This October, fans, spectators, and riders from across the country will enjoy a weeklong extravaganza event centered on the Virginia Horse Trials' International Competition, Area II Championships and Adult Team Challenge. Organizer Andy Bowles announced that he is thrilled to unveil many new features in a week packed full of activities saying, "Our aim at VHT is to combine training and competition to help riders have the best possible experience. In addition, it marks the start of a three year improvement plan on the horse center side cross-country course, that focuses on footing / flow and the arrival of John Nicholson as designer of the Oak Hill cross-country courses."  
Earthworks Landscaping Begins Work on Course

Things will kick off with a clinic available on a first come first serve basis to riders of all levels given by New Zealand 4* Event Riders Tim and Jonelle Price, along with the United States' own 4* stand outs Sharon White and Doug Payne October 27th through 29th. "My recent experiences in America have revolved around Rolex Kentucky with all the pressure of competing a horse overseas that that entails, so I can't wait to see more of the States and meet people and horses in a situation where I can be more relaxed. And, of course, we will be bringing a little bit of Kiwi Magic with us to all the training days and that is a very special magic!" remarked Tim Price of his excitement to clinic in the United States for the first time.

Tim Price and Jonelle Price
PC: Libby Law Photography

In addition to the clinic opportunity, horse and rider combinations will have the chance to participate in schooling rounds Thursday prior to the event in both dressage as well as show jumping. These events are open to all riders, not just those that choose to compete over the weekend. Competitors, owners, spectators, grooms, and all in attendance during the Virginia Horse Trials International Event scheduled for October 29th through November 1st will also notice several changes enhancing the overall experience.

Among these will be improved footing, brand new courses designed by John Nicholson in his United States debut, an elaborate rider party on Saturday evening, outdoor show jumping, and four thousand dollars in prize money for the international classes. Virginia Horse Trials will also proudly host the Area II championships this year, along with an Adult Team Challenge making it a highly anticipated event in more ways than one.

Doug Payne
PC: Jenni Autry / Eventing Nation

Sharon White who has been attending the event for years praised the changes taking place saying, "I am not only excited to ride on the new courses Virginia Horse Trials is unveiling this year, but I am thrilled about the pre event activities and opportunities. I think these additions will help many of the less experienced riders develop and prepare for the show, and will also give young horses an opportunity rarely available to do schooling rounds, maximizing the experience they can obtain in a weeks time."

Sharon White
 PC: Sherry Stewart

Bowles noted that the new changes and additions are a part of his goal to make the event, "a show riders look forward to coming back to year after year, enjoying a week long opportunity to better themselves and their horses at a world class venue."

Sign-ups for schooling classes and the clinic will be available on our website in the coming weeks so be sure to keep up with us on social media for updates as well as check out the site.