Red Hills International Horse Trials Return

After one of the longest and snowiest winters much of the eventing community has ever faced, the USEA has never been more excited about the 2010 season to heat up. This year marks the sixth running of the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series, and we’re pleased to have Red Hills International Horse Trials back on the calendar as the opening event for this prestigious series.

"We're very eager to start off our 2010 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series, and especially pleased to have Red Hills back again," said Jo Whitehouse, USEA CEO. "It's such a wonderful place that provides a professional and world-class event for the competitors and spectators. It truly captures the essence of everything we'd envisioned for our Series."

Red Hills, located in Tallahassee, Florida, has pulled in about 150 entries for this coming weekend, including some of your favorite top-level horses and riders.  “We’re very excited to have this caliber of horses and riders attend

our event,” said Jane Barron, one of the organizers for the event.

Red Hills International Horse Trials Entry List

Nearly 20 horses will vie for top honors in the U.S. East Coast CIC3*W, an HSBC FEI World Cup Final Qualifier, while others will be competing in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup CIC3*, the CIC2* and CIC1*, as well as Advanced, Open Intermediate, and Preliminary divisions.

(Left: Back in 2008, Clark Montgomery and Up Spirit won the Red Hills CIC3*W, which also served as the Adequan USEA Gold Cup division. Emily Daily photo.)

Eight Great Events
Eight events return to the Gold Cup calendar this year, covering top events from coast to coast including Red Hills in Florida, Stuart Horse Trials in New York, and California’s Twin Rivers Horse Trials in September, just to name a few.

Complete Adequan USEA Gold Cup Calendar

Horse and rider combinations compete at designated Gold Cup events for cash, prizes, and points. The horse and rider pair who collects the most points at year’s end receive the ultimate cash and prize jackpot. 

Last year, Fleeceworks Mystere du Val (owned by Beatrice and Guy Rey-Herme) and the invincible Leslie Law claimed cashed in on the $10,000 Gold Cup Champion payout at the USEA Annual Meeting and also achieved the USEA’s Overall Horse of the Year award.

(Right: Leslie Law and Fleeceworks Mystere du Val were crowned champions of the 2009 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series, after picking up top finishes at several Gold Cup events throughout the season. Josh Walker photo.)

“Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. makers of Adequan® is now into it’s sixth year of supporting for the USEA and the Adequan USEA Gold Cup series.  As the “Official Joint Therapy of the USEA,” Luitpold also serves as a Presenting Sponsor of the USEA American Eventing Championships. “Luitpold Animal Health is excited to continue its involvement with the Eventing community and these outstanding equine athletes,” stated Allyn Mann, Senior Manager at Luitpold Pharmaceuticals. “Adequan® is such a natural fit for these horses and everything they are required to do.”

For A Good Cause
One of the USEA’s main safety initiatives, the Equine Cardiovascular Study, will continue at this weekend’s event with the participation of the horses and riders competing in the Advanced divisions. Many of the country’s top equine veterinarians will be on-site with state-of-the-art equipment to collect vital data that will hopefully render useful answers and help the progress of active horse health.

“We’re thrilled to run not only the horse trials, but also share education about the important cardiovascular study as well,” said Barron. “Dr. Mike Short, one of the Florida state veterinarians, is coming to help, along with about ten equine vet techs.” 

Updated Courses

In its thirteenth year of competition, Red Hills is proud to welcome back Scotland’s Hugh Lochore as the new course designer for 2010. Lochore has designed courses at such European events such as Burnham Market, Tattersalls, and Burgie. Learn more about these other prestigious events and Hugh’s career and goals for the Red Hills courses.

The cross-country course was initially built by Lochore, and is set in the central area of a 120-acre indigenous horticultural park owned by Tallahassee ecologist and horse enthusiast Colin Phipps. It features a variety of formidable obstacles, including water complexes, banks, and ditches, all of which wind through Phipps' scenic arboretum.

Jane Barron spoke of the new changes competitors can expect to see on the updated course: “The jumps are very natural-looking; there’s quite a lot of brush, and the sculpting and design has made it quite gorgeous. There’s a whole different feel than the course of 2008. There’s much more galloping room, and it’s a very rhythmical course.”

She added that Hugh has re-directed some of the galloping lanes to use the best possible footing, and also trimmed back overhanging branches on the course to lower the claustrophobic feel for the horses and riders.

“Hugh wants to make sure that every horse comes off the course ‘smiling,’” she concluded.

More insights from Hugh Lochore on the USEA Blog.

A Spectator-Friendly Venue

Four dressage rings, the stadium course, stabling, the "Red Hills Avenue of Shops", "Saddlers' Row", "Red Hills Food Court", and a variety of exhibits, educational demonstrations, and Park and Botanical Tours are staged on adjoining Northwest Florida Water Management District land known as the Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park.

“There are pony rides and playgrounds, but interestingly enough, one of the most popular attractions for the children are the huge sand piles!” said Barron.

(Right: Amongst the other educational booths and seminars held throughout the weekend, there is also a popular foxhunting demonstration on Sunday afternoon, which is always a hit with the spectators!)

Red Hills prides itself on its conservational efforts, which includes introducing local land into conservation easement, lowering the production of urban fill, and also promoting the sport to spectators.

The event supports a number of local charities, and is a proud beneficiary of the Tall Timbers Foundation, Inc., an organization whose focus is the ecology and management of fire-dependent ecosystems, and wildlife, including bobwhite quail, in the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Their conservation efforts are dedicated to helping protect the distinctive, rural landscape of South Georgia and North Florida and its traditional land uses. Over the past nine years, Red Hills has donated $325,000 to charities.

The community support for this event is overwhelming, Barron commented. “Tallahassee is so excited about this sport being back in the news,” she added.

Check out this great article that appeared in Tallahassee Democrat about Red Hills' return.

A Note from Our Sponsors...

The Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series is made possible through the support of its many sponsors:  Title:

Adequan; Legacy: Nunn Finer and  Nutrena Contributing: Cover-All, and Patron: Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency, Mountain Horse, and Succeed.

Winners of the CIC3*, the designated "Gold Cup division," will take home $500 in prize money,  7-dose box of Adequan, a three-month supply of SUCCEED,  and a pair of Nunn Finer American Style open front boots. Second place finishers take home a Nutrena feed gift certificate and a pair of  Nunn Finer American Style open front boots, and third place receives a pair of the Nunn Finer boots as well.