The entire team at Stable View has spent the last decade pouring their hearts and souls into the always adapting and improving facility here in Aiken, South Carolina, and this weekend is a celebration of all that they have accomplished at the Oktoberfest 2/3/4* and USEF/USEA Horse Trials. Of course one of the biggest components of an event venue is the cross country course, and Captain Mark Phillips has been an integral part of the vision and follow through of that effort for Stable View, and he once again comes forward as the course designer for the feature four-star class.
Competitors will be challenged with 37 jumping efforts that curl them around the sandy Aiken landscape, which the crew at Stable View has been tirelessly watering, and Mark will expect them back through the finish flags in an optimum time of 6 minutes 35 seconds. Easier said than done!
Overnight leader Phillip Dutton says this course, “is the best I’ve seen Mark do here,” and it’s certainly the creation of a man who knows this terrain and venue like the back of his hand. With that much familiarity, who better to take us around the Oktoberfest cross country course? Read on from Captain Mark Phillips himself:
“As riders set off from outside the Hunt Boxes, the Log Box (1) and the Hammock (2) have a familiar look to them. But turning down the hill towards the Meadow, the Diamond Brush, (3) with its new cedar top, starts to put the size of this year’s Oktoberfest into perspective.
“The Chevron Table and Corner in the Meadow (4) is a kind first combination before the climb up the hill to Boyd’s Table (5) and the Boyd’s Water Combination (6). While the Table is kind enough, riders will need to be brave at the Cabin and careful at the MIM Rail on the Mound. All will be thankful when the Open Corner after is behind them.
“The Log Pile (7) on the down slope to the Academy Alp looks massive. Riders have an interesting choice of the ends of the Alp (8) where the quicker right hand side down to a Stable View Shoulder looks a little scary while the left side will take longer.
“The Hayrack (10) in the Cut Through and the Gate (11) after won’t hold too many fears but while the four efforts at the Sunk Road (12) is not new, it still needs a lot of respect.
“Riders will enjoy Barry’s Desk (13) and the Memorial Garden Table (14) before coming to the daunting Derby Field Alp (15). Here the Triple Brushes and Brush Corner are definitely impressive.
“The Cross Question (16) is unchanged but the Metal Oxer Combination (17) on the downslope cannot be taken for granted.
“The Tiger Trap (18) is a welcome breather before the Derby Field. The Triple Bar (19) in the water followed by the Blanchard Table and Corner (20) will all come up quickly one after the other.
“The Double Brush (21) with its new cedar top looks bigger than ever while the two Boats give the GL Williams Water (22) a completely new look. It’s then the run home over the Step Table (23) before the Stable View Village (24) and the Finish.
“A good round here will give horses and riders a massive confidence boost before heading for the Maryland 5* designed by Ian Stark later in the month.”
Need a TLDR? Check our EN’s quick ‘n dirty instagram reel:
First horse leaves the startbox for this division at 12:06 p.m. this afternoon. Check back with us to see how it all shakes out.