It’s no small undertaking to start a new USEA recognized event from the ground up. Putting together the details for Area II’s newest USEA recognized event, Hunt Club Farms, has been a labor of love for property owner Tracy Zack and the team who has helped put the wheels in motion.
Located in Berryville, Virginia, Hunt Club Farms was purchased by Tracy about eight years ago with the vision of one day hosting eventers. “I just had small shows to start off with,” Tracy recalled. “Tremaine Cooper started working on the cross country course and Tyson Rementer building about two years ago.”
“I love eventing. We initially wanted to build (the cross country course) just to have schooling, but then as the course started to progress, we thought we’d go ahead and try to get a recognized event going.”
The process to have your event approved for recognition from the USEA is a long one, requiring many board meetings and votes — Tracy and her team worked for close to a year and a half to get this year’s first event off the ground. “I started with starter trials and we had quite a few,” she said. “Then you have a lot of paperwork to fill out, and the USEA has to come out and inspect your facility. Then it goes to a board meeting and once your event is approved, they then vote on your date.”
August 22 was the winning date for the inaugural Hunt Club Farms Horse Trials, which will just be held over one day this year. Entries have been a bit light, but Tracy knows that being the “new kid” has contributed to that. To that end, she’s extended entries through August 11 in hopes of attracting more Intro through Prelim/Training riders.
“I think just people knowing we’re here has been a challenge,” she explained. “A lot of people just didn’t know we were having a recognized event. I’m a small fish in a big pond, but I know we have a lot to offer and can be competitive.”
Hunt Club Farms will over Intro, Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Prelim/Training. The plan is to continue building a full Prelim course through the winter with the hope of hosting a full two-day event through Prelim in 2016. Another neat feature of this event is the Norse theme that is seen throughout the cross country course.
“Tyson was who brought the whole Viking/Norse idea to life,” Tracy said. “My family is from Norway and we just thought it would be a fun theme.” The course indeed looks fantastic, and has garnered compliments from the likes of Boyd Martin who has taught clinics at Hunt Club Farms in the past.
As the first event rapidly approaches, Tracy is quick to thank those who have helped her get this event off the ground. “I think it just takes a lot of people being on your side to make this happen,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of people helping me: Sharon Williams from Morven, Jan Bynyy, Sharon White, Phyllis Dawson and so many others — they’ve been so supportive and helpful. You really have to have the eventing community behind you.”
You still have time to submit your entry for Hunt Club Farms — the deadline is currently extended through August 11. The event is also still in need of volunteers, who will receive lunch, a t-shirt and a schooling pass in exchange for their time. You can find out more information by visiting the Facebook event here, the Hunt Club Farms website here, or the USEA Omnibus listing here.
Welcome to Area II, Hunt Club Farms!