Red Hills Horse Trials: Off To The Races! [SLIDE SHOW]

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By: Mike Springer
March 9, 2013

Tallahassee, FL-The second day of the Red Hills International Horse Trials was marked by its cross-country event. An event that will look dramatically different next year on its new course.

For now, this is what the cross-country course at the Red Hills International Horse Trials looks like. A landscape of slopes and hills with jumps scattered about. But a landscape that will look vastly different in 2014.

"It's a great shame obviously to be leaving this beautiful property," said course designer, Hugh Lochore.

Lochore is the mastermind behind the new cross-country course design. Lochore says the course will be moving from where it currently stands on the Phipps' family land over more than several hundred yards away onto the park's property. According to Lochore, the move not only brings the course closer to the vendors and the dressage area but it also helps opens things up for the riders.

"We're going to have it scoped for really utilizing the maximum dimensions allowed next year because of the openness the horses can really gallop down to a maximum sized jump," said Lochore.

The new design also means new challenges for riders like Leslie Law.

"At home, you're training your horse to jump corners, skinnies, the types of fences that are here behind us. It's important to have the horses confident," said Law.

Lochore says the designs for the new course is already down on paper and he hopes to start construction on it soon.

By: Mike Springer
March 8, 2013

The Red Hills International Trials kicked off Friday with its dressage competition.

To some, dressage might be better known as 'Horse Ballet'. But the sport is essentially a series of movements the horses and riders must complete mostly from memory with as little guidance and direction as possible.

"It really is sort of ballet. You have to train your horse so that nobody can see what the rider is doing. So it doesn't just take weeks. This is years and years of training," said rider, Buck Davidson Jr.

Dressage is the first event riders will have to compete in at Red Hills.

For Davidson Jr, riding is in his blood. Not only is he a Red Hills veteran, but his father is an Olympic, Equestrian Gold Medalist.
Davidson knows first-hand the importance of the dressage event

"I wouldn't say that if you're not winning after the dressage you're not going to win this thing. You need to be close. But I think you need to be in the top-ten," said Davidson.

And the fans say they appreciate all the hard-work that goes into it.

"The dance. It really is. To see that ultimate control is a beautiful sight," said Nicola Watson.

Red Hills continues throughout the weekend with Stadium and Cross-Country competitions.
WCTV will bring you to the races this afternoon! Tune in to WCTV Eyewitness News at Noon for a look at the competition!
We'll see you there!

WCTV has been covering Red Hills all week-- Browse through the stories below for your Red Hills fix:

Tallahassee Equestrian Gets Ready for Red Hills

The Country Course is Prepped for the Horse Trials

Volunteers Have History at the Horse Trials

Countdown To 15th Annual Red Hills Horse Trials Officially Underway

Local Rider Gets Ready for Red Hills

Press Release: Red Hills International Horse Trials

The theme for this year’s international horse trials, always a significant Tallahassee event, was announced this past week at a Sponsors’ Kickoff gathering at El Destino Farm, home of Jane and Tom Barron. Sponsors were treated to a special dressage exhibition by Federation Equestrian Internationale (FEI) Dressage Instructor Eugene Abello and two of his students, Grande Prix equestrians Molly Tatham and Lynnette Wadsworth, who performed a stunning twilight musical freestyle to The Ride of the Valkyries.

RHHT 2013 will take place March 8 - 10 at Elinor Klapp Phipps Park. As in the past, top riders and horses from at least two dozen states and 10 countries are expected to compete in the fifteenth Red Hills CIC-3 star event. Last year, four out of five members of the United States Olympic Team competed at RHHT prior to being selected for the 2012 Olympics!

Red Hills has again been selected to be the first event of the 2013 Adequan Gold Cup Pro Rider Series, where the best of the best vie for prize money, trophies and the title of Adequan Gold Cup Pro Rider Champion. Other changes in the works include a new FEI-mandated time schedule for selected levels at the three days of Eventing competition. The CIC Divisions will Show Jump on Friday afternoon, after Dressage and before Saturday’s Cross-Country.

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