Novice at Ocala was inviting but not easy either, and the speed there is 400mpm.

I have never been to Jumping Branch, and it is quite far away so I am leaning towards Chattahoochee. I love River Glen, but their stadium courses can really vary in difficulty. Then I could always wait until Maydaze. I didn't walk the Training course there this year, but it seemed very inviting from what I saw.

Although currently the vet is coming tomorrow morning because my horse got his back left leg through his blanket tail strap last week, probably wasn't able to walk properly the whole day until I came to get him out of the pasture, was lame, gave him a couple days off, seemed okay when I briefly lunged him and after I turned him loose went galloping around like a complete maniac, came out later in the day to ride him, and he was off again in that leg.

Coppers mom
Nov. 30, 2008, 11:26 PM
Am I the only one who's horses go a bit cooky at The Ark? One breaks out in serious hives every time we go down there, and the other seems to lose her hat at the first wiff of all those animals.

I mostly don't go because I went to the first event (the one that was a disaster and they had to move all their jumps around), and haven't seen much change since. Poop everywhere, bad footing, and the walking. Man, you end up walking what seems like 100 miles by the end of the weekend.

At Tamarack's last event, BN could either go over the ditch or off a little bank. Not sure if that's common though, as it was very wet that weekend.

ksbadger
Nov. 30, 2008, 11:52 PM
[QUOTE=grzywinskia;2840245]I have competed at a bunch of venues this year at all levels

Area VII (?)
The American Eventing Championships: Lived up to my expectations, electric atmosphere, fun challenging XC (training). The only thing I didn't like was that the SJ was quite easy. Deep cups, small jumps, etc.


If you mean either the 2007 or 2008 competitions at Lamplight/Wayne, it's in Area IV. Oops I didn't realize it was that old a thread.....

devcubber
Dec. 1, 2008, 07:52 PM
just got back from my first training three phase, so... :)

Were you at the Schooling HT???!!!! I was too!!!! I got there 2 weeks before the show for training with Julie Z, and then showed in BNH (the first show I did in SEVEN YEARS!!), and had a BALL and got 4th place!! Loved the course!

Will you go there again in March for her last recognized HT? I'll be there then too!!

eventer12
Dec. 6, 2008, 07:30 PM
i recently went BN at PINE TOP. I LOVED the course. It wasn't just the regular log log coop ramp log set up. We had a gallop through the woods with a tight turn to a coop, a couple of jumps that were in between hay bales, and we even had 2 mini tables. Oh, and not to forget the skinny log. Even though BN is small, it can still be fun and challenging, and I think the course designers approached it that way. This was one of the last events of the season etc, etc, so it is probably a little more challenging that the beginning of the season. I also love Poplar's x-c, my trainer calls it baby rolex for the lower levels. The jumps are fun and the landscaping is great!

P.S. At Pine Top we had steady rain for 2 days, and the x-c footing was pretty good, esp. considering that my little pony doesn't have studs.

PPS I have never gone to river glen, I have no idea why I even typed that.. hence the edit..

