Tour the Red Hills CCI4*-S Cross Country Course

Pebble Hill, fence 10 ABC on the CCI4*-S course. Photo by Shems Hamilton/Red Hills.

It’s cross country day at Red Hills International Horse Trails and we have a very exciting lineup for you today. Mike Etherington-Smith returns for the fifth year as course designer for the CCI4*-S folks, laying out a test that will surely keep tailgaters on their toes all afternoon.

Exploring the magic of Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park, it’s easy to forget that we’re here for a competition. The flagged fences weave and dart through gorgeous, established Live Oaks dripping in Spanish Moss like garland hung for a year-round celebration. The park is maintained by the City of Tallahassee, Leon County and the Northwest Florida Water Management District, whose top crew has produced a fabulous surface for galloping.

The Big Leap In, fence 16. Photo by Shems Hamilton/Red Hills.

The entire track is 3795 meters to be run at a 570 meters per minute. There are 23 labeled fences and 35 jumping efforts. Riders will be aiming to come home in 6 minutes and 40 seconds, but the time is famously difficult here, with only five riders finding it possible in the event’s 21-year history. Last year, Selena O’Hanlon became the first to beat the clock three times.

The first of two angled tables jumping into the Boathouse Complex. Photo by Shems Hamilton/Red Hills.

This year’s course shares similarities with the 2019 edition, following it the same direction. For fence-by-fence insider tips,scroll down for a tour of the course from CrossCountry App featuring commentary from Mike ES. It also includes beautiful photos from Shems Hamilton, who has served as the fabulous volunteer photographer for Red Hills for many years. You can view all the Red Hills courses on CrossCountry App’s website.

The CCI4*-S cross country starts at 11:00 a.m. There is no live stream, but EN will be providing live updates, so tune in here for the minute-by-minute action.

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