Gearing Up for the New Year

Winter is a great time to catch up on work in the shop at home in Virginia.

Once again we will be the course builders for the Wellington Eventing Showcase, January 5-6, which is similar to what we did last year. This is an easy year for us at this event since we are using jumps that we used last year, and some jumps that we used at the AEC, so we do not have to build anything brand new.

The Fork CIC3*, which is moving to the Tryon International Equestrian Center, will be a completely new track for the Advanced division. They’re also adding the Modified division, which is a new division between training and prelim, at 3’5” in height. That will be a completely new course including portables, with similar questions to the other courses. I don’t think every event is going to have this level, because it’s a stepping stone between the levels – but it makes sense for TIEC to have it, and for the to create a championship course for it too.

We’ve built a bunch of ditches, banks and steps for the prelim through intermediate levels on the Equestrian Center side of the property at TIEC, and we’ve done a lot of work on the track for the new advanced course, which will be on the former golf course next door. All of the dirt work is finished now, and Mark and Tremaine have a design, so now we’ll place the portables and build a handful of post and rails. It’s well ahead of schedule and the grass is seeded and growing. There are a bunch of bridges under construction, because a stream runs through the golf course, which we’ll cross a few times. It’s all going to be green and beautiful by April; that’s a really nice time of year in North Carolina.

The dirt work is also done at Plantation for next season, so now we’re just waiting for grass to grow there, too. I’m at home where things are a bit quiet and spending some time getting caught up in the workshop. We’re doing a bunch of benches for a Botanical Garden right now, which is a fun change of pace, and we also did an entryway for a local guy. I generally like to stick to horse jumps, but this is something different.

Stable View added the Aiken Opener this coming weekend, so we’ve set all the fences there. It’s BN through prelim and the idea is to keep it on the easier side to get the season started. They left out some of the big spread tables and made the combinations a little easier, and you start and finish in a different spot than they used to. Mogi Bearden-Muller designed it, so it’ll have a different feel to Mark Phillips’ courses. Aside from that we’ve built all the portables for the Intermediate, which they’re hoping to run in October.


COMING SOON: Directions for building a simple portable fence at home