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Olympic riders at Millbrook Horse Trials

MILLBROOK — The Millbrook Horse Trials (MHT), the region’s largest and most advanced horse trials gets underway, for the 11th year running, this Thursday, Aug. 4, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 7. Always considered a big draw because of the high level of competition, this year promises to be even more spectacular than usual. Deb Wierum, stable manager for the event, said more than 470 horses are entered to compete and of those 383 will be stabled on the grounds.Considered the triathlon of the equestrian world, horse trials, also referred to as eventing, tests a horse and rider team in three disciplines: dressage, cross-country and stadium jumping. There are six different levels of competition from beginner novice to advanced. The Millbrook Horse Trials encompasses all levels and this year, the entries in the advanced division are studded with Olympic riders such as Karen O’Connor, Phillip Dutton and Bruce Davidson. Boyd Martin who was just recently in the area competing at Fitch’s Corner Horse Trials will also be at MHT.The horse trials which is free and open to spectators is an opportunity to witness first-rate athletes in action.Thursday, Aug. 4, will be devoted to dressage, and it will continue on Friday, Aug. 5. Cross-country jumping will start on Friday, Aug. 5 with the open training divisions and end with beginner novice rider. Saturday, Aug. 6, will showcase the upper -level riders going cross-country, with the advanced level scheduled to go off at 11 a.m. Saturday will also feature stadium jumping for the lower levels and finally on Sunday, Aug. 7, the preliminary, intermediate and advanced level riders will take to the stadium.There are additional attractions for spectators with local food vendors and a trade fair on the grounds.The competition will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. all four days and be held at Coole Park Farm, 1031 Bangall Amenia Road in Millbrook. For show schedules and more information go to www.millbrookhorse trials.com.

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