Jan 21, 2017 9:00 am Ann Adams and Calliope, winners of the 2016 Novice Carolina Eventing Challenge. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.
The Carolina Horse Park and Southern 8ths Farm are partnering up to bring back the Carolina Eventing Challenge (CEC) in 2017. The CEC, a series composed of three horse trials in North and South Carolina, was introduced for the first time last year to provide a unique eventing challenge for the lower levels. The challenge is open to all riders at the Preliminary level and below, and organizers hope it will inspire competitors to target a USEA Classic Series long-format event.
“Carolina Horse Park is proud to once again team up with Southern 8ths,” said Marc Donovan, the Program Director at the Carolina Horse Park. “To us, the Carolina Eventing Challenge possesses all the key elements needed to help strengthen the foundation of the sport. Challenging competition paired with a deeper education for the horse and rider is a wonderful formula for inspiring a fun and safe competition.”
The rules for the CEC are simple: Compete at one of two qualifiers at the Carolina Horse Park (Southern Pines I, March 13-14 or Longleaf Pine Horse Trials, April 23-24) then enter one of the long-format three-day divisions at Southern 8ths Farm’s Heart of the Carolinas Horse Trials the first week of May. The winner for each level will be the horse and rider combination with the lowest combined score from the HOTC final and their best performance at a qualifier.
Because HOTC does not offer a Preliminary Three-Day (yet!), the final for Preliminary challengers will be a combined test with a derby-style jumping phase consisting of both stadium and cross country fences.
“We’re excited that we’re partnering again with the Carolina Horse Park to offer the CEC for a second year in a row,” HOTC Organizer Cindy Deporter said. “We appreciate the support of the competitors that we had last year and we hope that this year will be as big of a success.”
Sarah McMerty and Easy Come Easy Go, the 2016 Beginner Novice Carolina Eventing Challenge winners. Pictured with Marc Donovan (left) and Southern 8ths Farm hosts Brad Turley and Pati Martin. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.
Besides the appeal of a thrilling challenge and a heightened relationship with your event horse, there are prize incentives to consider, too. CEC winners at each level will go home with an armload of gifts, and HOTC proudly boasts an impressive collection of products provided by sponsors for top placed competitors in the three-day and horse trials.
The USEA also supports the classic three-day by providing prizes for division winners as well as year-end awards. Training Three-Day and Novice Three-Day winners from any long-format event in the country are automatically entered into the SmartPak Equine USEA Classic Series Sweepstakes, sponsored by SmarkPak Equine and Stackhouse Saddles. The 2016 Training Three-Day Sweepstakes winner Annah Yoder received a custom fitted Stackhouse Saddle and a year’s supply of SmartPak supplements; Novice Three-Day Sweepstakes winner Christina Schultz also won a year’s supply of SmartPaks.
Currently there are only eight venues in the United States that still offer long-format competitions: Heart of the Carolinas, Indiana Eventing Association, Coconino, Rebecca Farm, Colorado Horse Park, Hagyard Midsouth, Waredaca and Galway Downs. For those competitors who yearn to blast out of the startbox on steeplechase or seek to take their horsemanship skills to the next level, the Classic Series provides a platform to do all this as well as allow modern-day eventers to connect with a piece of our sport’s history.
Sign up at each CEC event is required for scores to be counted, so look for the flyer in your rider packet at the designated competitions. For more information about the CEC rules and to download a registration form, click here.
To find out more about the USEA Classic Series and to find a long-format near you, click here.
[Carolina Horse Park and Southern 8ths Farm Welcome Back the Carolina Eventing Challenge]