About Red Hills
Tallahassee--Florida's capital city--is the site of the Red Hills Horse Trials, an annual United States Eventing Association Area III event. Named for the sloping terrain and rich red earth known as the "red hills" of north Florida and South Georgia, the Horse Trials features a challenging cross-country course newly updated and designed for 2013 by Scotland's Hugh Lochore.
The cross country course was initially built by Hugh, and is set in the central area of a 120-acre indigenous plant/horticultural park owned by Tallahassee ecologist and horse enthusiast Colin Phipps. It features a variety of formidable obstacles, including water, banks and ditches, which wind through Phipps' arboretum. In 2012 we welcomed a new course builder, Tyson Rementer from Scottsville, VA.
Four dressage rings, the stadium course, stabling, the "Red Hills Avenue of Shops", "Saddlers' Row", "Red Hills Food Court", and a variety of exhibits, educational demonstrations and Park and Botanical Tours are staged on adjoining Northwest Florida Water Management District land known as the Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park.
About the name "Red Hills"
Defined for its sloping terrain and rich red earth, once described as the "strongest and most fertile soils in this part of the country," the Red Hills of north Florida and south Georgia is a geographic region extending from Thomasville, Georgia to Tallahassee, Florida and 150 miles east and west to the Alabama and Georgia borders.
Long before the first white settlers arrived to earn their livelihood from the fertile soils of this region, native Americans realized the benefits of the Red Hills. The favorable weather and fertile land enticed planters away from the exhausted soils of north Georgia, Virginia, Maryland and the Carolinas soon out produced neighboring regions with lighter soils. The long summers, mild winter, and plentiful water provided an ideal climate for corn and cotton. Farmers settled this area in the 1830's. Within 20 years, Leon County ranked as the highest cotton producer in Florida. Only three Georgia counties produced more. In the late 19th century, travelers began visiting this area. Grand hotels soon lined the streets, and as guests realized the hunting potential of the surrounding woods, many Northern visitors set up residences. Hunting plantations replaced farmland.
The Federation Equestrian Internationale sponsors an Eventing World Cup. The inaugural World Cup was held in Pau, France in the fall of 2004. Red Hills hosted an US East Coast Qualifier in March, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010 and 2011.
Overview of 2012 Event
The 2012 Red Hills Horse Trials was an overwhelming success, welcoming thousands of spectators and over 180 national and international competitors. Media exposure valued at $350,000 was solicited both locally and statewide, and cash and in-kind contributions totaling $600,000 were generated for the Event!
"The enthusiasm for the Red Hills Horse Trails has been phenomenal. With incredible support from over 400 volunteers, our generous sponsors, and widespread participation from the community, we are proud to have contributed to date a total of $325,000 to our charities: Tall Timbers Foundation, Inc., and Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park. We feel that Red Hills is good for our community, good for Eventing, and good for Florida.
Red Hills Horse Trials Mission
Conduct a nationally recognized Combined Training Event to:
- Increase awareness and educate the public to Eventing.
- Promote cooperation among horse enthusiasts.
- Educate the public and to promote the concept of resource protection, land and greenspace preservation, and land management.
- Raise funds to benefit non profit organizations with compatible educational and environmental purposes.