Pine Top Farm in Thomson, Georgia has been approved to add a CIC3* division to its February 25-28, 2016 Advanced/CIC2*/CIC* event. Pine Top will now be the site of the first three-star of the new year in North America and will provide an additional Olympic qualifier for Rio hopefuls.
Pine Top organizers Glenn and Janet Wilson told EN that they had not initially planned to host a three-star at their popular February Advanced horse trials, but it was requested that they do so right before the FEI application deadline, so they worked hard to get the details in order.
“We immediately called Area III chair Jane Barron, who then polled the other area organizers for approval, and we called our course designer Derek di Grazia, whose response was ‘no problem,'” the Wilsons stated in a press release.
While riders have until June 19, 2016 to obtain the minimum eligibility requirements to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the cutoff date for individual qualification based on FEI rider rankings is March 6, 2016. The addition of this new CIC3* could assist countries such as Mexico and Ecuador, which did not receive direct qualification as a team, as it gives them an additional chance to achieve points before the deadline.
“We are pleased to add this three-star division, and we are thankful that Derek is on our team. This will be his second year as our designer, and this is a big vote of confidence for us and our dedicated volunteers. We are looking forward to upping our game yet again.”