Heart of the Carolinas Celebrates Amateur Riders and the Classic Eventing Format

Kaitlynn Ferrell & Beyond The Limits competing in the Novice Three-Day at Southern 8ths. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

Kaitlynn Ferrell & Beyond The Limits competing in the Novice Three-Day at Southern 8ths. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

The sixth annual Heart of the Carolinas (HOTC) Three-Day Event and Horse Trials is coming to Southern 8ths Farm in Chesterfield, S.C. May 4-6, 2016. With the goal of providing an unparalleled educational opportunity for riders and carrying the classic long-format forward, Southern 8ths is unveiling new divisions and a new eventing series challenge for 2016.

Southern 8ths Farm is the only venue in the country that offers USEA-recognized traditional long-format three-day events at the Beginner Novice, Novice and Training levels. Three-day competitors are given the best chance of success as qualified clinicians coach them through each section of the event. We are thrilled to announce that our 2016 clinicians are USEA President-elect Carol Kozlowski along with Sally O’Connor, a renowned FEI eventing and dressage judge and accomplished author.

“The HOTC team is proud and honored to provide a competition where riders and their equine partners can learn and compete together,” said HOTC co-organizer Leslie Threlkeld. “To have Carol and Sally join us as clinicians this year is very special and a testament to the longstanding support for the classic format. We also have the professional veterinary assistance of Dr. Debbie Williams to help prepare riders for horse inspections and the 10-minute box, as well as an experienced ground jury that is dedicated to bolstering a positive experience for competitors.”

For the 2016 event, a Preliminary Combined Test division and the newly developed Assistance Allowed Test has been added to the schedule. Alongside the long-format divisions, HOTC also welcomes competitors in a Beginner Novice through Training level horse trials. The team looks forward to adding the 3’5” Modified division in 2017.

HOTC worked together with the Carolina Horse Park to develop a new eventing series for Preliminary and below called the Carolina Eventing Challenge. The Southern Pines Horse Trials (March 13-14) and Longleaf Pine Horse Trials (April 23-24) serve as qualifying competitions, and the final will take place at HOTC. Beginner Novice, Novice and Training riders must compete in a long-format division to be eligible for the series grand prize. Preliminary level competitors will ride in a derby-style final, with both stadium and cross country fences appearing on the jumping course.

Rachel Koerwer & Gregarious competing in the Beginner Novice Horse Trials at Southern 8ths. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

Rachel Koerwer & Gregarious competing in the Beginner Novice Horse Trials at Southern 8ths. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

“Our goal with HOTC is to provide an educational competition that is geared to the adult amateur rider,” said HOTC co-organizer Cindy Deporter. “We consider ourselves a ‘destination event’ for the adult amateur and we continue to support them through this competition, both with the three-day offerings and now the Assistance-Allowed Division. We appreciate Brad Turley’s generosity in financially helping to make this competition the best of its nature in the United States!”

Brad Turley is the owner of Southern 8ths Farm, founder of the Heart of the Carolinas Three-Day Event and a passionate advocate of the traditional eventing format.

“The bond that a rider has with his or her horse is unique, especially in today’s world of instant gratification. The long-format magnifies that bond through the hours of training and conditioning required to complete the three-day,” Brad said. “Our team understands that bond and has taken the reins to ensure that amateur riders continue to have the opportunity to fully appreciate how special their mounts are by completing the ultimate equestrian test. We are proudly looking forward to another year presenting the amateur rider’s Rolex.”

Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, HOTC is offering a wealth of prizes for first through eighth place in all three long-format divisions. Special awards include Best Conditioned Horse, Best Turned Out, and Lowest Scoring Adult Amateur. Winners at each level of the Carolina Eventing Challenge will receive a grand prize. Thoroughbred Incentive Program awards will be given in all horse trials and three-day divisions, including the Preliminary Combined Test.

A complete list of sponsors and information about sponsorship opportunities is available at http://www.so8ths.com/sponsor.

Visit the USEA Omnibus for entry information and details on the Carolina Eventing Challenge.

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