By now you’ve heard that the Stable View Oktoberfest CIC and Horse Trials is hosting Aiken, South Carolina’s first CIC3* competition this weekend just two years after hosting the immediate area’s inaugural Advanced level event. It’s hard to believe this eventing mecca hasn’t had an event at this level in town before now. Barry Olliff and his crew have steadily built up this venue to be a beautiful “Gathering Place” for eventers and enthusiasts alike, and the turnout to each event shows the competitors’ appreciation for the effort.
The CIC3* this weekend is acting for many as a final prep before a fall CCI3*. Course designer Captain Mark Phillips has laid out a flowing course that will be a true test of accuracy (there’s five corners out there) as well as a good fitness run and confidence booster for those looking ahead to their season closeout. It follows a similar track to last year’s Advanced course but with a new loop added through the fields where Stable View runs the Eventing Academy, an unrecognized schooling show hosted by Stable View several times a year.
The CIC3* course has 36 jumping efforts and an optimum time of 6:19. After jumping a few warm-up tables woven between a forest of pine trees followed by the first water complex at 6AB, riders will encounter the first major accuracy question at 8ABC, a log oxer to a bank down followed by a massive open corner on a slightly downhill approach. Last year this combination caught out a few pairs who second guessed their confidence to the corner, but those who rode boldly forward to the C element jumped brilliantly (making for impressive pictures!).
At 10AB, CIC3* competitors have the option to jump a cabin at the foot of a mound (AB) or a cabin (A) and down bank (B) before immediately tackling the Catawba Corners at 11AB. Riders have another choice to make at the second water at 14ABC, where they can choose to jump one of two different A elements — rails on a mound or a skinny wedge. From there, the twists and turns are down to one, affording the opportunity to make up some time at the end of the course.
Cross country for the CIC3* begins at 12:15 p.m. Tune in to the EQTV Network live stream here or follow EN’s live updates. Go Eventing.