Horse sport season opens at Kent, Riga
KENT — Local and first-time competitors are expected at the Kent Horse Trials Sunday, May 15, at the Kent School riding facility at the top of Skiff Mountain.The trials offer competitions for beginner novice, novice and training riders in three disciplines: dressage, show jumping and cross-country jumping. The Kent Horse Trials features the lowest three levels in eventing.This year’s schedule at Kent is a departure from tradition. The combined test, which has been held in April, was removed from the schedule. The horse trials normally held in August have been moved to May. Kent will still hold its fall horse trials in October. A combination of iffy weather and low entries contributed to the demise of the combined test. “People are really watching where they spend their money and they want to get the most bang for the buck, so they’re going to a full event over a combined test,” said Erin Keehan, show secretary. Though 114 teams have already entered Sunday’s event, entries are still being accepted.Interested competitors may contact Keehan at 518-428-4386. Riga combined testRiga Meadow Equestrian Center will hold a combined test at its facility at 339 Undermountain Road in Salisbury on Saturday, May 21. A combined test is often considered a warm-up to a horse trials as it has two of the three components. Horse and rider teams will compete in dressage and show-jumping. At Riga, riders can chose from four levels of competition: beginner novice, novice, training and prelim. As with many sporting events, the activity is geared as much toward spectators as competitors. Prelim level can be the most exciting to watch because of the expertise on display. However, the lowest levels sometimes provide unintended excitement as beginner horses and riders face obstacles in an unfamiliar setting.Riga Meadow will hold its horse trials Sunday, July 17. Both the Kent trials and Riga Meadow’s combined test are sanctioned by the United States Eventing Association and fall within Area One. For more information about other horse trials, combined tests and schooling shows in the area, go to www.area1usea.org.For more information on Riga Meadow’s upcoming events, go to www.riga meadow.com.