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Southern Pines HT- area, hotels, etc.?

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  • Southern Pines HT- area, hotels, etc.?

    I bit the bullet and despite making the decision to enter sometime back in January before it opened, finally calmed my nerves enough to drop my entry form and check in the mail for Southern Pines. So now that the really hard part is done (never mind conditioning and training my horse), please, tell me everything I need to know before our 8 hour trek down there!

    The Omnibus is not very foreboding about the XC (as compared to Pine Top) and the CHP has gotten rave reviews from all the KY folk I've mentioned my trip to.

    Since this is my spring "showcation", I'd love to know more about the area and places I should definitely try to visit with the very little free time that a horse show affords (although if there are any really interesting attractions, I can always send my dad off to visit since he'll be accompanying me and I know he'll have bored-to-death moments while I'm busy playing with my pony). The Google and COTH search functions haven't been terribly helpful, but I'm also happy to admit that I suck at searching. I'm also a bit confused about which town is actually closest and where I ought to try to base out of, assuming there are even hotels nearby- Southern Pines, NC, Pinehurst, NC, Raeford, NC, or elsewhere.

    I've been told that Cabin Branch is a must-visit tack shop, but I'm open to any/all suggestions, horse and otherwise! I'm a not-so-closet foodie, so any good recommendations for local places to eat would be much appreciated. And recommendations for cheap, non-skeezy hotels close to the CHP or other recommended places to visit would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Try Aberdeen for hotels. I think they are the closest. Southern Pines, Aberdeen and Pinehurst all kinda blend into each other. Plenty of restaurants around.
    I stay at the Motel 6,very cheap. I don't mind it at all, but some people think it is too scuzzy.
    Are you going to SPI or II? I am scribing for dressage for II.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks for the recommendation- I didn't even realize Aberdeen was another place to try.

      We're going to SPI since it's over my law school spring break. I'm doing training with my ditchy horse, so while I'm expecting a coffin question, I'm hoping it's not maxed out.


      • #4
        I usually stayed at the Best Western Pinehurst Inn right on US 1 in Southern Pines. That is before I moved here. There are all the usual chain restaurants and there are plenty of good local restaurants in downtown Southern Pines. Ashten's, Curt's Cucina (great Italian food), Downtown Grill, The Bell Tree, the Sly Fox are all good local places in Southern Pines. Pinehurst is all about golf.
        Last edited by dmacaramel; Feb. 11, 2013, 11:32 PM. Reason: more info


        • #5
          Welcome in advance! SPHT are always fun. Definitely get your hotel in the Aberdeen or Southern Pines area, I would not advise any Raeford hotels.

          Cabin Branch usually has their mobile tack shop at the venue in case you forget something. The food vendors have slimmed down to one group and it sends me to the porta-potty every time (pack snacks and hold out for dinner!)

          Warmup, footing and courses are great. You will have a blast! PM me if you have need anything, I'm very local to the horse park.
          Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

          The Grove at Five Points


          • #6
            I will be going to the Adult Rider camp in Vass, NC, before the SPI event. Since I will be packing for a week, I am planning on bringing clothing for any kind of weather. For those of you who live there, what are the average temperatures for early March?

            In KY, we can get anything from snow to 70's, at that time of year.
            When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Auburn View Post
              I will be going to the Adult Rider camp in Vass, NC, before the SPI event. Since I will be packing for a week, I am planning on bringing clothing for any kind of weather. For those of you who live there, what are the average temperatures for early March?

              In KY, we can get anything from snow to 70's, at that time of year.
              It's almost as variable here, sorry to tell you. Last year at the February CHP Pipe Opener, I rode in short sleeves, but volunteering for dressage at Southern Pines I, it was positively frigid - in a long sleeved shirt, down vest, and shell I didn't start to thaw until about 11 a.m.

              Like ACME said the Cabin Branch will have their trailer at the show, and honestly the store is nothing to write home about, IMO. About what you would expect from a smaller, independent tack shop. If you have the time, there's a consignment shop by the Aberdeen feed store that would be more worthwhile.

              Lots of fantastic food in downtown Southern Pines and Pinehurst village. You can pretty much stroll around either place and take your pick. Almost everything in Aberdeen is a chain.

              Don't know if "ditchy" for you includes trakehners, but the general consensus on CHP's is that they're a bit tricky for their respective levels. I'm not sure if they're usually on the course for SPI, though...
              "Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn't make sense!"


              • #8
                There is onlhy one hotel in Raeford, and quite frankly I can't recommend it. Any hotel on US 1 in Southern Pines or Aberdeen, another town frequently overlooked is Laurinburg. I live two miles from the park and can be in Laurinburg in 15 minutes. Having said that, there is probably more to do in SoPo.

                Second the comments on tack stores. Hard to say about the cross country courses, what once was isn't anymore . . . new course designer for A and I.

                Weather could be anything from bikinis to snow suits. You will just have to keep checking - weather.com or some such. . .



                • #9
                  CHP itself is at Five Points, NC -- it comes up on Google Earth. There's NOTHING out there, but you're only about 15-20 mins from SoPines. If I hotel it, I usually stay at the EconoLodge on Hwy 1 (I get lots of hotel pts from work). No real "visiting" types of places; we work down there a lot -- eating and drinking mostly.

                  As far as CHPs courses, the SoPines I course is generally pretty straight-forward. There is a new course designer who started...last year? She seemed to be still finding her stride at the lower levels last fall, but improved a lot since spring (below P) but the jumps are always excellent and the facility is fantastic. The new ditches in the front of the steeplechase field aren't maxed but are good-sized -- the T coffin has a hanging log on one side and the other side varies, IIRC but it's nice and open and seems to read well as long as the rider doesn't go in backwards.

                  Weatherwise, it is pretty variable in early March; generally, I'd expect days 50-70 degrees, with possible wind/rain, possible sunshine, LOL. Last year I did have some trouble with slick, hard footing in the afternoons -- had NEVER used studs at CHP, but our weather is all messed up.
                  Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                  Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                  We Are Flying Solo


                  • #10
                    Agree with everyone's post-I would stay away from the Country Hearth Inn-haven't heard good things about that place. Food wise-some really nice ones-Downtown Grill is awesome, Asheten's, I am all for supporting the local restaurants...although I do admit to loving the Grilled Chicken Salad sandwich at Hickory Tavern.

                    I will be volunteering as usual there..........and living vicariously through my friends since I am waaaaaaaaaay to chicken to jump.


                    • #11
                      I visited Southern Pines recently for a clinic and prior to going, posted an ad on the Sandhills Area Equestrians board on facebook, stating that I was looking for a place to stay for a couple of days with my horse. I received several responses from people that had barn apartments or other arrangements, and found a lovely huntbox right in the heart of everything, and a short horseback ride away from the clinic. If you like a more home like atmosphere and staying with your horse, try asking on that board. Also while there my friend and I dined at both Ashtens, and the Sly Fox and found them both perfect for foodies! Have fun! I can't wait for my next trip to Southern Pines.