Between 200 entries at Grand Oaks H.T. in Florida and another 278 at Stable View in Aiken, it boggles the mind to think that nearly 500 U.S. event horses are startbox-ready this early in the season!
Stable View Farm’s ‘Aiken Opener’ H.T. is underway this weekend, with entries spread across Beginner Novice through Prelim levels. Each division is running as a one-day — Training, Modified and Prelim run on Saturday, and Beginner Novice and Novice run on Sunday. The action gets underway at 8 a.m.
We got a sneak preview of the event earlier this week; today we’ll check out the entry list.
There’s a tie for the honor of “busiest rider of the weekend”: Sarah Cousins and Lillian Heard have six rides apiece. Courtney Cooper is runner-up with five.
We spotted a handful of four-star veterans and team horses on the start list: Truly Wiley, who finished 16th at Kentucky in 2018 with Kelly Prather, is in Open Prelim A with Sarah Cousins. In the same division is Colleen Loach with her 2019 Pan Am Games mount FE Golden Eye.
A true case of celebrity event horse “where are they now?”: Neville Bardos, who with Boyd Martin in the irons finished in the top 10 twice at Kentucky (2008 and 2010), was 10th at the 2010 WEG, finished 7th at Burghley in 2011, and won Fair Hill in 2009, is at 21 years young contesting Novice Rider A with Shelby Fromm. Looks like his first horse trial start since 2015. We love to see it!
The Aiken forecast is showing a 50% chance of rain on Saturday, dropping down to a 10% chance on Sunday, with highs in the mid-50s both days. Fingers crossed that it stays on the dry side!
If you’re available, Stable View is still looking to fill some volunteer positions — and you’ll get a free schooling pass, lunch and snacks, or other thank you gifts in exchange. You can sign up via Eventing Volunteers here.
Many thanks to our friends at Stable View for playing host to this class event and many more throughout the year. Best of luck to all this weekend’s riders. Go Eventing!