Roebke’s Run Horse Trials, held twice a year at Schweiss Stables in Hector Minnesota is a jewel in the Area IV crown of events, and this year it has welcomed riders from the introductory, unrecognized levels of eventing through the CCI2*, making eventing dreams come true for young and old.
Erin Pullen and Tag Aim to Qualify for CCI3*
Erin Pullen was smiling from ear to ear and congratulating her thoroughbred “Tag” with vigorous pats after completing Dressage in CCI two-star at Roebke’s Run Friday.
This year marks Erin’s first venture into the CCI two-star level, and also her first trip to Roebke’s Run from her homebase stables in Shelbyville, Kentucky this year and was impressed with what she saw. Before she decided to come to Minnesota she had considered competing at Bromont in Canada; that was until she checked out Schweiss Stables on the website and saw the beautifully designed course by Capt. Mark Phillips.
“It was very inviting on the website. Bromont is being held this same weekend and is the same distance for me. The cost was such a big factor for me. I’m absolutely thrilled that I am here, just thrilled,” Erin said. “The cross-country course is so inviting — it’s a really good run, everything makes sense, it’s presented and decorated beautifully. Very good questions for the levels.”
Tag is a horse Erin got off the track, and she says that’s all she rides. Tag is 11 now and had raced one week prior to Erin acquiring him in 2013.
“He has such a good heart, good soul, and everything I’ve asked him to do he just tries and tries.”
While the division is a quiet one with Erin and Tag as the sole entries, Erin is hoping that her finish at Roebke’s Run will be a qualifying score for the pair to continue moving up.
“Ultimately, I want to do all the upper levels I can with this horse. This is the stepping stone to meet all my qualifications for CIC ***,” Erin says. “My goal this year is to hopefully end up at Fairhill in Maryland in October to run the CIC two-star — next year we’ll move up to Advanced and try for the three-stars; that’s when you are playing the big dance. He’ll tell me what he’s ready to do and what he wants to do, I’m not going to push him. It’s kind of a learning curve for both of us.”
She said she would love to run Rolex because it’s in her backyard and hometown. It’s been her dream ever since she was a little girl, and she’s been an avid eventer since she was just five years old.
“I’m very, very thankful to the Schweiss’s and the organizers for putting on such a lovely competition. I know it’s not cheap, it’s not easy and it takes a village. I’m very thankful to be here.”
Robin Walker Seeks Positive Growth for Up and Coming String
Robin Walker grew up in the UK but now makes his home in Grass Lake, Michigan. He’s been Eventing since 1980 and with all those years behind him he is now taking satisfaction in passing his knowledge on to young riders.
“I’m too old for the Olympics now, but I’m enjoying where I am. The farm is nearly paid for, we’ve got fantastic owners and probably the nicest bunch of horses now that I’ve had. I’m particularly enjoying helping develop Michael Nolan of Ireland who rode my horse (SBT Good Guy) in in the one-star Dressage today,” explained Robin.
He said Michael helps him with the young ones and his goal is to represent his country. As a mentor, there can be not much better satisfaction than to see someone else succeed in the sport, just as Walker has over the time span of nearly forty years.
Walker brought four horses to ride at Roebke’s Run: Uncle Ralph, a 7-year-old home-bred Selle Francais Thoroughbred cross who won the dressage in the CCI one star but settled for third with a stop on cross country today. Freedoms Light, who took third in the CIC2* dressage division, Aces Baby, who took third in the CIC one-star dressage division, and Windchase Aquilla, who is currently winning the preliminary division with a dressage score of 31.1.
“The reason we came firstly is because, normally we would be at Bromont in Montreal. Some of my clients wanted to be here and I have a very nice horse in the training division. Rather than just take International horses to Bromont we decided to see what it was all about,” said Walker.
After walking the cross-country course, he like many others was impressed.“The job they have done with the fences is amazing — it’s a first class effort on their part,” noted Walker. “The way Mark (Phillips) has put it together and the way they’ve put the jumps together, it flows.”
“They’ve done a lovely job with the facility, it’s so impressive when you drive up here. I commend the efforts the Schweiss’s have made to put this together.”
You can follow all the action at Roebke’s Run on their website and following the live scores below.
Go Roebke’s Run, and Go Eventing!