mkmallory
Dec. 6, 2008, 10:35 PM
Area III: Prelim

Move Up:Paradise Farms (i think this is still in area III) has all of your basic prelim questions, just at a slightly smaller size than most courses. also has a very fun water complex (a, b, c, d, e!! - jump, drop in, out, jump, drop in, out on a right bend to a skinny!) also has 2 corners, bending line, tricking angle/ bending line, skinny to drop to hedge, etc. lets you practice the things they dont offer at training but not maxed out.
Average: Poplar Place: I have run 3 prelims there now and i always appreciate the flow of their course. very logical and generally has a nice mix of open hills and some woods (maybe could you a little more level galloping space) water complexes are both well made and true to the level. they also have a good mix of average sized fences, techinical questions (1-2 corners, double steps to brush, skinny armadillo), and a few big ones (steeplechase for instance). I would actually like to see them make it a little more difficult, but i could have a bit of a biased view because i ridden their so much the fences dont seem to difficult.
Pine Top: In my opinion, a bit harder than poplar. lots of nice galloping, some VERY wide fences, an irish bank, an a,b,c in a tight semi circle with b as a skinny!, a weldons wall... just make sure to keep your watch time when you finish, i got held on course and they made an error when converting time giving me 60 time penalties, i came to protest and they looked it up (it took about an hour for them to get back to me) and said although i was correct (when looking back on the orginal record) but although it was their error i had failed to protest within the 30 minutes so it had to remain.. needless to say i was quite angry because this made it impossible for me to attend the Ocala *, and the T.D. was quite rude, but we came back and asked if any one had actually written down the time we had come to protest (no one had) and they finally asked ANOTHER judge ( im not sure who) who said that if it was the officials error they had until the end of the show to correct it.. whew.. pine top nearly lost mine and several of my friends patronage that day!
Ocala 1*: So i did get to ride in the ocala 1* this year, and actually found it easier than pine top... the fences were fairly large but straightforward, and the water was a bit too easy. it was longer (7 and a bit minutes) but there was sooo much space to make up time that it was not a problem.. i will say that i did not like the path of the course whatsoever, it had not overall patter, lots of back on fourth, 2 consecutive jumps had to be jumped in the same direction, which was more of a nuisance that challenge... kind of like they had just shook the jumps up in a bag then tossed them out like dice..
Difficult: cant say i have encountered any in area III, any suggestions?

Oh,and as a side note, i ran training at ft. rucker this march, and i HIGHLY recommend it! requires a lot of boldness, i ran my boy his 2nd ever training there could not believe how well he handled himself over such a large and mostly shared with prelim course! i believe a good half of the class was knocked out on cross country (and subsequently got lost in the woods trying to return), which is just how cross country should be! plus the footing was great the the woods made it exciting.

ahorwith
Feb. 2, 2012, 11:30 PM
Dug this thread out of the depths of COTH... Since I just updated my username and my eventing mount, I thought it might be useful to update this thread since it's been a few years. Have any of these reviews changed? Any new events to add to the list?

Honestly, I'm pretty useless as far as adding information but I'd love to know what people would recommend as a rider-friendly spring Training move up in Area II!

Duckz
Feb. 2, 2012, 11:38 PM
Dug this thread out of the depths of COTH... Since I just updated my username and my eventing mount, I thought it might be useful to update this thread since it's been a few years. Have any of these reviews changed? Any new events to add to the list?

Honestly, I'm pretty useless as far as adding information but I'd love to know what people would recommend as a rider-friendly spring Training move up in Area II!

This isn't spring, but Loch Moy does an event in July that is billed as a good move-up for both the Training and Prelim divisions.

I walked the Training course at Seneca Valley last year and it looked fairly straight forward. I think they have an event in May.

JFCeventer
Feb. 3, 2012, 01:07 AM
Since not one person talked about anything in Area 1...

Novice:

Kent. Dressage rings are on grass which is usually pretty decent, not particulary slippery or anything. Stadium is in their "Grand Prix" ring and tends to be on the small side. The ring is grass and not perfectly level but the courses usually flow well and the horses jump well. Cross country is typically big but not technical. No ditch on Novice and no flagged water. Occasionally between fences one and two on a wooded path there's a small water crossing if its been raining, but no flagged water. Typically a couple of steps down, one being a ramp up, step off, sometimes a step up. Lots of stone walls and houses. Terrain is fairly flat with only some minimal uphill/downhill. Courses require a forward ride but the horses feel really good about themselves when all is said and done. Great move up, its where I did my first recognized Novice. Just as a note, I've only done the fall one, don't know much about the spring, would guess its a tad softer.

Mystic Valley Hunt Club. Dressage on sand on goregeous footing. Stadium is either on grass if its dry or on sand. Cross country is super flat, very loopy course as they don't have too much space on the cross country course. Fun course but time is crazy hard to make because its so loopy. Some jumps are max, most are straightforward. Big step up early on course, small ditch, water complex with natural water. Log, handful of strides through the water, then a couple of strides uphill out of the water, over another log. Logs are numbered seperately and the water isn't numbered at all which makes it easy. Smallish hanging log with no groundline that lands downhill, max, airy table that a lot of horses spook at, ramp up, step off, max bench, decent stone wall. Course rides pretty well and is fairly simple, really good season opener to get the horses forward and jumping well.

