Tremaine Cooper unveiled a new look for the Advanced cross country course at Millbrook Horse Trials this year, starting the track alongside the location where it usually ends to provide a more flowing, open feel as horses and riders leave the start box.
The facelift has been widely praised by the riders as a creative way to use the venue’s surplus of rolling terrain, which always ups the level of difficulty on the Advanced course.
“It’s a challenging piece of property to build on,” Tremaine said. “The middle part of the property is taken up by parking and stabling, so the course has to go around the outside where there is more terrain. I like using terrain, but here you have to negate it so you’re not constantly going up and down.”
Millbrook is unique in that many riders using it as a move-up course, while others use it as a key prep run for major CCI competitions later in the fall. There are horses here prepping for the FEI World Equestrian Games, Burghley, Blenheim, Boekelo, Fair Hill, Pau and the Ocala Jockey Club.
“It’s early in the fall season, so the course doesn’t need to be overly technical,” Tremaine said. “If it was six weeks later the angles would be a little steeper and the distances would be a little different. I wanted to keep some terrain on the course, but I tried to have it not be so severe this year. Up until fence 5 it is quite going.”
We have had significant thunderstorms in the area over the past two afternoons, and the rainfall has softened up the ground beautifully on the course. The Training divisions are running cross country this morning, and the ground feels just about perfect currently. We have more rain predicted for this afternoon and tonight, as well as storms in the forecast for tomorrow.
The optimum time on the Advanced course is 6 minutes, 21 seconds, with 35 total jumping efforts set across 3,620 meters. No one caught the optimum time in the Advanced last year at Millbrook, and only 7 of the last 173 starters in the division have beaten the clock. You can preview all of the fences below courtesy of our friends at CrossCountry App.
The Advanced division goes cross country tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. EST. There is no live streaming, but EN will be running live updates. Stay tuned for much more from Millbrook. Go Eventing.