No "Horsing" Around

It was the biggest weekend ever for the Red Hills Horse Trials. Organizers say early estimates show the crowd of attendees had grown to nearly 40,000.

This year's winner of the local rider award, Jill Henneberg, says, "It's been a beautiful weekend. The weather really cooperated, so that makes it so much nicer for the spectators."

It’s not bad for an event that started just eight years ago, what the Phipps family called a small barn competition.

Red Hills founder Colin Phipps says, "Just kind of a fun thing, if not the best run event in the United States."

On the weekend of Red Hills, Tallahassee becomes the focus for Olympians and international athletes. Competitors come here from as far as Australia, Sweden and Canada to challenge their horses in technical jumps, and that's not all.

With the horses come the people, and with the people come the pocketbooks. Along with watching the thoroughbreds, spending money is one of Red Hills' most popular pastimes.

Red Hills co-organizer Sally Ausley says, "It's a great boost to Tallahassee. We have people flying in from all over the country. I met three ladies yesterday who had come from England, and they just came."

They came and indeed they were able to watch horses float, dance and fly.

Around 5,000 came for dressage on Friday, 22,000 were there for cross country on Saturday, and at least 12,000 were expected Sunday.


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