New Lower Level Eventing Challenge Comes to the Carolinas

Hailey Rowe and Whinney The Pooh at the 2014 Heart of the Carolinas Beginner Novice Three-Day. Photo by Brena Jones. Hailey Rowe and Whinney The Pooh at the 2014 Heart of the Carolinas Beginner Novice Three-Day. Photo by Brena Jones.

The Carolina Horse Park and the Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day Event (HOTC) at Southern Eighths Farm have partnered to bring a new eventing series to the area this spring. The Carolina Eventing Challenge (CEC) is open to all riders from the Beginner Novice through Preliminary level, and a grand prize for each level will be awarded at the final, which will take place at the Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day Event in May.

Marc Donovan, a member of the organizing committee at the Carolina Horse Park, came up with the idea of a Carolinas eventing series and approached Cindy Deporter, co-organizer at HOTC, about working together to bring the idea to fruition.

“We’re excited to partner with the Carolina Horse Park on this series,” Cindy said. “This will be a great challenge for riders competing at the Preliminary level and below and an opportunity to showcase two special venues in the Carolinas.”

The CEC includes three events: Southern Pines Horse Trials, March 12-13; Longleaf Pine Horse Trials, April 23-24; and Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day Event, May 4-8. In order to qualify for the Challenge, a horse and rider combination must complete two of the three competitions, and are required to compete in the final at HOTC.

Heart of the Carolinas is known for being the only venue in the country where Beginner Novice, Novice and Training level riders can negotiate their ultimate test in a USEA recognized Training Three-Day, Novice Three-Day and Beginner Novice Three-Day event, and that unique characteristic will be highlighted in the new CEC. Riders competing in the final at HOTC must compete in one of the long-format divisions to be eligible for the grand prize.

Those horses and riders competing in the CEC at the Preliminary level will not be required to compete in a long-format competition but instead prepare themselves to compete in a derby style finale as part of the Preliminary Combined Test at HOTC. Preliminary riders may qualify for the Challenge by competing in either the horse trials or combined tests at the designated Carolina Horse Park events, but the series finale at the HOTC will be formatted similar to an eventing derby, with the show jumping course including both stadium and cross country type obstacles.

Sign up at each event is required for scores to be counted, so look for the CEC flyer in your rider packet at the designated events or download it here. The riders with the lowest combined two scores at each level will be the winners.

Series rules and additional information is available on the Heart of the Carolinas Omnibus page.