Southern Eighths / Nikon Three-Day Event

At EN, we are happy to promote events…without the tireless work of organizers, secretaries, and volunteers behind the scenes, this great sport would not exist. We are delighted to share the preparations and excitement for the upcoming Southern Eighths/Nikon Three-Day Event. Thanks to Diana De Rosa for sending this article to us.






Southern Eighths Farm Is In High Gear Preparing for the

So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event May 3-6


By Diana De Rosa



Adult Amateur riders and BN & N Long Format?  What’s that about?  Really?

Yes, Southern Eighths Farm in Chesterfield, SC started it last year with a recognized T3D and unrecognized BN & N.  This year they are taking it to the next step.  Southern 8ths is proud to offer the T3D again, and this year a recognized BN and N horse trial with special tests to provide riders with year-end points at the two lower levels. 

So mark your calendars, for May 3rd to 6th, 2012 for the So8ths/Nikon “Heart of the Carolinas” Three-Day Event.


It is a unique and special event and EN has asked us to keep them posted on the progress of this exciting event, not only does it now offer the lower levels the great experience of the Long Format, it is the first Three-Day of 2012.  So between now and the first weekend of May, we’ll be tracking what people are saying and doing to prepare for this first class event.


The Southern Eighths Marketing Team has been working away designing new logos and building a new web site that will be unveiled this spring.

“We’re working on a new, expanded website for the farm with a new look and more features to help tie us into our surrounding community,” commented Christopher Watts, a member of the Marketing Committee.  “We’ll have integrated timing and scoring for events as well as great photos and videos for people to take a virtual tour of the farm.”


Until then you can still visit the current web site at where you can find links to videos showcasing last year’s event and a link to the “Fans of Southern Eighths” Facebook page.  Be sure to click on the “like” button or feel free to email: [email protected] or fill in the contact or volunteer forms on the web site to be added to the mailing list.


While the Marketing Team is working on all the visuals, the riders are preparing behind the scenes. One of the competitors and host of the “Fans of So8ths” Facebook page, Briana Timmerman, is an amateur rider already gearing up for her second annual recognized So8ths event. In her “real” life Briana is the Assistant Vice President for Research and Graduate Education at University of South Carolina.  Even with her intense work schedule she’s already carving out the time to prepare and compete in the May Event.


“I competed in both the schooling event held November 2010 and the first recognized event at Southern Eighths last spring and they changed my whole perspective on Eventing,” commented Briana. “These Long Formats are my favorite events of the season now – even more so than AECs.

“I am especially excited about this coming event because now even the Novice and Beginner Novice levels will be recognized as Long Format events by the USEA,” she added. “For an Amateur, I think this is critical as it allows many more horses and riders to experience the Long Format and gradually learn about the requirements and expectations.  

“The two things I do differently to prepare for a Long Format are to work more on my horse Henry’s adjustability at the gallop as you jump at both Steeplechase speed as well as XC speed and to make sure that his fitness level is one notch above what it would be for a regular Horse Trials; though the Roads & Tracks are really a benefit as far as I’m concerned. It’s so nice to go into XC with a horse that has had a chance to a gallop a bit and is now ready to focus.”


Briana is only one of many repeat riders.  James Baker of The Lundy Group, Inc. will also be heading to Southern Eighths from his home in Raleigh, NC.  And he’s in full gear preparing for his second annual recognized event.

“As a rider, who also works for a living riding two days a week, fitness is the biggest concern,” commented Jim. “To help keep my horse and myself fit I go Fox Hunting or go on other extended rides on Saturdays, and do flat work or stadium on Sundays.  I’ve also enrolled in a couple schooling efforts at So 8’s and Ca. Horse Park.  Finally, my goal is to schedule one or two Horse Trials prior to the So8ths/Nikon Three-Day.”


Another 2011 competitor is Corinne Ashton, who not only rode but helped out.  “Last year I was involved in helping impart knowledge to the newcomers to the great sport of Long Format Eventing,” commented Corinne. “I loved doing it up thru the 4* level in this country, so was able to impart my fond memories!  For instance, I did a Steeplechase practice clinic for all to try.  I did a Dressage demo and got to run one of my young horses HC in the Novice division.

