Red Hills International Horse Trials, held annually each March, is a neat example of a successful partnership that can be built between equestrian organizations and municipalities. The event, which is sponsored in part by various entities of the city of Tallahassee, Florida and Leon County is a hugely popular springtime outing for locals, attracting both horsey and non-horsey spectators alike, and an important early-season options for riders.
Red Hills draws an estimated 20,000 spectators each year and makes an estimated $4.8 million impact on the local economy. But this year, like all other events, they’ll be taking a hard hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the health and safety of the local population in mind, no spectators will be allowed onsite during this year’s competition, scheduled for March 11-14, per the US Equestrian COVID-19 action plan. Red Hills is unique in its local appeal, often attracting non-equestrians and doing community outreach with organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Despite these economic losses to the organization and without the benefit of stimulating the local economy, Red Hills is pushing forward and very much hopes to run their year’s event but they still need more entries in order to do so. In this video, eventer Jon Holling speaks with Libby Henderson, the Operations Support Committee Chair for Red Hills, about what to expect from this year’s event. 200 entries are needed in order for the event to go forward. According to Libby, entries now stand at 193, so keep them rolling in to help Red Hill beat its goal of 200! Closing date is tomorrow: Tuesday February, 23rd.