Monthly Archives: April 2010

The Rest of Southern Pines

The final reports are in, the course has been picked up and stored away for another year.  The horse park liked the dressage boxes and are renting them for some of their events and dressage shows.  The new water hazard is doing double duty as an event obstacle.  It’s great when different disciplines can work together. 

Unfortunately, I saw very little of the actual event, but by all accounts, it was a great success.  And it was accident free.  The weather was perfect.  There was quite a crowd on marathon day, and most were situated between the two water obstacles.  There was bleacher seating and small tents with picnic tables, and the food vendor set up so it was a delightful place to spend the day. 

Bill Long

The horse park allowed us to use part of the steeplechase track to get to and from the obstacles with golf carts and ATVs, which kept people from being on or crossing the track. 

There were two dressage rings – a 40 x 80 for the Preliminary drivers and 40 x 100 for the Intermediate and Advanced.  The patrons tent was set up between the two.  Then for cones day, the cones course was designed in a U shape around the tent.  It was great! 

Irene Gillis in the Gate obstacle

 The course designers and judges put a ton of ‘dislodgeable elements’ (knockdowns) in the obstacles. The hazard judges had to be on the ball (no pun intended) to make sure they noted when one was hit and to replace it before the next competitor.

Suzi Dixon in the Log Pile obstacle

Everyone was eager to see how the new water hazard would drive.  Kelly Valdes and Richard Pringle started working on this one last year, and were happy to see their hard work enjoyed by all.

Boo Fitch West in Pringle's Pond

Mary Ruth Marks won the marathon in the Advanced Single Horse class.  Her navigator was Andrew Ellis who works at the horse park. 

Mary Ruth Marks

Beautiful awards were presented to the winners following their cones class.  Chairs are always popular, and there were several special awards presented as well.


Joe Yoder of Montana driving Mark Schmidt’s team won the Advanced Four In Hand class.

Kelly Valdes and Lisa Stroud present Joe Yoder with the blue ribbon


Thursday at Southern Pines

New Dressage Judges' Boxes

Competitors are always eager to pick up their packets to get their competitor number, and in particular find out what time they drive dressage.  Being able to post it online and on the board helps ease their anxiety.  Work was still being done to finish up the brand new judges boxes even as the Horse Inspection began.  The Horse Inspection took place on another brand new feature at SPCDE – a jog pad.  That also was finished just in the nick of time. 

A course walk was actually held – something that isn’t as common as it once was – but just on Section E.  That was the only time competitors could drive their ATVs and golf carts on the course.  It was followed by a briefing by Kelly Valdes and T.D. Ian Douglas, and that was followed by a light supper for all. 

Everyone was glad that the predicted storm hit during the night, didn’t do any damage, but did cool down the temperatures and knock down the pine pollen.

Southern Pines Obstacles

Obstacle 1

Obstacle 2

Obstacle 3

Obstacle 4

Obstacle 5

Obstacle 6

Obstacle 7

Catching Up with Southern Pines

It proved impossible to both blog and be secretary at Southern Pines, nevertheless, I promise to catch you all up with photos and words about the weekend in the next couple of days.  It was practically perfect – no accidents, fabulous weather, a gorgeous site.  Young Joe Yoder won the four-in-hand class beating Bill Long.  He had a big lead, but hit quite a few cones, so it was a nail biter at the end.

Southern Pines CDE has started!

Welcome to the Southern Pines CDE at the Carolina Horse Park

Absolutely the best way to start a competition is to offer every competitor, official and volunteer a complimentary chair massage!  15 students are just outside the office doing land-office business.  Then when the competitors come in the secretary’s office to pick up their packets, they are relaxed and in a great mood.  Hope we can repeat this next year.


Getting ready for Southern Pines CDE

I know competitors appreciate all the work that organizers do to provide a great event, but I’m not sure that unless they’ve put on a CDE themselves, they could possible know just how many hours go into it.  Someone should keep track of the total hours sometime.  Maybe I’ll do it next year. 

We are setting records for high temperature here in Southern Pines.  We went from winter straight to spring, with highs in the mid 90s this week.  That’s bad enough, but the pine pollen is unbelieveble.  Ian Douglas went out to look at the course in a golf cart and came back absolutely green -covered in pollen. 

A few competitors have arrived.  We have the best stabling anywhere – permanent stalls, lovely doors, mats, good ventilation, deep overhangs, permanent wash racks, permanent manure pits, electric outlets outside every stall, and plenty of parking space.  There are permanent hook-ups for campers.  We have a lovely area for an office in the main Carolina Horse Park office.  It’s a home that’s been converted, so there is a kitchen, bathroom and (yea!) air-conditioning!  And a big copy machine that does it all.  A secretary’s dream (that’s me this weekend). 

It is supposed to cool off for the weekend and be in the high 60s and low 70s – perfect weather.  The hazards are being marked, the dressage rings set up, the brand new judges boxes are in place and waiting for shingles to be put on for the finishing touch.  The new hazard is looking good.  I’ll try and post photos of all the hazards as soon as they are finished. 

New this year will be a sponsors’ tent set in between the two dressage rings. Then on cones day, the cones course will be a U shape around it.  It should be very nice!