Beating the Heat: Area V Eventers Take on the Texas Summer at the July Pine Hill Schooling H.T.

Marcella Pinell & Amplified on course in the Open Training division. Photo by Kate Boggan.

Dust from the Sahara and a triple digit heat index didn’t stop 55 tough horses and riders from sweating it out in Bellville, Texas, on Sunday. The July 1, 2018 Greater Houston Combined Training Association (GHCTA) Schooling H.T. separated the men from the boys (or the studs from the colts) with only the craziest of the crazies daring to attempt a one day horse trial in the middle of the Texas summer. Pine Hill offers levels from Green as Grass (Starter) through Intermediate/Prelim and is a favorite venue of Area V eventers.

No jackets here! Tea Pawa & A Beautiful Lark. Photo by Troy Roane Photography.

The show kicked off bright and early at 7:30 a.m. with the temperature at a cool 85 degrees. Jackets never even crossed riders’ minds and those cute show shirts we buy with fun patterns and lace cut-outs finally got to be shown off. Sun hats were the popular item of the day and the smell of sunscreen mixed with the familiar scents of fly spray and showsheen. Thanks to the incredible jump crew and the cooperation of the competitors, show jumping ran ahead of time the whole day and wrapped up 10 minutes earlier than expected.

Humans and horses seeking refuge in the shade. Photo by Kate Boggan.

The Three Bears would have been proud as Pine Hill’s not-too-big, not-too-small, but just right, Goldilocks level had the largest number of competitors for the day. Adult armatures bringing up new young horses or just cruising at the lower levels could be seen in the warm up arenas next to the adorable ponies and their young pilots. Friends and family roamed the show grounds taking pictures, toting water bottles, and stealing precious seconds in the shade wondering why their horse crazy relatives do this.

Looking pretty in pink! Avery Daigle & FR’s Check It Out Now. Photo by Kate Boggan.

Cross country went smoothly and riders with subtle navy and white colors were followed by those with pink, lime green, and turquoise. Pine Hill held a special “Go Watchless” contest for riders in the Novice, Beginner Novice, Goldilocks and Green as Grass levels. An award was given at each level for the rider that came closest to optimum time without a watch and special wristbands were handed out at the cross country start box to designate the riders participating in the fun challenge.

Between the trees, Julianna Pohoski & Miracle Save running Novice. Photo by Kate Boggan.

In an almost unheard of record the last rider finished on cross country by 1 p.m. By the end of the day bad tan lines had been made worse and everyone went home safe. Thank you to Pine Hill for putting on such a fun show. Thank you to all the competitors who came out to enjoy the sport we love. And thank you to all the volunteers who make this and all other events possible!

Sierra Rooney & Ooh La La jumping Noah’s Ark. Photo by Troy Roane Photography.

Congratulations to the following division winners! See the full results here:

Open Preliminary CT: Rene Rios & One Lark One Legend (43.1)

Open Training CT: Kennedy Wheeler & Jos Estoico (32.4)

Open Training HT: Janet Marden & Flagmount’s Top Cat (33.8)

Open Novice CT: Alexis Ellison & Lucky One’s Hailo (31.7)

Open Novice HT: Abigale Roelke & Grand Lad (30.7)

Open Beginner Novice CT: Sydney Moss & RATATATAT (36.3)

Open Beginner Novice HT A: Lindsay Holliday & Numba One Stunna (33.0)

Open Beginner Novice HT B: Anika Hawes & Silver Charm (35.5)

Open Goldilocks CT: Sierra Roney & Roman Empire (42.1)

Open Goldilocks HT A: Alexis Ellison & Parqueterie (38.9)

Open Goldilocks HT B: Hannah Lewis & Where’s My Sock? (34.4)

Open Green as Grass CT: Aislin S. McStay & Knock Your Socks Off (41.8)