PINE TOP FARM HORSE TRIALS
Date: February 23rd/26th 2017
Running order of Divisions: CIC3*, CIC2* CIC1*
Arena: Grass 350ft x 170ft, with a slope from the right hand side towards the centre.
CIC 3* – 13/3 plus 1 with time faults (30%)
CIC 2* – 27/17 (62%)
CIC 1* – 22/8 (36%)
What I like about these courses is the fact that the riders can walk, providing they are posted, all the courses in advance of the actual Divisions starting. Although some obstacles change direction, none of the lines change. Using obstacles with the metric cup strips, and plastic cups, makes changing direction of obstacles much easier than using the old fashioned metal cups with pins.
With the different courses, there is a good reduction of technicality as you go down through the Divisions. The 2* does jump both combinations off the same lead, which is not always desirable as it asks the same question, but this is something that is occasionally unavoidable when you try to get three different courses out of the same layout, without moving obstacles.
The distances are normal, and have been kept this way by the course designer, due to the gradient in the arena that can affect the way each line rides, whether uphill or down. I like that the 3* has a little breather in the middle of the course (fences 5/6/7) with technical lines before and after.
These were the first FEI Divisions of the season for those riders on the East coast and I would say that these courses asked the right questions.
USEF Eventing Show Jumping Course Advisor
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