Morven Park Horse Trials has always held a soft spot in my heart, and it is one of the classic Area II competitions. I competed there for my first Training on a mare I got off the track and had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I fell off, landed on my feet, and scrambled right back on and continued before the jump judge even knew what had happened (in the days before the one fall rule).
This year, the event is positively chocker block full of competitors for both the regular horse trials and the championship divisions. There are more than 400 entries, and 15 of the top 25 riders in the country are coming to compete. Championship divisions from Beginner Novice to Advanced are held this weekend, and a lot of riders from the East Coast who felt that the AECs in Texas were too far away to haul are replacing that event with Morven. Competing against the best of the best on this coast, who can argue with that?
In addition to the Championships, there are many competitors who use Morven as their final run before Fair Hill, and there is even an entire division just for Advanced entries who want to only do a combined test. Keep your eye on the Intermediate and Advanced divisions, as it serves as a good preview of the action at Fair Hill in a few weeks!
If you weren’t able to get into the event or won’t be riding for another reason, you should think about taking the day to spectate and volunteer. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous (no rain for once!) and working as a dressage scribe or a jump judge can be an incredibly educational experience for any rider. Contact Sheryl Williams [email protected] for dressage volunteering and Joanna Yeomans at [email protected] for cross country volunteering.
A look back at the 2012 Advanced Championships, courtesy of the wonderful Buzzterbrown: