By Emily Sanderson | Photo: Red Hills International Horse Trials
One does not have to be an avid equestrian to enjoy the activities that encompass the annual Red Hills International Horse Trials that is being held next weekend, March 6-8, 2020! The Red Hills Horse Trials is a fun, family-friendly event worth attending, especially if you have never been before. I have gone every year since moving to Tallahassee and recommend it to everyone I know!
Located at the beautiful Elinor Klapp-Phipps park, there is plenty to see and do over the course of the weekend. Red Hills is an Olympic-qualifying show that boasts a wide array of competitors from across the United States as well as Europe, Central and South America, and parts of Asia. Eventing is a way in which horse and rider put their skills to the test and compete on all 3 days and different riding disciplines together.
Beginning on Friday, March 5, 2020, at 8:00 a.m., dressage will take place. This form of riding focuses on the rider’s skills, and the horses almost appear to be dancing during it. On Saturday, March 6, 2020, cross country will take place starting at 8:00 a.m. This is generally the most popular portion of the weekend, and the viewing spots around the water jumps are always crowded. For this event, be sure to wear proper shoes as there is quite a bit of walking involved on this day.
Show jumping is the last of the eventing that wraps things up on Sunday, March 7, 2020. Starting at 9:00 a.m., for this event, competitors must get their horses over a series of jumps within a certain amount of time while trying not to knock any poles over.
In addition to the ongoing competition, there are plenty of opportunities to shop over the weekend. Whether one is in the market for new riding gear, or simply looking for a unique souvenir, the Avenue of Shops and Saddlers Row have a large variety of items available. There is also a food court on site for lunch or refreshments.
Parking is free for this event, and buses provide transportation to shuttle attendees to and from the front gate. Dogs are allowed, but only if they are well behaved and remain on a leash during the event.