No, But i was thinking about doing it as a first BN event with a pony this summer, so ill be interested to hear what people have to say. I do recall hearing somewhere that they used to have a recognized event there so i dont know how much of their courses are leftover from that, if it is in fact the case...
Could either of you expand on what your issues were? was it safety related of more of an orgazational thing? PM me if you would like.
(sorry OP not trying to hijack you thread! i too am just curious!)
I TOTALLY agree with fergs and Christian. There is no way I would ever go there again. Courses are VERY trappy, footings suspect, dressage rings are iffy, warm ups are even iffier. Show jumping is funky...that's just what I remember right off the top of my head. I am always surprised to hear that it is still holding events!
I seriously cant even begin to tell you the horror of my experience at this event. We hauled 6 hours to get there, only to be told that my stall wouldnt be available until that night....mind you I had a stallion and it was already the afternoon. But they had their horses in the stalls all day. The horse had to sit on the trailer for an additional 3 hours.Then, they put him next to mares!!! When I complained, the TD who was friends with the owner, took it upon herself to literally harass me all weekend.
After I was done with my dressage test on the young stallion, the TD stopped me by the ring and told me she needed to check my bit, but I had to remove my bridle for her to do so (I had already had a bit check). She would not let me go back to my trailer to get a halter, or I would be eliminated. I was on a STALLION in the middle of warm-up. I finally had to get another competitor to go to my trailer and get my halter (since we couldnt use the stalls during the day...their horses were back in them). No kidding! She wouldnt even let me walk over near the trailer, which was parked in the same field as the warm-up and could be clearly seen from where we were. Think 3 times the length of a dressage arena away....
Dressage was in a very deep ring on a hill so you couldnt even go around the outside of it.
Then, the TD literally followed beside me and my horse on XC the entire way around. She was beside me in the start box and drove her golf cart parallel to my horse the whole way around.
The warm-up was in pastures on the sides of hills for all 3 phases. The show jumping was halfway in the sand arena and seriously half way out on grass...and there was a little bank around the arena so you had to go in and out during the course over the bank. The jumps were falling down, the footing was awful. I just cant tell you the nightmare. Oh, and we were camping in our trailer, but the owner came and told us that there was no camping allowed (no hookups needed by us...literally sleeping on a matress in the top of the GN) and if we didnt leave the property we would be eliminated. Of course there were no hotels with rooms available and we ended up with a kitchen part of a suit with only the couch to stay on.
I will say that we did later get that TD's license revoked, but in part because she violated rules with other competitors at the same event. It was the worst experience of my life. I was running the prelim there. There is even more I dont want to try to remember sadly....
Sadly, Christan's experience does not surprise me in the least. I haven't been there in years and will never go back. The footing for warm-ups and stadium is terrible, and the XC course is wonky.
Add that to the strange behavior of the owner . . . . Last time I was there, my friend's 5-year-old daughter and little friend were eating their hamburgers under the porch roof of the little cabin. It was pouring rain, and the owner made them move out from under the porch--no one allowed to stand there--so they had to eat their lunch in the downpour. What the hell is up with that?
It reminds me very much of the eventing I grew up with (15 years ago in Vermont), as opposed to the area 2 of today. It's very rustic, not groomed, and not organized.
I didn't find novice to be that uninviting. The T/P each had a few odd jumps. I think the fences themselves are a bit improved since the recognized days, the footing not.
The dressage, as others said, you circle inside not outside (I kind of viewed this as an advantage though . . . ). And the s-j is not inviting at all--it's weirdly sited and the bank on it doesn't ride well.
If you go, it really has to be viewed as a schooling opportunity. Go very slow.
You are allowed to skip jumps, jump other levels' fences, ride x-c a second time, ride x-c if you get E s-j. etc. So, it saves you the risk of taking a baby and getting eliminated early. You will get your schooling money's worth.
But it is a lot hairier than most current events, even schooling events. It's sort of hard to fit it into the current eventing scene, with so many more modern choices.
I went to the first event they had there, and when we walked the XC on Friday evening, they were still painting the SJ fences. The rails were still wet the next day when competition began.
The XC course also ran across the driveway, and at several points throughout the day the person stationed there went AWOL, and so we saw some near-misses. The fences were incredibly trappy, some borderline dangerous. (Anyone remember the T/P canoe you had to jump into the water, which was literally a pond with 2-foot deep mud as the base??)
Between that and the (sorry, I'm going to say it) pretty psychotic behavior of the owner, we swore it off and weren't sorry to see it lose USEA recognized status.
I'm doing a CT at Touch Point farm in Madison this Sun.
It's pretty good. The stadium is in a hilly pasture so you get some 'derby' time.
I actually really like that little CT. I wish it wasn't probably a 2 hour drive for us now, as I would go way more often!
Fergs, we had a very nice, experienced little prelim horse fall at that canoe. Thankfully, he walked away just a little muddy and his rider only sprained her ankle. He had jumped around some pretty big courses in Ireland, but took a HUGE look at the question, and being a good little Irishman, he attempted to slither over.