Red Hills International Horse Trials 2014 was a first class event. As a radio talk show host and blogger, I was granted media credentials which not only allowed me the opportunity to conduct interviews with riders, but it also gave me a backstage pass to other activities such as the daily press conferences and a media tent filled with helpful and courteous staff and volunteers.
Event Chairman Tom Barron and his staff did a tremendous job organizing this event. Tom even took the time to introduce himself to my photographer, Ian Anderson, while he was setting up his camera on the Cross Country course. They chatted for several minutes about the brand new course as well as the event itself. Ian was impressed with Tom’s relaxed yet focused demeanor in the midst of organizing such a huge event. Tom is a true leader in that he can put the right people in the right places and let them do their jobs. This trickle-down effect empowers the staff and volunteers and creates and much more positive environment. My observation was that Red Hills International Horse Trials was a well-oiled machine. Kudos to organizers Jane Barron and Marvin Mayer for their considerable efforts and contributions to Red Hills International Horse Trials as it would not be the success that it is without them at the helm.
All the buzz this year surrounded the brand new Cross Country course that has been over a year in the making. Designing and building the course is Hugh Lochore who has been designing Cross Country courses in his native Europe for 15 years. One of the most talked about feature of the Cross Country course is “Stairway to Heaven” which requires bold attacking as the horse is expected to climb 11 feet over three obstacles within what would normally be a one-stride distance. Lochore states “This is strong acrobatics at its best”. Most horses seemed to traverse this obstacle well, some with more grace and vigor than others. Click below to see a larger sequence photo of Buck Davidson riding Copper Beech.
As a first time Eventing observer, I found both the horses and riders to be quite majestic. I have enjoyed reporting on the event, choosing photos for this blog, interviewing riders and interacting with all those involved with Red Hills International Horse Trials. I can’t wait until next year!
Here are some of my favorite photos from Red Hills International Horse Trials 2014
Photos © 2014 Ian Anderson exclusively for The Success Design
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