Tallahassee's Red Hills Horse Trials begin Friday morning, featuring 200 of the nation's best riders. With sunshine predicted all weekend long, the competition is expected to draw between 30,000 and 40,000 spectators.
Darren Chiacchia rode off with a gold medal at the Red Hills Horse Trials last year, and he and his horse “Windfall” are anxious to attempt a repeat.
Darren says, "You want to do well; there's a lot of prestige involved as well as getting points so that we can go, potentially, to the World Cup in Sweden this year, so there's a lot of pressure. With that pressure is a lot of excitement."
Darren is one of 200 riders from 28 states and nine different countries here to compete in dressage, cross country and stadium jumping.
Nadeem Noon, a competitor from Pakistan, says, "The courses are excellent. All the facilities are really good and it's a very interesting cross country course. It's not your normal plain, boring, so there's a lot of stuff out there."
In years past the Red Hills has had its share of rain, but not this weekend, and that's expected to draw record crowds approaching 40,000.
Hometown rider Rick Wallace and his horse “Beau” are ready.
Rick says, "It's kind of an adrenaline rush depending on if you're going into a competition going down to a cross country jump that doesn't really move, you kind of get an adrenaline rush, it does kind of feel like you're flying."
The Red Hills Horse Trials start Friday and run through Sunday. Tickets are $10 a day or $20 bucks for a weekend pass. Take Meridian Road north and follow the signs to Miller Landing.