The weekend is rapidly approaching at Stable View’s inaugural Advanced horse trials, the courses are all set and the competitors are pulling into town. The event coordinators, staff and volunteers have been working tirelessly to prepare for Aiken’s first Advanced Horse Trials, which runs tomorrow along with the Preliminary divisions. Beginner Novice through Training level divisions will run on Sunday.
Stable View’s event organizer Anne Dearborn is pleased with their preparation for the Advanced horse trials, stating that Barry and Cyndy Olliff have brought together an excellent team of designers, builders, staff, officials and volunteers.
“We have stepped up our preparation by doing things like holding a training session and course review for our cross country jump judges prior to the event to familiarize them with the layout of the course,” Anne said. “We have hired a control person with four-star experience. We are spacing the Advanced riders out at three-minute intervals, so there should only be two horses on course at any time.”
Modern Course Design with an Emphasis on Safety
Course builder Eric Bull and course designer Capt. Mark Phillips worked on the new Advanced course for more than a year and have also steadily made improvements and updates to the Beginner Novice through Preliminary courses. There is an advantage to having Eric and Capt. Phillips working side-by-side for the past five years on the expansion of all the courses, as they have had ample time to strategically develop each track.
A heavy emphasis on safety has been placed on the new course, with multiple jumps incorporating frangible pins and MIM clips. There is one vertical fence with frangible pins, one reverse pinned oxer and one reversed pinned corner, as well as MIM clips on two skinny triple brushes and seven brush jumps. The Preliminary course also includes MIM clips on the triple brush.
The cross country track and footing have been carefully managed, groomed and improved. Stable View practices regular aeration and utilizes a K-Line irrigation system, which is a flexible, movable pipe that can be directed towards specific areas of the course to manage the consistency of the footing.
The new track is a “challenging national Advanced level cross country course, and it is a good prep for horses going to Fair Hill International,” Eric said. His team at ETB Jumps has built the course at Fair Hill for the past 18 years, so this insight comes with in-depth knowledge.
Stable View is also proud to have Safety Officer Dr. Mike Quinn, a pulmonary critical care physician who has served in the military for more than 20 years. His wife is involved with horses, and his son Brendan Quinn has competed through the one-star level.
The Quinn family lives locally at Fort Gordon, and after his last tour in Afghanistan, Dr. Quinn volunteered to work at his first show at Stable View in September 2014. Since then he has given recommendations on safety and emergency planning, as well as medical response protocols in the event of an emergency.
Parties and Entertainment
If you are at the event this weekend, don’t forget to join the Saturday morning course walks hosted by Capt. Mark Phillips, Boyd Martin and Richard Jeffery, which will be followed by the formal ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Advanced cross country course.
Throughout the weekend there will also be plenty of entertainment in addition to the actual competition. There are activities for the whole family, including Aiken Horsepower’s Fall Fling car show, a Giant Jenga competition and complimentary happy hours from Carolina Moon Distillery and River Rat Brewery.
The team at Stable View is delighted to have all of the competitors with them this weekend celebrating Aiken’s first Advanced horse trials and wish all the competitors a fun and safe event. For a full schedule of competitor and spectator information, please click here.
Stay tuned for an exclusive fence-by-fence preview of the new Advanced course, and in the meantime we’re excited to bring you a first look at the course map here. Go Stable View!