Horse Life, Horse Shows

3DayAdventures BlogHop: My Favorite Event

Thanks to 3DayAdventures for some blog content other than hoof holes!

It’s been raining in NC for what seems like 5 nonstop months. Temperatures have fluctuated from 30 to 80 (sometimes in one week), and some days I don’t even MIND that I don’t have a rideable horse because it’s just plain ol’ nasty.

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But with the end of March comes a few things…Trainer B’s return as well as the beginning of show season.

But KC, you might say, your horse has a gigantic hole in his foot.

P5

That he does, my dears, but it’s looking like this handsome guy will soon be coming my way.

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Not sure what to do with a non-gray, to be honest

Right now the plan is to head up to VA at the end of this month and compete C in a schooling horse trial, then bring him back to NC with me. His owner will be following him down to NC shortly after that, as she heads back to work for Trainer B, and C will stay with me until P is ready to go. Which will probably be early summer, because the second that horse is declared good to go back under saddle, he’ll be heading to Trainer B’s for at least a month. I seriously can’t even with that horse anymore.

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Me to P when he’s cleared

So all hopes for a spring season may not be dashed after all. Which has me thinking about the events I’ve been to as both a rider and a spectator, and which ones I can maybe, just maybe, plan to get to this year.

It was so hard to pick a favorite. I loved going to Virginia HT when Trainer B competed P and really hope to get to compete there myself this year.

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I love galloping up hills and VA’s XC course looked like SO MUCH FUN

I will always be partial to Windridge. Maybe because we’ve won there before…

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#biased

Also because they have a kick ass XC course.

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But I have to say that my favorite among favorites has to be Carolina Horse Park.

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Because this picture came from there, of course!

All around, I just love the venue. The stalls are roomy, and designed to be able to conveniently hang things like saddle racks/bridle racks/hay nets/buckets, etc. The overhangs are great at keeping the rain off ya and are spacious enough to have trunks/hay bales in front of stalls.

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Approved by S
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With posts spaced out perfectly to hang the hammock

Trashcans everywhere that are actually emptied DURING the show, so trash isn’t blowing out by Sunday. Small details like that matter.

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After P stumbled upon some leftover Chick Fil A one time, he made it a mission to go inspect every other garbage can. Because he’s weird.

Another favorite feature is that each stall has it’s own dual electric outlet. Perfect for a fan and a phone charger.

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They have 2 areas for campers/LQs, both of which are about a 45 second drive to the barns. The hookups are far enough apart that no one has to park on top of each other either.

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They partner with a nearby golf cart company, so you can have one delivered for the duration of the show for $45/day.

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Handy for carting the family around

The only thing missing would be showers. If they’d add showers and a real restroom, that’d be perfection.

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My alternative if no one around has an LQ

 

I believe they run only 2 USEA events throughout the year, in addition to Carolina International at the end of March, then from May-November, they host a schooling series called War Horse Event Series.

Timing has never worked out to where I’ve competed in one of their USEA events, but I have attended several of the WHES events and love how well run they all have been. Plus, stabling for Friday-Sunday is only $75 AND you don’t have to clean the stall at the end of the weekend. With a horse like P, there is no better deal than to NOT have to strip the stall.

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Everyone when they glance at P’s stall

But even though the cost for the schooling events is less than recognized, don’t think the competition is easy. It’s a big atmosphere at each of the shows, with all 8 barns being completely filled most months. They typically have around 300 entries per show, and offer HTs through Training and CTs through Advanced. As such, they hire real course designers for both show jumping and XC, and those courses are over the same tracks and jumps as you’ll find in their recognized shows.

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Dressage is always interesting, as they run 6 rings at one time, so keeping your horse focused while there’s a bunch of horns/bells/SQUEAKY TOYS (of course for the ring we usually get put in) sounding off around you can be challenging at times.

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Fine with the squeaky toy
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Melts down when a horse trailer comes down the road next to the ring

Stadium they have two different arenas- one on grass for the little stuff (up to 2’3), and then BN+ in the Century Link arena.

The grass arena always has great footing and is slightly more quieter, which is great for the green horses and/or riders.

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S killing it in his first real jump course

On the other side, the Century Link arena is quite busy with the barns on one end, another side taken up by loudspeakers and tents, and warmup on the other side. The courses are definitely never easy either.

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Ever to my dismay, there is always AT LEAST one in-and-out #nailedit
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When you and your horse both derp hard over rainbow poles
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Expect to see at least one bending line in there as well
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Not to mention related fences that are juuu-ssst far enough apart that you panic a little halfway down the line. This was actually a miracle.

And then there’s XC. While some horse trials I’ve been to never really change up their tracks, at CHP I’ve never seen the start box in the same place. Like stadium, they have two separate areas for the levels: starter (2’3″) and below uses a completely different track/course with BN+ in another.

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“Oh goodie- a combination on XC,” said me NEVER

If you do enough of these WHES events, you can qualify for the championships, which dishes out hefty prize money and goodies.

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The prizes are the same for Green as Grass through Training. INSANE.

And as a cherry on top, they always have at least 2 food trucks onsite, and 2 mobile tack shops. For dinner, the venue is close to town with lots of restaurants to choose from.

It’s just under two hours from me, so I’m hoping to make it there at least once this year, or as many times as is on the schedule.

Of course that depends on, ya know, having a horse to ride.

Shrug-Emoji

 

16 thoughts on “3DayAdventures BlogHop: My Favorite Event”

  1. Thanks for blog hopping! This place looks great! And you’re so smart to mention garbage cans because YES!!! Overflowing garbage is my pet peeve at shows. And gross bathrooms. And those stalls look lovely!!
    So excited you have a horse to ride. Can’t wait to read all about him!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CHP!!!! It really is such a great venue- gah!!! I remember when they first opened and started hosting events dressage was on grass, the XC was awesome but not as expansive as it is now (I don’t remember crossing the track), and there was a rope around the SJ arena instead of fencing 🙂 They have done soooo much to that place!!!! I vaguely remember temp stalls the 1 show I competed at back in 2002…. but seriously- what it has become is just fantastic!!!! And the WarHorse series is the best- I mean those prizes!!!! The atmosphere! Basically you are right, there aren’t many facilities better than CHP

    Like

  3. carolina horse park always looks SO PRETTY in the pictures! it doesn’t seem likely that i’ll ever compete there, but maybe i’ll get to visit it one day?

    Like

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