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Thoughts on these Area II Fall events

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  • Thoughts on these Area II Fall events

    Flipping through the omnibus, I can dream, right? That the horse is sound, that I have access to a working truck, no broken bones on my part?

    Just wondering what your thoughts were on the events in general/Novice courses in particular at the following events. I hate "average" as a description of the XC course, average compared to WHAT??! Also stabling, for those that are over a couple days. Would like to be able to pick and choose.

    Pinehurst Horse Trials (Sep 6-7)
    Green Hill Park Horse Trials (Sep 21)
    Middleburg Horse Trials (September 27-8)
    CDCTA Fall Trials (October 19)
    Fall Horse Trials at the Ark (October 25-26)

    Already planning on the VA Horse Trials, did BN there last year and had a blast!

    Yup yup, but shhh, keep this a secret from Owen, he seems to know when to pull the shoes at just the right time...

  • #2
    No idea about Pinehurst.

    Green Hill I wouldn't do. The course is on the side of a mountain. It is hell to walk. The jumps are not great. Last year my novice bank was the second step down of a 2 training steps, so I had to like walk to fit in and jump down the second step. That kind of annoying bad design basically described the whole course.

    Middleburg is a very nice novice so I hear. It is just dumb it is run over two days but you do only dressage on saturday and both jump phases on Sunday.

    CDCTA is great fun... not fancy... I don't like the new place for SJ... XC is fun but can be a little hard not that it is a huge deal at Novice though.

    I dunno about the Ark but my friend had fun there!


    • #3
      Pinehurst XC is run at Denny's Tamarack Hill southern pines location. Very honest, true-to-level. Water is usually a pass-through with a jump near the out. There is an up bank, and possibly a down bank. (there is also a double-up, or double-down, but that's usually on the T course) There's a little, very inviting ditch that's sometimes used. The footing is second to none, in all weather. There are probably xc jump pictures somewhere on the farm website: http://www.tamarackhill.com I think XC and Showjumping are at the harness track.

      To be fair to Greenhill Park, it is a NEW (recognized--have run schooling before, but not recognized) event--it ran in place of Fancy Hill for the first time last fall, I believe.

      The Ark's course was recently re-organized, and I understand is more flow-y or whatever. Some good questions on the XC course including ditch, bank, pass-through water with jump after or before, light-to-dark, etc. There is a trakehner on the N course. They are very organized, and it is a fun event. The show jumping is in a grass area on a hill, and can be spooky for horses that are prone to that sort of thing. They have exotic animals (bison, zebra, big birds, donkeys, etc), so if your horse is weird about new smells it can be an experience.

      Also take a look at 5Points at the Carolina Horse Park (which I believe is the weekend after Pinehurst). Best facility around. Big course, but very fair. 2 waters, up-bank (sometimes down, sometimes not), friendly trakehner. Footing is the same as at Pinehurst: absolute perfection. Mark Donovan often designs the stadium courses, and they ride great.
      "Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom" Barack Obama


      • #4
        Of the places you've listed, I've only run at Green Hill and CDCTA. I am planning on doing the Ark, though, this October and have heard both postive and negative things (but think that the positive outweight the negative, and figure "why not").

        For CDCTA, I used it as my prep to move up to Prelim. The training course was pretty big. Don't know much about the other levels. I did have a serious issue with the number of ground hog holes that there were and didn't enjoy my horse falling in a ground hog hole community while warming up for stadium. Other than that, no real complaints. I thought the course was a ton of fun and really gave me a good prep for my move up.

        For Green Hill, I know that the organizers are trying really hard to improve upon last year's first recognized event. The footing in all of the rings has had a decent overhaul and they are rethinking some of the other things that people had concerns with last year. As for the hill, yes, it's a beast - but to be fair, their are decent hills at other recognized competitions (oh yeah, CDCTA had a couple of good ones with jumps at the top and bottom). Also, the entire course is not on the hill. The majority of jumps are on a nice flat stretch on top of the hill and down on the flat at the bottom of the hill. It's a good venue to get a young and/or green horse out to because most seem to do well in the environment (I start my guys out showing at Green Hill all the time as they hav ea calendar full of schooling shows). Also, while the jumps aren't fancy, I'd say that they are inviting. As far as difficulty goes, the courses are like really beefed up versions of the level below - in other words, if you're going novice and thinking about moving up to training, this is a good course for you (and so on down the levels). As for the negative comments about this venue in general, I'd hate to see a new horse trials go away simply because some people got a bad taste in their mouth at its first go around. Hopefully if you had some concerns, you sent in your evaluation form like I did last year so that they *can* work on the problems. Let's give the organizers and the park a little bit more support than that and a little bit more time to fix problems.
        Last edited by BlueRidgeEventer; Jul. 16, 2008, 10:43 PM. Reason: Added additional info about the venue


        • #5
          Just to clarify an earlier post, the Ark has MOVED the show jumping to a large blue stone/sand arena in the main infield (we made that change this past spring)...we've also added a third dressage ring, new camping hook-ups (actual power boxes on posts and water hydrants!), and cleared room for 200+ temporary stalls to add to our 100 permanent ones...and the exotics aren't within sight of the arenas (although the bison made a great obstacle at the bottom of the drops back when we started--LOL!)

