There’s been a lot of buzz about the new cross-country course at Red Hills this year, and the Tallahassee Democrat attended a planning meeting yesterday to document how organizers Jane Barron and Marvin Mayer plan to keep the public safe on cross-country day. The new course crosses the main road at Elinor Klapp-Phillips Park, which will give spectators an excellent view of the action; it also means taking extra measures to ensure spectator safety. In addition to having the Leon County Sheriffs Department on hand to manage crowd control, 25 cadets from the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy will man pedestrian crossings on the main road.
In a time when available land to hold horse trials is dwindling, it’s critical for organizers to work seamlessly with local infrastructure to show how equestrian sports can benefit their communities. The Red Hills organizers have worked incredibly hard to build such an excellent relationship with the local community, setting a wonderful example for other horse trials around the country in the process. Kudos to Red Hills. Go eventing.