After 25 years, Fitch’s Corner Horse Trials in Millbrook, New York, is coming to an end.
The event hosted beginner novice through preliminary levels at the farm belonging to organizers Fernanda Kellogg and her husband Kirk Henckels.
“We’ve come full cycle after 25 years,” said Kellogg. “There is no good time, so after 25 years it felt like maybe the right time. I’m better off at opening doors than I am closing doors, so this is just a moment until we figure out what we do next.
“It was going to be hard to continue to do it at the level I was doing,” she continued. “To have it fizzle out was not the way I felt good about. I felt good about having had a fantastic run. Our 25th anniversary was as good as it could be. It felt right, and it felt good.”
Eric Bull was the event’s first course designer, and Derek di Grazia took over later.
The event offered $25,000 prize money across all levels, as well as a collector car parade and a lively trade fair and food court. Its proceeds benefitted the Millbrook Rescue Squad, and nearly $700,000 was raised over the lifetime of the event.
Kellogg, who recently became a master of the Millbrook Hunt, said the farm will remain open to riders for schooling and training and as a fixture for the hunt, and it will continue to host the popular Boyd and Silva Martin clinic that’s going on its 10th year.
Kellogg said she’ll remember the anticipation of the first horse down centerline each year and the smiles on everyone’s faces throughout the weekend.
“I was very proud we were able to make memories with the upper level riders on their young horses and the beginner novice riders, who were probably in the ribbons with the first prize money checks of their lives,” she said.