Just did my first CIC2* at the end of May. Jumped clean on the XC with time and jumped double clean in SJ. Did an Advanced combined test with a double clean SJ round. Ready for a CCI or do another CIC first?
How do the courses compare to one another? Rebecca has a virtual course walk from last years event.
Any information regarding both would be much appreciated!
I'm one of those fairly rare people who's actually competed at both, though never at the CCI/CIC** level
Stuart is very hilly and technical. Terrain is a big issue and and makes the courses quite difficult. I know that also, traditionally, a lot of very experienced advanced pairs drop down to do the CIC** there, so the competition is also pretty fierce. That being said, they really do make winning worth your while, with insanely awesome prizes (at all levels!) and a really good "big show" atmosphere. It's definitely a fun show to go to, but if you're wondering whether you're ready for a CIC vs CCI and thinking the Stuart CIC might be a touch easier, I would advise otherwise. It's shorter than a CCI, but very difficult.
Rebecca Farm is big, wide open, and one of the most painfully gorgeous places I've been in my entire life -- well worth the drive! I walked the CCI** course last year and, if I remember correctly, it was pretty big and technical (the big spectator water was nothing to scoff at for sure) but definitely didn't register too high on the "people must be insane to want to do this" chart. The courses there are definitely full height and length and temperatures are usually pretty blistering on xc day, so fitness is important. The show jumping at RF is held in a big arena over gorgeous max-height fences and makes you feel like a big time jumper, where Stuart is held in a twisty grass bowl that's fun but definitely an added challenge.
I'm going to Stuart this year because that's what coast I'll be on, but at Novice and Training with my two - if you decide to come east, I'll cheer you on!
It seems to me you're qualified for either event (cci or cic). And with that in mind, I would say GO TO REBECCA!!!
The courses are fair and testing, but above all, it is an event run by wonderful people and is, without a doubt, the nicest event on the calender (and yes, I've been to lamplight, chat hills, and the khp).
I went to do the CIC** at Stuart in 2008 and the course made a few people scratch their heads. It can be extremely 90 degree turns and some stuff that makes you go... ummm... HUH? Not too fond of it. I ended up not even running xc because by the time it went, it was brutally hot, prelim horses were on fluids and the lower levels that went first had used up ALL the ice.
I do love the show though. It's well run, I'd go again in a heartbeat for prelim and lower if I could afford it.
I'd go run the CCI** if you feel you're ready. If you've already done one CIC** and are ready for a CCI, then really, an FEI horse trial is a bit of a waste of money.
I have done Rebecca and the great thing about it is that it feel more like a galloping course - because it has long stretches for you to do just that! There are definitely technical questions, but they include forward distances as well as short. There are skinnies but there are also questions that feel a little more "old school" - using banks, terrain, or just plain big oxers!
The owners/organizers are lovely, very personable and down-to-earth.
I am thinking of going this year on my vacation (as my green horse is SO not ready for this kind of event!) as a spectator.
You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng
Never been to Rebecca but Stuart is a jaw dropper from Prelim up through the 2 star IMHO. At least 2 years ago it was. Derek DiGrazia definitely used the hilly terrain to test the horse and rider. If you got through that 2 star course that year, you pretty much knew you had something going. I've walked 3 star courses that technically didn't scare me as much as the 2 star did that year. If you come to Stuart be prepared for a challenge! If you get through it, you should both be much better off for having done so. Stuart is also a very well run event. Has a definite 3 star feel while your there. It's a big deal to them up there and they take it very seriously.
I have done the 2-star course at Rebecca a couple of times and it is "older school." Max height fences and monster fly fences (a blast!), long gallops (100s of yards between some fences) to let you settle again, everything straight forward, long distances. If you pull, you don't make it. You need to be accurate at speed; skinnies that you need to take out of a gallop etc. Second water had 5 fences (3 in the first part, on to land - 2 in the second) - Rode like a roller-coaster. LOVED IT! LOVE the course. Made the times when we just galloped along.
It can get to above 100 degrees there though. No issue with altitude as it is only 3,000 feet.
I have never been to Stuart and hear that it is fantastic-but everyone should make the trip to Montana at least once. Beautiful courses, great hospitality-white water rafting in Glacier National Park and my all time favorite-Prize Money- in addition to spectacular prizes.
Rumor has it some of the East Coast BNRs will be making their way to Montana to try and take home some of the $30,000 in prize money in the CIC-W***. We'll see.
The other place to go if you have never been is Richland Park in Michigan. Also a great CCI** track designed by Ian Stark (i think).
Rebecca Farms is the nicest event site in America next to Rolex.
The course is beautifully maintained and built
Haven;t been to Stuart but Montana won't disappoint..it will be hot though!
I am kinda biased b/c I only like 3hrs away from Rebecca Farms(which is beautiful!), but it really is the nicest next to Rolex. It has an amazing course, which is perfectly maintained. The facilities are awesome, and the owners/organizers are great people and you always see them strolling around the barns during the event talking to everyone. It is a very technical course (all the levels are), with max fences, but they are pretty inviting at the same time. They have a wonderful water complex as well. They have rubber/foam (the footing made up of old tennis shoes) in all of the arenas, which is wonderful.
I also havent been to Stuart, so I cant really say either way. I have a feeling that Rebecca will be much cooler this year because we have been getting snow since middle of last month, and since then it has been very wet, so the event should be perfect.