Five events you need to attend in 2017 (with or without a horse)

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Five events you need to attend in 2017 (with or without a horse)

It is already February and some of the best events in North America are rapidly approaching. But don’t worry if you and your horse are not ready right now because these events are actually equally or maybe even more fun to go as a spectator than a competitor. Going to events as a spectator not only makes for a great time but it is also educational. Mark these events on your 2017 calendar because there is no better way to spend a weekend than at a world-class event:

1) Red Hills International (March 10th to 12th in Tallahassee, Florida) – This event is a spectator’s dream. Everything is very centralized so you do not have to walk miles to get from dressage to show jumping to cross-country and to the vendors. And speaking of vendors, there are so many of them that you will feel like you are in an outdoor horsey shopping mall. The food vendors are to die for so make sure you wear your stretchy pants. The cross-country courses at Red Hills always pose a fair challenge to riders making for great action to watch. There are tailgating spots available for purchase and I would recommend buying one. A tailgate spot will let you enjoy the excitement up close and comfortably. The event caters to tailgaters so you do not even have to pack a picnic; you can just order food and drinks as you please. Make sure you make travel plans for Red Hills pronto because it is only weeks away.

Katlyn Hewson and Fernhill Cascum Marco at the Red Hills CIC2*.

Katlyn Hewson and Fernhill Cascum Marco at the Red Hills CIC2*.

 

2) Rolex Kentucky (April 27th to 30th in Lexington, Kentucky) – Do not pass up on the opportunity to watch the only CCI4* event held on North American soil. From seeing the legendary Michael Jung in person to walking one of the biggest cross-country tracks in the world, here are the ten main reasons you need to get your butt to Rolex. Also don’t forget to pack your wallet because the vendors here are irresistible.

If you think this looks intense, you should see it in person!

If you think this looks intense, you should see it in person!


3) Bromont CCI3* (June 8th to 11th in Bromont, Quebec) – Hands down the best event in Canada and possibly the best CCI3* in North America. Bromont is an absolutely stunning venue and it is one of the few Olympic equestrian venues that still holds an event. The cross-country course is absolutely breathtaking; it runs over impressive hills, around natural bodies of water and the Derek di Grazia designed course is beautifully crafted. Bromont is also a great town itself; Brouemont brews the best beer on the continent and all of the bakeries in the area are heavenly. Practice your French and book a trip to Bromont this spring.

Cross-country complex in the main arena.

Cross-country complex in the main arena.

 

4) Great Meadow Nations Cup (July 7th to 9th in The Plains, Virginia) – Make sure you are in attendance at the only Eventing Nations Cup competition held outside of Europe. If watching the best riders on this side of the planet tackle a Nations Cup competition is not enough to convince you to go, there will also be the Meadow Market Trade Show for shopping, an opening ceremony, VIP parties and bareback puissance. Head to Virginia this summer, to watch this remarkable event in person.

 U.S. Pan American Eventing Team: Matt Brown, Jennie Brannigan, Phillip Dutton, Tamra Smith, Lauren Kieffer, Boyd Martin, Marilyn Little, Michael Pollard, Will Faudree and Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables' Pfun, with two of the 2015 Land Rover LR4 at the 2015 Land Rover Great Meadow International, the final preparatory event for the U.S. Pan American Eventing Team prior to the 2015 Pan American Games which will take place in Toronto, Canada, this July. (Great Meadow Foundation, The Plains, VA on Thursday, June 18, 2015)

U.S. Pan American Eventing Team: Matt Brown, Jennie Brannigan, Phillip Dutton, Tamra Smith, Lauren Kieffer, Boyd Martin, Marilyn Little, Michael Pollard, Will Faudree and Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables’ Pfun, with two of the 2015 Land Rover LR4 at the 2015 Land Rover Great Meadow International, the final preparatory event for the U.S. Pan American Eventing Team prior to the 2015 Pan American Games. (Great Meadow Foundation, The Plains, VA on Thursday, June 18, 2015)

 

5) Plantation Field International Horse Trials and Country Fair (September 14th to 17th in Coatesville, Pennsylvania) – There is a reason Plantation Field has dubbed itself  “BEST EVENT EVER”… Because it is! There is a fair taking place at the event, the Victory Beer Garden, a Kid’s Corner, a bareback puissance competition, incredible parties with live music and of course, cross-country tailgating. The tailgating at this event does not disappoint; you can see virtually every fence on course from the comfort of your tailgate spot. World-renowned course designer, Mike Etherington Smith, always creates cross-country courses that require accurate riding, making for lots of excitement to watch. Plantation Field truly is BEST EVENT EVER, mark this event in your calendar or else you will regret it when you see photos on Facebook of all the fun you passed up on.

Best. Event. Ever. Photo by Jamie Rees.

Best. Event. Ever. Photo by Jamie Rees.

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