So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event: Ready to Rock & Roll

At EN, we are happy to promote events…without the tireless work of organizers, secretaries, and volunteers behind the scenes, this great sport would not exist. We are delighted to share the preparations and excitement for the upcoming Southern Eighths/Nikon Three-Day Event.  Read an earlier introduction to So8ths here. Thanks to Diana De Rosa for sending this article to us.


So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event  Are Pumped and Ready to Rock & Roll

Story & Photos By Diana DeRosa


It’s amazing how time whizzes by. It feels like last year’s So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event in the “Heart of the Carolinas” just ended and here we are getting close to the second annual event May 3-6 at Southern 8ths Farm in Chesterfield, SC. Preparations continue and the staff and supporters are psyched.


While I was handling the still photography in 2011, Jason Watson and his team from nFocus Pictures was working on videotaping the event.  They were new to Eventing but came away with a greater appreciation.


“As videographers, we get a chance to see behind the scenes as well as the view of the event from the eyes of staff and riders,” commented Jason. “Our team was blown away by the attention to detail and dedication to this event by owner of Southern 8ths Farm, Brad Turley, his staff and volunteers. This course is absolutely gorgeous. The treatment of riders, horses, staff members and spectators is well above any recent competitions we have covered. So8ths makes this event special for everyone involved and it clearly shows. As a media team, we spoke with many people over our 3 day tenure at the farm. All had nothing but great things to say about the whole experience. Perhaps one of the most noticeable attributes about this sport at So8ths was the atmosphere. Everyone smiled, laughed, talked and shared stories the whole time between events. There was a great feeling of camaraderie about the whole place. The environment Brad and his team have created is truly something we look forward to being a part of. He goes above and beyond with Class A competition, lessons and treatment of all during the event. We can’t wait to see what this year holds.”


Becky Brown and EZ

Becky Brown was last year’s overall winner riding EZ and the recipient of Nikon’s D3100 Camera Kit. I asked Becky what she does beyond the horses. At the event we see most of these people as just riders, while in fact their life beyond horses gives you a better insight into how they manage to juggle their lives in order to fit in the riding.  Here’s what Becky had to say of her life beyond horses.


“I am a pediatric physical therapist and have practiced for 34 years this summer.  I have my own company and treat infants and young children in their homes in the Greenville, Laurens, Greenwood counties.  I live in southern Greenville County on a 50 acre farm with my mother where we raise and train the horses.


“I am so fortunate that I love what I do for a living, can work for myself, and can schedule my days to allow time for riding and competition.  My job is rather intense at times working with the parents and infants especially at the beginning of treatment and when things may be getting rough medically.  It is so beneficial to have a release physically and mentally with the horses.


“The children, the parents, and the horses all keep me on my toes to learn better and different ways to deal with the challenges that arise.  I really have a great life!’


Becky spoke for a moment about her plans for the So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event noting, “I’m really looking forward to coming back to Southern 8ths this year.  I’ll be bringing a novice horse that will be competing in his first Three Day. I had so much fun at the Training level last year and expect the Novice will be just as challenging. My horse had the overall low score and won the Nikon camera. They say lightning doesn’t strike twice but I’m going to give it my best effort.  He won the best conditioned horse also. My novice horse is harder to condition because he’s not full TB.  He complains more during the interval training but we are persevering. I hope it will help to give him a good foundation to be able to advance up the levels and reach his potential as an event horse.”


Yet another competitor from last year was Briana Timmerman, who commented, “Henry and I have been training hard.  We’re doing a jump lesson and a dressage lesson a week, plus 1 conditioning ride and riding twice more working on whatever needs working on. For conditioning, we’ve been following a Jimmy Wofford plan of (3) 5 min trot sets with 2 min breaks in between to warm up. Then canter sets.  The goal is to be able to do (3) 4 min canter sets by the week before the event.  We’re running at Full Gallop in two weeks, then the Lucinda Green clinic April 21-22.   We’re pumped and ready to rock and roll!”


Briana Timmerman

Briana isn’t the only one that’s pumped and ready to rock and roll. I think everyone behind the scenes and all those who will be competing again or for the first time are excited. Since this will be the first BN and N recognized at the three-day level it brings another dimension to the event. We’re just weeks away from the event but we’ll continue to keep you posted.


Sarah Morton is British but now splits her time between Massachusetts and Aiken, SC.  Sarah came to the U.S. originally to groom for an event rider.  Now Sarah has horses sent to her to train for both Fox Hunting and lower level Eventing.  Sarah was among those who competed in the 2011 So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event at the Training level.  Sarah commented, “I loved the footing and the great Cross-Country.  I am hoping to bring two students and one for myself this time around so we are in the midst of fitness doing canter sets every four days.  We managed to get out and school the training three day test in front of a judge, which was really helpful. Hope to be there again fingers crossed of course.”


I wanted to end this blog with a few words from Brad Turley, the owner of Southern 8ths Farm and the man who has made all of this happen, from the building of an Amateur rider’s paradise on 300 acres to the USEA recognizing Beginner Novice and Novice at the Three-Day level and everything in between.

Brad recently finished his letter for the program and here is a sneak preview of some of his comments:

“After working closely with the USEA this past year we are proud to say “We did it!”  The 2012 Heart of the Carolinas, sponsored by Nikon, is the first ever long format where BN, N and T level riders test their mettle and get to experience the exhilarating traditional long format for year-end recognition.


“There is nothing that equals the shared accomplishment that your horse and you get from the long format – the complete range of emotions.  It is the ride of a lifetime from the anxiousness of presenting your horse multiple times to the solitude of roads & tracks punctuated by the adrenaline of galloping the chase to the anxiety of the 10-minute hold to the sheer exhilaration of riding a maxed out cross-country and the sense of accomplishment and pride you get after the final rail in show jumping. Your horse and you working as a team, that’s what it’s all about.”


We are now just weeks away from the second annual So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event. We are expecting a full house, from the competitors, to the support staff, to the officials, volunteers and family and friends. So, join us May 3-6 for this fun-filled event.


If you’d like to get a sense of what last year’s event was all about, go to So8ths YouTube page and take a video tour: or check out the wide selection of photos showing every facet of the event here: And make sure to visit the recently revealed new web site: and ”like” us on Facebook:


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