Middleburg Horse Trials Announces Move to Great Meadow

Photo courtesy of Great Meadow.

Middleburg Horse Trials has a new home! The long-running and popular event will be moving to Great Meadow in The Plains for 2018 and beyond.

Organized by Middleburg Orange County Pony Club (MOCPC) as a fundraiser for its club, Middleburg Horse Trials takes place this year on June 9-10. It will be a busy summer for Great Meadow, which will once again host a FEI Nations Cup leg at Great Meadow International (July 6-9) in addition to weekly Twilight Polo matches, monthly Twilight Jumpers, and a Pony Club rally in addition to other events.

Organized by Middleburg Orange County Pony Club (MOCPC) as a fundraiser for its club, Middleburg Horse Trials takes place this year on June 9-10.

“We are so excited to be moving the Middleburg Horse Trials to Great Meadow,” says organizer Max Corcoran. “With the purchase of new land by The Great Meadow Foundation, it has opened up the opportunity to have another horse trial in addition to Great Meadow International. It is a top-notch facility that is very historic and special to the equestrian community.”

The event will run its usual levels of Beginner Novice through Prelim, with courses designed by David O’Connor and built by John Wells. David says, “We are excited that the historic Middleburg Orange County Polo Club will be moving their event to take advantage of the fantastic facilities at Great Meadow. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the venue.”

Show jumping will take place in the state-of-the-art arena with adjacent warm-up arena, both with footing from Attwood Equestrian Surfaces. Dressage will run on established turf.

Photo courtesy of Great Meadow.

Although the venue has changed, the same great MOCPC organizing committee will reconvene joined by the organizers of GMI to stage the event. “There are a few of us from the Great Meadow International (GMI) who will be part of both competitions,” Max explains. “David O’Connor will be the course designer — he knows that land better than anyone; Darrin Mollett, the organizer for GMI, will also be part of our team; and I run the show jumping and safety for GMI. The MOCPC has a tireless group of parents who have been working to continue this horse trials — it all wouldn’t happen without them.”

The Great Meadow Foundation has an established history as an eventing host, tracing back to the ’80s when its events attracted the biggest name riders of the sport. After a brief hiatus, high performance eventing returned to Great Meadow in 2014 after the Foundation purchased the adjacent Fleming Farm exclusively to run eventing competitions. After initially running a USEF training session to prepare the U.S. Eventing Team for the 2014 World Equestrian Games, the Great Meadow International (GMI) was born. GMI hosted a CIC3* in 2015 and then later became the first venue outside of Europe to host a leg of Nations Cup of Eventing, which still runs today.

Here are some great vintage photos from the event back in the day — Bruce Davidson Sr., Jimmy Wofford, David O’Connor, Steve Teichman … we spot a few familiar faces!

Moving the event will be costly, and MOCPC is working on acquiring funds to establish the cross country course. The Club will be running fundraising events leading up to the horse trials, says Max: “The MOCPC will be co-hosting some clinics to help fund a new water jump — we hope everyone will keep an eye out for more information.”

Middleburg Horse Trials entries open on April 24 and close May 22. Get those entries in early, as the event is expected to fill up quickly! Click here to sign up as a volunteer — volunteers will receive a voucher for free cross county schooling on Monday, June 11, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.