The 2008 Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana concluded another successful Event with 261 entries in the National Horse Trials divisions and 139 entries in the FEI levels with 8 starts in the FEI World Cup™ Qualifier division. In spite of inflated gas prices, nearly ninety percent of the competitors came from out-of-state to showcase their talents and enjoy the spectacular equestrian facility at Rebecca Farm on July 24 – 27, 2008. Many came early and planned to stay late to take in the recreational opportunities that abound in the beautiful Flathead Valley and surrounding areas. “This is our favorite Event, we make this our family vacation,” said a competitor from Alberta, Canada. “We have been here for a week already and we plan to stay on for another and enjoy the crystal clear lakes and wonderful hospitality in the area.”
Even though it was the Valley’s busiest weekend of the summer for special events, competing with five other major attractions in a Valley with a population of 82,000, attendance was maintained from the previous year with a slight increase to just under 16,000. “The economic revenue that this Event produces is incredible. The City of Kalispell appreciates it. There is not a hotel room to be found in the Valley and it is because of this Event that we are seeing all of these people coming to our community to visit and to spend their dollars here. Our citizens appreciate it,” affirmed Pamela B. Kennedy, Mayor of Kalispell, Montana.
The Event at Rebecca Farm appreciates its many sponsors and supporters and welcomed many new ones, this year honoring Blasart, Hi-Way Services, Dow’s Custom Construction, Parson’s Tractor, Century 21Whitefish Land Office and Cindy and Larry Lippon of King of Hearts Ranch who have been supporting The Event at Rebecca Farm since its inaugural in 2002, and Fifth Third Bank, American Printing, Eisinger Motors Chevrolet-Cadillac, Montana Emu Ranch and Digital Planet for their support since 2003. With the continued local support and increasing awareness of the caliber of the Event, it continues to rise in the international Eventing scene putting Kalispell, Montana as a premiere destination for Eventing. The Event also relies on over 300 Volunteers that come from all over the United States along with local contractors to attend to the many details before, during and after, in all areas of The Event to help make this such an outstanding, smooth running venue.
The 2008 Event was the third and final American leg of the 2008 FEI World Cup™ Eventing Qualifiers with only three Qualifiers left in Australia, France and Germany. The HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing Final will take place in Deauville, France September 18 – 21, 2008.
A field of eight started in the FEI World Cup™ Qualifier division at Rebecca Farm but only four completed all three days with the two-day leader Jolie Sexson of Martinez, CA withdrawing her horse, Killian O’Connor, as a precautionary measure. Josh Barnacle and Florestan du Seri standing in third after two days also withdrew. Hawley Bennett riding Splendorofthesun was eliminated on Cross Country and Nicholas Cwick and Asterix were eliminated in Show Jumping.
The following are the final results of the 2008 FEI World Cup™ Eventing Qualifier division at The Event at Rebecca Farm:
First - Tory Smith, Camarillo, California on Bantry Bay V
Second – Debbie Rosen, Calabasas, California on The Alchemist
Third – Chelan Kozak, Abbotsford, BC Canada on Tasman Sea
Fourth – Barbara Crabo, Scottsdale, Arizona on Eveready
The 2008 Event at Rebecca Farm was also host to one of thirteen Adequan/USEA Gold Cup Series venues, ninth in the Series, which will conclude on September 26-28 at Twin Rivers Horse Trials in Paso Robles, California. The Series is based on a point system where points are given based on placing/entries. Points were rewarded to 1st – 4th at The Event at Rebecca Farm.
The following are the winners of the 2008 Adequan/USEA Gold Cup Series at Rebecca Farm:
Advanced division winner - Tory Smith of Camarillo, California riding Bantry Bay V, a 10 year-old, 17 hand Irish Sport Horse.
Intermediate division winner - Ali Holmes-Smith of Chase, BC Canada riding her 13 year-old, 14.3 hand Welsh cross, Paddington.
Prior to the commencement of the Event, Rebecca Farm was host to the Spalding Labs/USEA Young Event Horse Series which features four and five year-olds judged in Conformation and Type; Dressage; Jumping/Suitability and Potential. The ultimate goal of the Young Event Horse Series is to choose the youngster that possesses the talent and mind set, and who with proper training, will excel in the uppermost levels of the Eventing world.
Four year-old division winner - Suzie Pettman-Elliott of Yelm, WA riding Forbidden, a gray Hanoverian mare.
Five year-old division winner - Josh Barnacle of Santa Rosa, CA riding his own Globetrotter, a black Oldenburg gelding.
The Event’s impressive caliber of Officials were pleased with the competition and the facility. “This is my first time to Rebecca Farm. In forty years, I have been to virtually every venue in the country and when I drove into Rebecca Farm my jaw dropped – this is the most complete Eventing facility set-up I have ever seen in my life…It was breathtaking. This sport is a sport born of the beauty, the grace, the speed and the power of the horse. This venue shows off everything we love about the animal,” said Jack Leary, Connecticut, National Technical Delegate.
Organizers and officials are proud to have had an Event with no serious injury to either rider or horse. “This was a good day of Eventing,” Eric Smiley, the FEI Ground Jury President, beamed after Cross Country day. All are off to their next Event with Gretchen Butts, The Event’s FEI Technical Delegate, heading to Beijing to officiate at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. “Rebecca Farm, for our entire membership coast to coast, is one of our premiere Events. The Organizers definitely set the bar for the standard in producing this type of organization. Nothing is left to an unfinished thought. Every detail is considered. Riders from the east coast, west, north and south all want to come to Rebecca Farm,” stated Mrs. Butts.
Riders were full of praise for the footing and the Cross Country course design by Captain Mark Phillips and built by Bert Wood, which CIC***-W 3rd place winner Chelan Kozak from Canada called “absolutely perfect. We put our hearts and souls into these horses and to be able to ride on footing that is so perfect and over fences that have been so well designed and built is such a privilege.”
Richard Jeffrey’s beautifully designed and challenging Show Jumping courses concluded The 2008 Event at Rebecca Farm where organizers, riders, enthusiastic spectators and supportive volunteers and sponsors enjoyed clear skies and good weather. According to the 2008 CIC***-World Cup™ Eventing Qualifier winner Tory Smith, “I love the grounds here. The people here are extremely nice; everyone is friendly. The organization is great.”
Over $60,400 was awarded in prize money and over $35,000 in Trophies and Tack Awards were presented to top places in all divisions. The 2009 Event at Rebecca Farm promises to be even more exciting as Rebecca Farm continues the development of the Event as a premiere international equestrian destination.
If you were not able to attend this year, please make sure to mark your calendar for next year, July 23, 24, 25 and 26, 2009.
For complete results and additional information, visit our website at www.rebeccafarm.org
For FEI World Cup™ Eventing information go to www.feiworldcup.org
For Adequan/USEA Gold Cup Series and Spalding Labs/USEA Young Event Horse Series information go to www.useventing.com
To get involved in the 2009 Event please contact Alison MacKenzie at 406-253-4666 or email her at email@example.com