Comparing what the Advanced/CIC3* cross country course at The Fork Horse Trials, presented by Lucky Clays Farm, looked like two weeks ago to now, it’s clear the team at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, NC has accomplished a lot in that short amount of time. They were just setting the fences when EN got a sneak peek at the new track built on the former White Oak golf course, and looking at it now somehow satisfies the dreams of any eventer that has ever longed to gallop headlong down the middle of a perfectly groomed, emerald green fairway.
The excitement surrounding this new track is of course the fact that we’re getting a first glimpse of what will be the course for the 2018 World Equestrian Games. In order to reconstruct the golf course into a world class cross country track, the team was forced to move some earth, design horse-friendly bridges across the creek and cover irrigation drains and sprinklers, among other things. But the wide galloping lanes and natural terrain make for an impressive track and we can’t wait to see what will come over the next year.
The Advanced/CIC3* cross country was co-designed by Captain Mark Phillips and Tremaine Cooper, built by Eric Bull and beautifully decorated by Megan Murfey. The CIC3* competitors, followed by the Advanced divisions, will run on the new course in reverse order of go starting at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Thanks to Samantha Clark for trekking around the course yesterday to bring us this virtual course walk. Note that the Advanced numbers have white borders and the CIC3* numbers are plain blue. The course is 3658 meters long with an optimum time of 6 minutes 25 seconds. If you’d like to see the course with minute markers and distances included, click here to “walk” the course via Cross Country App.