About Red Hills International Horse Trials
RHHT 2013 will salute Florida’s 500th anniversary--and the arrival of the horse in America, March 8 - 10 in Tallahassee!
As a colorful sidebar to their challenging equestrian competition, Red Hills International Horse Trials will celebrate Florida’s quincentenary (1513 - 2013), by saluting the role of the horse in the state’s development.
The theme for this year’s international horse trials, always a significant Tallahassee event, was announced this past week at a Sponsors’ Kickoff gathering at El Destino Farm, home of Jane and Tom Barron. Sponsors were treated to a special dressage exhibition by Federation Equestrian Internationale (FEI) Dressage Instructor Eugene Abello and two of his students, Grande Prix equestrians Molly Tatham and Lynnette Wadsworth, who performed a stunning twilight musical freestyle to The Ride of the Valkyries.
RHHT 2013 will take place March 8 - 10 at Elinor Klapp Phipps Park. As in the past, top riders and horses from at least two dozen states and 10 countries are expected to compete in the fifteenth Red Hills CIC-3 star event. Last year, four out of five members of the United States Olympic Team competed at RHHT prior to being selected for the 2012 Olympics!
Red Hills has again been selected to be the first event of the 2013 Adequan Gold Cup Pro Rider Series, where the best of the best vie for prize money, trophies and the title of Adequan Gold Cup Pro Rider Champion. Other changes in the works include a new FEI-mandated time schedule for selected levels at the three days of Eventing competition. The CIC Divisions will Show Jump on Friday afternoon, after Dressage and before Saturday’s Cross-Country.
VISIT FLORIDA has named Red Hills an official VIVA Florida 500 event, so a number of celebratory activities will accompany the equestrian competition. The Five Flags of Florida will fly over Phipps Park, and the history of the horse, first brought to this country by Spanish colonists, will be highlighted in many ways. Exhibits, exhibitions, and a Parade of Breeds on Sunday are among the exciting plans. Horses were used by Native Americans, French and British settlers in a myriad of ways subsequent to Spanish colonization. Agriculture,
transportation, and military combat depended on horses. The sport of Eventing will be the focus: it evolved from the prestigious Spanish Riding School of dressage, as well as the precision and endurance training of the Cavalry.
RHHT, which attracts more than 20,000 spectators, expects even more fans this year as people who attend the challenging i n t e r n a t i o n a l competition will also enjoy the additional VIVA Florida activities.
"We are looking forward to welcoming a great many of our top-ranked riders and horses back to Tallahassee,” commented RHHT Co-Organizer Jane Barron. “Red Hills has become a signature event in the sport of Eventing, as well as for Tallahassee and Leon County. We are extremely grateful to our very generous sponsors who make this weekend possible, and hope people from across the Tallahassee area will come to enjoy the weekend. Celebrating Florida’s 500-year anniversary will add even more color and pageantry to the weekend this year. The Spanish with their horses were in Florida long before anyone landed at Jamestown and Plymouth Rock. Our Florida heritage owes a great deal to these incredible animals."
Eventing is one of the fastest growing equestrian pursuits in the world. Riders of all ages and abilities can compete. Developed from cavalry competitions during the early 1900’s, it is the ultimate challenge for horse and rider. It tests their partnership and athletic prowess over three days, in three disciplines: the grace and harmony of dressage; the rigors and thrills of cross-country jumping over natural obstacles; and the power and pageantry of show jumping.
FEI, the international equestrian federation which governs the sport states that the object of the competition is to "show the rider’s spirit, boldness, and perfect knowledge of his horse’s paces and their use across country, and to show the condition, handiness, courage, jumping ability, stamina and speed of the well-trained horse."
Besides the colorful and exciting three days of competition, RHHT will offer an Avenue of Shops with vendors from around the country, plus a variety of other exhibits and tours, some of which reinforce Red Hills' mission to "promote the concepts of resource protection, green space preservation, and land management. Historic exhibits featuring Florida’s history and the role of the horse will be displayed in a special VIVA FLORIDA exhibit area.
Everyone is welcome. One need not know a thing about horses or the sport of Eventing to become enthralled by these magnificent animals, or to enjoy the beauty of Elinor Klapp Phipps Park, as well as the host of other activities of the weekend. The Red Hills Challenge, a run across the equestrian cross- country course, will also take place Sunday morning for the two-footed competitors.
Since its inception in 1998, Red Hills International Horse Trials, a non-profit organization, has provided more than $325,000 to their beneficiaries, Tall Timbers Research Station and Land
Conservancy, and Klapp-Phipps Park, which is owned by the Northwest Florida Water Management District and managed by the Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Commission.
See What Red Hills Is All About...
Internationally recognized for its accomplishments, RHHT hosted the first United States East Coast World Cup Qualifier in 2003 and every year through 2010.
In keeping with our mission to raise funds to benefit non profit organizations with compatible educational and environmental purposes, Red Hills Horse Trials contributes to our two beneficiaries; Tall Timbers Research Station and the Elinor Klapp - Phipps Park.