By: Richie Pergolizzi | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 10, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Hold on to your saddle.
Red Hills held its 21st Annual International Horse Trials at Elinor-Klapp Phipps Park in Tallahassee over the weekend.
The event drew thousands of visitors from the Big Bend and from as far as Australia.
With over 200 horses in competition, the safety of the horse and rider is top priority.
"What we do at the horse inspection is make sure that the horse is fit and sound and able to compete and finish the competition in show jumping," says Rusty Lowe, safety officer for the Red Hills Horse Trials.
"If there is any problem whatsoever, the vets will pull the horse from the competition," said Lowe.
Red Hills Horse Trials is a qualifying competition for riders hoping to be selected for their country's Olympic team.
Clayton Fredericks, an Olympian originally from Australia, hopes events like the trials will inspire the next generation.
"It's great because hopefully my success inspires the young ones of the future to get involved in this sport. I try to be a good role model for those young ones and encourage people into this fantastic sport," said Fredericks.
The community event is supported by nearly 600 volunteers.
"It's a tough sport. It requires a whole lot of preparation and a whole lot of training and a whole lot of partnership between the rider and the horse," said Jane Barron, co-founder of the Red Hills International Horse Trials.
The Red Hills International Horse Trials has a $3.3 million economic impact on the Tallahassee community.