The Radnor CCI** in Malvern, Pa., was the longest running two-star in the United States, offering a national championship, a national young horse championship and a competitors’ party that couldn’t be beat.
As organizers faced waning entries and lack of sponsorship and community involvement, they decided to finish while they were ahead. “The Organizing Committee feels it has come to a point where the quality of competition will suffer should the event continue,” stated a press release from the Radnor Organizing Committee. “We are very proud of Radnor’s heritage as one of the country’s premier equestrian competitions and wish to be remembered as such.”
“I think the surrounding community is a little bored with the event,” reflected Lisa Demars, Radnor organizer/competition manager in 2006. “People in our area have a lot of choices.”
Demars also explained that volunteers who would step up and take over the long-term planning of the event were few and far between. “The lion’s share of the work has fallen on a few people who are stretched pretty thin,” she said. “Getting people to accept greater responsibility is hard—people are so busy.”
The addition of a second fall two-star in Area II in Lexington, Va., played a part in reducing entries for Radnor, but Demars had only positive remarks about the new event. “In order to be profitable you have to offer a product that people want at a price they can afford,” she said. “Virginia is better positioned to offer the competitors what they want. It’s a wonderful facility with permanent features. They can offer the event at less cost to the competitor.”
Although the glory days of Radnor with the tailgate competition and Country Fair are over, there may still be a horse trials in Radnor’s future.
“There is the chance of continuing events at Radnor, but not in 2007,” said Demars. “It won’t be the same premier competition, but I’m sure it will be a great event.”