“Alas I am not sure that I will be able to attend this year due to a family conflict but I have to go on record and be quoted as saying that this truly is an amazing event, both in the organization and set up and one not to be missed if you want to have a fantastic true 3 day Eventing experience at the BN, N or T level.  Southern 8’s does everything top of the line so take advantage and enjoy,” concluded Corinne.


Richard Moon was grooming for his wife, Risa, in 2011 but enjoyed it so much that this year he’s considering entering.  “It was so much fun and so well run I may compete myself,” he commented adding, “for me as I look at a real Three-Day the issue is what speed I think is realistic for a half Clydesdale half Thoroughbred.  I can get him in great shape, but is he going to be able to do the Steeplechase at Training Level speed and if he does what will he have left? Or should I step him back and only ask for what I know is possible, i.e. Novice. The course is challenging, and with the added distance in Roads & Tracks I want to be sure I have enough left for Cross-Country. A Three-Day requires that my preparation be more thoughtful and disciplined.”

Richard is an attorney who practices full time and represents corporations in labor and employment matters, both advice and litigation.  His principal office is in Portland, ME, and his winter residence is Aiken, SC for about 8 weeks between February 1 and May 1. Risa is a psychotherapist and stays in Aiken from January to about May 1, but regularly makes trips back to Maine to see several clients.

“Risa had a banner 2011 year with her new partner Lily B, a seven-year-old  Danish Warmblood, finishing 4th in the Master Amateur Training Level US Leader Board, with her Three Day finishes of 2nd at GMHA and 3rd at 2011 So8ths/Nikon Three-Day being two of her highlights,” added Richard.


Gayle Libby Curtiss, who was the announcer in 2011, also piped in with her comments. “If last year was any indication of what can be expected this year then I would say that the owners, management, organizers, and volunteers performed at the highest levels of southern hospitality! There was nothing that a competitor or spectator could need or want that wasn’t provided with graciousness and smiles. Everyone was delighted to please and accommodate those that had made the commitment to travel and compete. This is clearly a destination venue for all; very welcoming and inclusive to everyone. Weather is fabulous, footing is perfect, rings and Cross-Country are immaculate. Come and enjoy yourself!


Foy Barksdale is the Organizer of the Event and so she has a full plate but is happy how things are moving along.  “At this point we are in the final stages of arranging the educational clinicians and I can tell you we have some of the nation’s best!  We have former Olympians, Pan Am Games Gold Medalists, former WEG team members to name just a few.  The schedule is being tweaked here and there to produce the most bang for your buck Three-Day competition!” Foy wants to keep some things a surprise but keep an eye on this column where we’ll reveal more details each time we update the progress.


In the equine world we very often refer to our veterinarians by their first name and Dr. Marsha is a perfect example (last name Severt). She was one of the Treating Veterinarians for the 2011 event and will be back this year.  Dr. Marsha is local to the event and will be responsible for on-arrival horse inspections, ensuring horse safety during the event, checking vitals in the vet box during the Cross-Country portion of the event, and being available in case of any injuries.


When asked what the Veterinarians are doing to prepare Dr. Marsha noted, “We are currently preparing for the Three-Day Event by ensuring that the Veterinary Team is well staffed in order to provide timely and high-quality veterinary care for all of the horses that participate.”


In its efforts to spread the word about this amazing facility and the So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event, So8ths is also partnering with a number of media.  “Sidelines magazine is always interested in backing new, well organized and executed events in the Hunter/Jumper, Dressage and Eventing world. Since our niche is about the people who are the driving force behind the events, Sidelines will be featuring a story on Brad Turley of Southern 8ths, who is certainly one of those dynamic horse people,” commented Bill Tatgenhorst, who handles PR/Special Projects for Sidelines.


So, there you have it.  Behind-the-scenes at Southern Eighths Farm there are a host of people preparing for May 3-6 when the second annual So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event will be showcased.  We’ll continue to update you on a regular basis to give you a look at what it takes to prepare for this Amateur level event.  And if you’d like to get a sense of what last year’s event was all about, go to So8ths YouTube page and take a video tour: or check out the wide selection of photos showing every facet of the event here: And make sure to visit the web site so you’ll be their when the unveiling of the new site takes place: 




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