It was a perfect day – sunny, warm but not hot with a light breeze blowing as riders and horses spent the day exploring the equestrian discipline of Eventing.
According to the organizers’ website, stewartsporthorses.com, “The Explore Eventing Series is an opportunity to compete in all phases of eventing at various venues in NB, to introduce green horses to showing, and to upgrade from one level to the next in a low stress, safe, inclusive, and fun environment.”
According to the Horse Trials NB website:
“Eventing is an Olympic equestrian sport consisting of three phases, historically held over three days. The rider must ride the same horse for all phases, a true test of rideability, courage, and carefulness. A format change in the early 2000s made the event shorter, now commonly held on one day and referred to as a “horse trial” at the lower levels. Eventing and horse trials are used interchangeably.
The three phases of an Event or Horse Trial are:
- Cross country
- Show jumping”
For this day’s end-of-season Championships, sponsors provided some excellent prizes for the winners of each Division.
I arrived just as the Dressage phase was beginning. Warm-ups were underway.
While the Dressage phase was winding up and the Show Jumping phase beginning, I headed up to the top of the hill to get ready to photograph horse and rider teams as they galloped across the Cross Country course.
At the start of the Cross Country phase, each competitor begins from a standstill in the start box. This is the view before bursting out and galloping away!
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Those at the Introductory and Starter levels had the choice of simply gaining experience galloping a path at speed with the option of leaping some or all of the jumps at their level – depending on their skill, experience and confidence level (horse OR rider OR both).
From the Pre-Entry Level up, the option to ‘skip’ jumps no longer exists as these riders/horses should have sufficient experience to manage their way around
Events like this can’t fun without the help of many, many volunteers. Among others there are “Jump Judges”. Their job is to monitor one or more jumps and keep in touch with the Base to let them know if there are any faults (e.g. a run out) or if there’s any problem such as a fall on course.
At the Entry, Pre-Training and Training levels the jumps became more challenging but the riders seemed to be having fun as they whizzed by!
It was an excellent day. I also enjoyed having members of the Focus Camera Club from Moncton join in to learn about photographing equine events, enjoy the beautiful day, and add a different perspective to the mix.
It was a wonderful day and many thanks to Stewart Sport Horses for including us in your event!
If anyone is interested in getting copies of any of Kevin’s photos, just let me know and I’ll put you in touch with him.
And a few more, from Rachel LeBlanc.