The 20th Anniversary Red Hills International Horse Trials, a top-ranked Eventing competition, was held at the sublime 670-acre Elinor Klapp Phipps Park in Tallahassee.
Red Hills offers a refreshing close-up of riders and their horses, far from the tame refinements found at Wellington’s Winter Equestrian Festival. My first Eventing and always a delight encountering the courtesies extended by the professional equine photographers perched at most every opportune location.
The three-day meet, a qualifying event for this fall’s World Equestrian Games to be held in Tryon, North Carolina, attracted more than 100 riders and 185 horses with several thousand spectators.
Eventing’s triple play featured Dressage’s intricacies with Cross-Country (XC) and Stadium Jumps running simultaneously. The XC course with 35 jumping efforts, tight corners, and hard right turns, was designed by Mike Etherington-Smith, designer of the Sydney and Beijing Olympics XC courses, and David O’Connor, who directionally reversed the course from previous years. However challenging, safety is the first priority at Red Hills where the course was lined with EMS personnel, vets, vet techs, and trained volunteers.
March 9-11, 2018 Red Hills International Horse Trials Elinor Klapp Phipps Park – Tallahassee
The winning riders and their horses for the various Dressage divisions were: Leslie Law/QC First Class, Caroline Martin/ The Apprentice, Marilyn Little/RF Scandalous, Waylon Roberts/Kelecyn Cognac and Philip Dutton/Fernhill Singapore, David O’Connor/Cooley Dream, Jordan Linstedt/Staccato, and Aubrey Wagner/Clooney MS.