I wanted to ask advice on the Fair Hill prelim course in April. I'm looking at it as a possibility for our second prelim of the season and third total for my OTTB. We did VA HT last fall and he absolutely ate up the cross-country.
This season we're starting with training at SP I, then prelim at Morven. There aren't a lot of events in VA/MD in April (not doing Loudoun this year, going to Rolex instead!), and Fair Hill might work for our schedule.
I've only competed there twice (at novice) since we have so many events closer to us. So how is the prelim cross-country for early in the season? I know they have a CIC*, so I'm concerned it might be a bit too much too soon.
From what I remember from a few years ago when I did novice there, they have a log on a lump-type combination, a bank near some trees, a coffin and I know what the water jump looks like.
Also, the omnibus is vague about the schedule. If it's one phase on each day, that's not worth the cost to me because I'd have to do an overnight. Do the HT divisions tend to run over all three days?
I think if he ate up the prelim course at Virginia and you will have done the Morven prelim prior, you will be fine! And there are different course designers for the CIC and National levels, so the courses might not be too similar.
I don't know what to tell you about the scheduling except to shoot Mary Coldren (the secretary) an email (email@example.com)- I'm sure if you explained your situation she'd be happy to answer you as best she can this far out.
As I recall, the April Fair Hill runs over multiple days even for the HT, the May Fair Hill is a one-day. I don't think the course is ridiculous, but it is harder than Morven generally. They often take a hard look at the water there, and the coffin can be substantial because it has more terrain than other prelims in the area. The bank complex is always fair and fun though it can ride quite forward, and there's usually a couple of quite big fences in the bottom loop which are fun but kicking.
It's substantial, as Gotspots says, and it is over three days, dressage one day, XC and stadium -- they have to use the all weather ring for dressage AND jumping so can't run concurrent phases. And usually have a volunteer problem for that one, too. It will be over three days, Linds.
If you do SP 1 and Morven at T -- see how he is going and enter Prelim and if you don't think it's in the cards call Mary and see if you can bump down -- they usually have room in the April event at T level.
I know, it is the same for me, a bit too far to ship in daily and a bit too expensive to stable all three days....but I am considering only stabling one night at a friends or other local stable (Lewisville Stables is quite close and brand new barn; couple of others) close by and shipping up on the last day.
Exactly Retread. And I just can't swing it for three whole days. I'll definitely send Mary an email and ask her, although I understand this far out, it's going to be hard to say.
If it's harder than Morven, he honestly won't care. He would jump the advanced fences if we was pointed at them. But a beefier course for me at this point might not be the right next step. It's been awhile since I've consistently competed at prelim.
I was also thinking of Plantation in April, but I've never been there at all, so I'm hesitant. Plus, they charge an outrageous flat fee for stabling, and I'd probably only need one night.
I'm really leaning towards my other option to just save my money and do some jumper shows/rounds in April, because that's really our issue. I hate to do so few competitions because I think we thrive with a schedule of two events a month, but I told myself this year was more about getting comfortable at the level, so if we do that by just doing unrecognized stuff, that's fine too.
piaffe, I think if you needed a stall for one night in the area of Plantation, someone on here could hook you up (I can think of one place that might have a stall and could ask for you). It's a really fun event and I think (retread, chime in here) it would be slightly less intimidating of a course than FHI (from a rider perspective).
I moved up to Prelim last summer, and I've only done the August Fair Hill and never done the Prelim at Plantation (so I'm not sure how much this is worth!) but I am sort of in the same boat and my guess is that Plantation will be a bit softer than Fair Hill. The courses there tend to be gallopy, which is nice. That said, Fair Hill was my first Prelim last year and although it was decent-sized-- there is one trakhener that makes me nauseous-- it rode great and wasn't particularly technical. The biggest problem is trying to guess which weekend will have worse weather! Last year the xc at Plantation was cancelled, but many years it seems like it's poured on Fair Hill weekend as well.
Thanks Faybe. I'll keep that in mind. I talked with my trainer last night and she's kind of difficult to get for overnights unless one or more people goes too. I'm sure I could handle training level by myself, but it's the show jumping that I really need help with, and I'm not sure I'm ready to go on my own at prelim yet.
We might consider Plantation later in the season once her other students get going a bit. I'm always gung ho and want to get started as early as possible!
We're thinking it's a better use of money to do a CT or some jumping rounds instead.
I might end up at FH to watch or work with GRC though, so I'll be sure to check out the courses.