Area residents will have the opportunity to watch some of the most talented horses and riders on the West Coast test their mettle at the Copper Meadows Horse Trials in Ramona on Sept. 11-13.
Horses and riders from all over the area will compete for top honors in the equestrian sport known as eventing.
An Olympic sport since 1912, eventing is best described as an equestrian triathlon, with three phases that test the competitors’ skills in the ring, over fences, and galloping across the countryside.
Dressage, a sort of equestrian ballet, tests the horse and rider’s ability to perform a series of prescribed classical movements in an enclosed arena.
During cross country, horse and rider gallop over natural terrain, up and down hills, across ditches, and into water, leaping over a variety of imposing obstacles along the way.
In the show jumping phase, competitors make their way over a course of colorfully painted fences in an enclosed arena, making every attempt to leave all the fence rails in their cups when they cross the finish line.
The divisions of competition this weekend are designed for horses and riders at almost all levels of the sport. While some will be content to win ribbons and bragging rights, others will use this competition as a steppingstone to qualify for international caliber events to pursue their goal of one day representing their country at the Olympic Games.
But one doesn’t have to have Olympic dreams to enjoy a day of fun in the sun and experience the thrill of a sport that showcases the bravery and talent of the world’s most amazing equine athletes and celebrates the unique partnership between horse and rider.
Everyone is invited to see firsthand why more and more spectators are showing up each weekend to experience the thrill of one of the world’s fastest growing equestrian sports.
Copper Meadows Horse Trials will be at 633 Montecito Way. The competition is tentatively scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information about the competition, contact Carolyn Hoffos at 760-788-7702 or visit www.copper-meadows.com.
For more information about the sport of eventing and the United States Eventing Association, contact Emily Daily at 703-779-0440, ext. 3015, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the USEA Web site at www.useventing.com.