Cross country is well under way here at the second annual Stable View Advanced Oktoberfest Horse Trials. The Advanced division is set to begin at noon EST. Be sure you tune in to the EQTV live stream to watch the action with commentary from our own Jenni Autry and guests at this link.
I took a walk around Captain Mark Phillips’ Advanced course this morning. It’s a cool day with a brisk breeze, perfect for the horses even if it makes our eyes water a bit. The footing feels really fantastic and the whole course, built by Eric Bull, is beautifully presented and decorated for fall.
Many riders are using Stable View as a final prep for Fair Hill International coming up in two weeks. But whether they plan to kick into high gear or have an easy canter around, horses and riders have to be on the ball from start to finish.
The first several fences are in the trees before the track opens up and adds in some galloping stretches and the first of eight combinations on course. Then it’s back into the trees where the fences are strategically placed to check that the riders have walked the course carefully and are confident in their lines.
You may feel like you’re flying when you’re galloping between pines, but the feeling can be deceiving and we will likely see plenty of time penalties today. Quite a few difficult turns will also require immense accuracy and control, which could surprise some of the less experienced combinations.
The light this morning cast some awkward shadows on a few fences, which you’ll see in the gallery below. However, the sun will be high in the sky by the time our first Advanced horse leaves the start box.
We’ll be back with a full report this afternoon so keep it locked on EN. Go Eventing.