          I also like to do Pinehurst, but I would NOT call it true to level...it's on the very small side compared to the other recognized courses in NC (CHP, Fork, Ark). It is run well and the footing is great--I've known many people who use it as a move up and/or for confidence building. On the down-side, the stabling, dressage, and show jumping are in a different place than the cross country about 20 minutes away--which can be a challenge to settle a greenie twice in one weekend.

          Don't know if you're planning on making the trip south with friends, but the Ark is doing an Across the Levels Team Challenge again in October...teams had a blast in March (see our website or omnibus for details).


          • #6
            There should be pics up of the cross country fences for the Pinehurst HT up on my website soon. I just went out and went a little overboard with the camera!!!



            • #7
              Originally posted by BlueRidgeEventer View Post
              As for the negative comments about this venue in general, I'd hate to see a new horse trials go away simply because some people got a bad taste in their mouth at its first go around. Hopefully if you had some concerns, you sent in your evaluation form like I did last year so that they *can* work on the problems. Let's give the organizers and the park a little bit more support than that and a little bit more time to fix problems.
              Thank you - I couldn't agree more!

              I haven't seen any of the courses they had set up for the recognized event, but I have seen the cross country course before and yes, it is hilly, but it's really not that bad. That's all I can since I didn't go to the event (I need to volunteer this year!), but I really hope that the HT sticks around. It definitely has potential to be nice.


              • #8
                I did Green Hill, CDCTA and Middleburg last year. The atmosphere at G.H. was very warm and inviting last year. I hated the footing coming down to the last few jumps (actually ended up walking one horse- incurring massive penalties with both though) and the gravel road (large gravel at that) leading to the last jump I thought was just downright ridiculous. Yes, everything was on the small side I have to agree. Other than that I thought it was a good event to start at, but not something I would drive very far for.

                Middleburg has got to be one of the absolute best events I've been too. I'm very sad this year, as they don't have Training!!, but it was my first Novice event ever last fall and I loved it. Little did they tell me until I got back to the barn that it was pretty much a maxed out N course! Guess it was better that way- lol. They have pictures as well of a good number of their jumps online. Great organization all around, perfect footing, fun courses- hands down one of the best around.

                CDCTA I know changed since last fall, as they definitely moved the dressage arenas- and maybe the stadium. It was a pretty good course. Although last fall they had N go into a back field (with pretty rocky footing, and up a steep hill- so you had to make a 90deg right turn- to a coop perched on the edge). That was my only real dislike at all, that and they kept hurrying everyone up incessantly (but nicely) to get from stadium to xc!! The ditch wasn't really a ditch, more like a half ditch with just a front ground pole and the other side dug out. The rest of the course was pretty good,- lots of hills! I know at the last minute they had had to change from the 2 day to the 1 day format, so I'm sure this time round (and at the spring one) things went smoother with the moving around of rings, timing, etc.

                Would say also that Middleburg is more maxed out and has better "questions" (like a bank up, a jump with a ditch-not related distance, but close to each other, and the water is better) then CDCTA, which is just hillier. And for someone that just started competing last fall, it matters-... even at Novice.


                • #9
                  FYI Topaz, I don't think Middleburg has ever had training, at least not in the last 4 or 5 years I've been going. It's too bad since I love the event too, but I have a greenie and a prelim horse, but I am not quite ready for that huge prelim course!

                  Check out my blog at http://lindsayberreth.com


                  • #10
                    Middleburg is my favorite event in Area II. It is really, really nice. The footing is great and the questions are fair. It is probably a good move up course, because it is pretty well maxed out, but it wouldn't be something to avoid if you are comfortable with the height, because the questions are pretty straightforward.

                    I would recommend against CDCTA. I hate to say that, but the ground hog holes are just completely awful and they are everywhere. It just isn't worth the risk again, for me anyway. If that sort of thing doesn't concern you, it is a nice event with great organizers who work very hard.
                    Treat Jockey for Spellbound and Smidgeon


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by piaffeprincess98 View Post
                      FYI Topaz, I don't think Middleburg has ever had training, at least not in the last 4 or 5 years I've been going. It's too bad since I love the event too, but I have a greenie and a prelim horse, but I am not quite ready for that huge prelim course!

                      Our farm helped with the setup last year and I kinda caught the drift- but I was only doing N, what did I care right? Well..I'm caring this year (since we've moved up) ...not only is it a great one- it's the closest! Maybe we'll set our sights high for the prelim next year


                      • #12
                        For nov, Middleburg is fine. I wouldn't in a million years do p/i there. It's big though. I about crapped my pants walking it but it rides really well.
                        I would go to VHT (and join an ATC team) and then think about Rubicon over CDCTA. MUCH nicer courses overall.
                        Even duct tape can't fix stupid