2019 Fox River Valley H.T. to Bring Back CCI2*-S and CCI2*-L Divisions

Area IV has lost some important international-level competition opportunities in recent years, but we are happy to help spread the word about a positive new development for the area. To explain we’ll hand the microphone over to Caroline Charette, an Area IV Eventer who sits on the organizing and fundraising committees for Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T., and Barb McMorris, head of the organizing committee. 

Photo courtesy of Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T.

Area IV’s Fox River Valley Pony Club (FRVPC) Horse Trials has very exciting news! The June 21-23, 2019 horse trials held in Barrington Hills, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, will see the return of the FEI two-star (2018 one-star) level, which will include the CCI2*-L and CCI2*-S formats.

For almost five decades the FRVPC, with the support of an entire community, has helped organize, host and support the FRVPC H.T. FRVPC is constantly working to improve the rider, horse and spectator experience at the horse trials and recognized how important international level competition is to the Area IV eventing community. Adding the FEI divisions is critical to give riders in the Midwest an opportunity to ride in qualifying competition for National and International team opportunities. As such, this year’s event will be a key qualifier for Young Riders aiming to qualify for the 2019 North American Youth Championships.

Photo by Rare Air Photography, courtesy of Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T.

The cross country course, located within the Spring Creek Forest Preserve, has been designed by Ana Schravesande and then by Ana’s daughter, Adri Doyal, for the past 11 years. Their creativity and their support for FRVPC H.T. has been outstanding, encouraging FRVPC to add Beginner Novice, then the CCI1*, and last year the Starter divisions. (The one star was dropped in 2015 but is returning this year.) This year will bring additional changes as Jay Hambly has taken over the designing of the courses from Starter to CCI2*.

For those who don’t know Jay, he is an FEI3*-4* course designer who began his career in 1995, working on the 2008 Olympics. Since then he has played an integral role in events including Bromont, Richland, Galway Downs, Rebecca Farms, and most recently was named as one of the lead builders at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We are thrilled to have Jay add FRVPC CCI2* to his busy schedule.

Photo courtesy of Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T.

The show jumping course designer will be Brody Robertson. Brody is a top rated Grand Prix rider, trainer, judge and course designer. He is a member of the USEF Central Region Jumper committee and the USHJA Jumper Council committee. His resume over the last 15 years includes the Alltech World Equestrian Games, Longines World Cup Finals, HITS, Carolina Horse Trials, Hagyard Mid-South, Plantation Fields, Richland, Queeny Park and May Daze.

Work has begun on cross country with clearing of downed trees and limbs from our winter storms and clearing of buckthorn to widen the horse trial paths that meander through the Forest Preserve. A clean up day is planned for March 17. Its been a LONG winter, but spring will come and with it the opportunity to tend to the courses, fertilizing, seeding, aerovating, and to begin work on freshening up the jumps. So come out and play with us! Email [email protected] to get details of when and where you can help out.

Photo by Pixel Pony Photography, courtesy of Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T.

These are exciting announcements for Midwestern eventers as well as for our eventer friends from afar! In 2020 FRVPC Horse Trials will celebrate its 50th year. As a flagship horse trial for the Midwest, the dwindling opportunities for our upper level riders made the decision to bring back the FEI divisions an easy one. However, as easy as it may be to see the need of its return, instituting it is a large feat and we are calling on our entire eventing community for support!

We invite you to put FRVPC Horse Trials on your calendar to compete, to volunteer, to come watch. Take a look at www.FRVPCHorseTrials.org to find out how you can help support the horse trials and ensure its sustainability for years to come.

Mark your calendars for June 20-23, 2019 and be a part of the Legacy!