3, 2, 1 … Beginner Novice cross country is underway at the 2019 American Eventing Championships! They don’t call this the Beginner Novice Olympics for nothin’, and Derek di Grazia’s beefy track does not disappoint. Riders will be tackling 18 yellow-numbered jumping efforts over a distance of 1,762 meters, running at a speed of 350 meters/minute — optimum time is 5 minutes and 3 seconds.
The course starts off with this inviting log, beautifully decorated with flowers by EN’s good friend Aidyn Degitz. Well-done, Aiden!
Fences #2 through #4 are nice galloping fences to get everybody in the mood to rock and roll. Fences #5-#6, Bannister to Fandango, and #7-#8, Brush to Brush, challenge riders to sit up and think about their lines and strides.
Horses will get their hooves wet at fence #9, a splash into the first water. Fence #10, Pallisdade Roll and the course’s halfway point, awaits on the other side. And then it’s on to #11 — the infamous Fiesta Table. It’s a rider-scarer with those bright colors, but don’t worry, it jumps really well!
Competitors are rewarded with a long galloping stretch to #12, The Bench, and then it’s on to this no-joke ditch. Eyes up, leg on, riders!
Next stop: Head of the Lake! What a thrill.
Onward and upward to another couplet of fences at #15, Red Top Cabin, and #16, Oxer. After that they’ll be on the homestretch, with just two fences to go: #17, Roll, and #18, Blue Top Barn.
The Beginner Novice Rider division is first out of the box at 8 a.m. followed by Amateur at 9:32 a.m., 14 & Under at 10:44 a.m., Master Amateur at 12:18 p.m., Junior at 1:36 p.m., and Horse at 3:52 p.m. Best of luck to all!
Many thanks to Ivy Johnson of Equestrian Events Inc. for the photos, and to CrossCountry App for sharing each and every course from the 2019 AEC!