ENYDCTA/Old Chatham. Dressage on grass, stadium too. Stadium is typically big and on the technical side with minimal groundlines and spooky fences. Cross country is average, has all the right questions, some max fences, mostly straightforward, but nothing crazy hard or technical. Small brush fence, a combination of fairly sized benches with a very long two strides between them, a bank, two strides to a skinnyish fence, water crossing to a palisade a few strides out. The only thing really tricky was the ditch. Three feet wide, not very prominent rails on either side, filled with water, grass, mud, and home to about ten very vocal frogs. My horse was having none of that when we ran there... Besides that, terrain is not terribly challenging, a few decent hills but besides that, pretty flat.

King Oak. Dressage on sand and grass, warm up on grass. Stadium has been in tiny sand ring past couple of events, stadium is pretty maxed for the small space its in. King Oak is definitely an average course for cross country. When I went this past fall it was a couple of fences in a flat field, a raised log after a fairly steep uphill, random fence, downhill, sharp right turn to a decent sized ditch, step down bending line four strides to a fence (numbered seperately), water with a decent sized jump out set on an angle (numbered A/B), a combination of rolltops, brush fence, and the remaining fences were really straightforward.

Mtn trails
Feb. 3, 2012, 01:07 AM
Area VII chiming in:

Aspen Farms - beautiful venue, courses were straightforward with a little challenge thrown in. Doing the lower level - BN - the course was not around a big field, it was through the woods, up and down hills, very inviting. My pony jumped around great. Looking forward to this year.

Lincoln Creek - Great move up location. Very inviting and pretty simple. The water was a little dark and spooky but footing was good and not many refusals. Tons of fun, and they provided the bedding for the weekend.

NWEC - Lovely venue, well run, interesting courses. Definite max at your level. I've only schooled here and volunteered at the area VII championships and it was all good. The steep bank down to the water was :eek: but fun!

Duckz
Feb. 3, 2012, 08:40 AM
Can someone tell me about Training at Sporting Days? What's the terrain like?

Hawks Nest
Feb. 3, 2012, 09:12 AM
Anyone want to tell me how the GMHA June Prelim is for a move up? I did my training move up there and it seems that it will also be my prelim move up?

Also to chime in for Area I:

UNH has good straight forward courses with fantastic footing. Only once in my years of competing there have I seen XC canceled and it rains on 2 out of their 3 events every year. The spring and summer courses are nice and inviting although their fall training course was quite challenging. Never ridden the prelim course but compared to the training course it is a huge leap up in technicality and length. The overall organization hasn't been great in recent years, especially the summer HT, but for their footing and lower level courses it is great.

RiverBendPol
Feb. 3, 2012, 09:30 AM
Training at Sporting Days is great. Fences are generally big but not technical. Open field and winding woods. Gorgeous footing everywhere. (well, it IS Aiken, after all ;)) SPHT is very well organized, has great volunteers, beautiful course design. Show Jumping can be tricky if you have a spooker-ask me how I know-there are some very scary THINGS to look at in the SJ ring...things like rakes leaning against trees, people along the rail watching, etc. Really scary stuff.

I think GMHA courses are always big and fair. Since they were flattened by the hurricane last summer, they have made MASSIVE improvements to the whole place but I think the new XC courses are going to be amazing. I can't wait to go.

Oh, and I'm surprised you found UNH's organization to be lacking. I have had nothing but great experience with the organizer and her team...

MichiganMischief
Feb. 3, 2012, 11:06 AM
Richland Park has beautiful courses. Every level gets to ride over so many different types of fences no matter what the level. Courses are for the confident horse/rider combo.

Hunter's Run has great fences, lovely courses, but tough.

Hawks Nest
Feb. 3, 2012, 11:40 AM
RBP- my mom has been competing there for 15+ years, and me for 6 and over the years they have gotten slower with scores and stuff has been a little unorganized. Not to mention they can never get the parking cleared like they used to. My biggest issue is that they have no communication in dressage warm-up. I was riding a very hot horse who was having some issues. I was told that they were running on time. My time comes and goes, we are then told that they are running half an hour late. We wait, then are told that the judges are taking a lunch break, in the middle of a class. Meanwhile my horse had a complete meltdown and we ended up withdrawing after dressage. This was the summer HT which has been the worst for organization. Their fall and spring are usually much better but still slow.