Morven Park’s annual Fall Horse Trials event often draws many of the country’s top riders, but early entries for this year’s event, Oct. 2-4, are pointing to a weekend filled with all-stars for this sport known as “the triathlon of horses.”
The Horse Trials weekend features an equestrian discipline known as “eventing,” in which each horse and rider combination must compete in dressage, show jumping, and cross-country. All five riders on the United States’ “Top Five” list are entered in the Morven Park Horse Trials:
• No.1 – Buck Davidson has three entries (Be Mine, Park Trader, and Quasar).
• No. 2 – Philip Dutton has eight entries, including four in the highest level at this event, Dutton’s Pan Am Games partner Fernhill Fugitive, as well as Fernhill Cubalawn, MightyNice, and Mr. Candyman.
• No. 3 – Ryan Wood has eight rides entered at Morven Park, including Fernhill Classic, Frankie, and McLovin.
• No. 4 – Boyd Martin has nine entries, including his 2014 World Equestrian Games partner Shamwari 4 and 2014 Morven Park CIC Two-Star winner Welcome Shadow.
• No. 5 – Marilyn Little is America’s Leading Lady Rider. Little, who is based in Frederick, Md., has five entries at Morven Park, with three rides in the highest level (RF West Indie, RF Demeter, and RF Overdressed).
This year’s Fall Horse Trials is classified as a Competition International Combined Three-Star (CIC***) event, held according to rules set by an international organization.
Last year’s CIC*** winning rider and horse at Morven Park, Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights, went on to great things in 2015, including Rolex, Aachen, and Burghley. While Covert Rights is resting up from his European tour, Rutledge will be back with Escot 6 entered in the CIC***.
Morven Park is one of the few facilities in the country that offers eight skill levels of competition in a single weekend. The event is free for spectators, who, if new to the sport, can pick up a spectators’ guide from the parking attendants. Competition takes place beginning at 8 a.m. each day, ending at approximately 4 p.m. Top-level riders will compete in dressage and show jumping on Friday and in cross-country on Saturday. Spectators must enter via Tutt Lane from Route 15, just north of Leesburg.