There is not much left to be said about the Cloud 11-Gavilan North Carolina International Horse Trials. I had not been before so can’t compare it to the inaugural year, but it is clear the organizing committee has listened to feedback and made marked improvements. No detail was missed and no expense spared. Every demographic was tended to, from spectators and volunteers to sponsors and owners — even the journalists were made to feel like royalty.
Besides a bit of rain and cold on Thursday, we had a glorious time watching the country’s best horse and rider pairs compete for serious prize money. The Carolina Horse Park is a beautiful piece of property, and the competitors looked to be having a great time, too. Since we just can’t get enough, enjoy these additional photos from the weekend and then go ahead and mark your calendar for next year!
Nyls Du Terroir and Kate Samuels pose beside the EN jump built by Brody Robertson, which made an appearance in the ring as both an obstacle and decor. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.
Icons of the sport were honored at Saturday night’s competitors party. From left: David O’Connor, Lafreda Williams, Michael Plumb, Phillip Dutton (presenting), James Wofford, Bobby Costello (presenting). Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.
Sharon White praises Wundermaske after a dressage test that scored 30.7. They finished second in Advanced-A and are on the road to Rolex. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.
Meghan O’Donoghue and her OTTB Pirate are always smiling. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.
Mr. Sydney Rocks surveys the competition area with Allison Springer. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.
David O’Connor can usually be spotted ringside, watching closely. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.
There was a great spectator turnout and community support; it was fun for the whole family! Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.
FEI 4* eventing judge and USEF “S” judge Marilyn Payne competed her own Safe Harbor in Open Training-C, finishing second to none other than her son, Doug! Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.
Caroline Martin pats her Holsteiner Center Stage after an elegant test in the two-star. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.
When you’re competing 10 horses like Buck did, you need a great team to help you. Buck definitely has a great team! Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.
Jimmie Schramm and Bellamy intently focused on husband Dom and stablemate Cold Harbor performing in the dressage ring. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.
Tell me this doesn’t look like a horse that’s having a ball. Landmark’s Monte Carlo went clear on cross country, ears pricked all the way to the finish. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.
Doug Payne and Lysander head back to stabling after an easy double-clear round on cross country. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.
Thanks for a great weekend! See you next year. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.