If you were to check out Foster’s competition results over the years, you may notice a trend.
I love going to the Carolina Horse Park.
I mean, what’s not to love about this place? The footing is always perfect, there’s tons of warmup space, the schooling shows are immaculately run, and oh yeah, it’s just over an hour away.
Being close to Southern Pines makes for a convenient trip for schooling, lessons with BC, and knocking about CHP. In fact, I plan to be there again next weekend with Riley’s faux-show debut.
Other facilities that my friends frequent include FENCE (and now the Tryon center) and the Virginia Horse Park, all about 4 hours away. Aiken and all of its eventing wonders is roughly 6 hours away. Hunter jumper shows at Sedgefield are less than two hours away, and that sounds perfect for the occasional HJ foray.
But to me, it takes a really special reason to make the 4+ hour drives. For instance, I traveled to FENCE for our recognized show debut with Foster, but I’m not sure that I would do the same for a schooling show. After experiencing the bendy, mountainous drive to Virginia, it would probably take even more than that to get me up there.
My friends make fun of me, because I go to CHP so darn often, but an hour drive to a horse show is more than appealing to me.
What about you guys? How far away are your local venues? How does travel impact your equestrian activities?
We have some local schooling shows. There are two recognized dressage shows. The first ever B rated H/J in the state was held here this year. There is zero recognized eventing. And if you want to travel, 2 hours gets you literally nowhere and 4 hours is still nowhere. Start at 5 and work your way up.
Oh my goodness. You brave soul!
I mostly stay within a 2 hour radius for schooling shows. We haven’t done recognized yet but I would be willing to drive a bit farther for that if necessary. I’m always more comfortable at venues once I’ve been there a few times and know the drive – my hauling truck is a big manual diesel that I hate driving so if there are a ton of hills or stoplights, it might be a venue I’ll skip in the future.
Sounds like you have a lot of great venues within a reasonable drive, that’s nice!
I love knowing what to expect when I go to a show as well! It definitely eases some of the pressure if I know where to go and how easy it is to get there.
I had no idea Sedgefield even existed. I am so out of the loop 😦
Starting next summer I plan to begin vending at a lot of these locales. We are so lucky to have all the nice showgrounds in NC.
I only discovered Sedgefield a couple years ago when we played in the H/J arena! It’s a nice venue though and fairly convenient to get to!
For good schooling shows 2 hours, for rated shows the same 2 hours, which is why I just went straight to rated as soon as possible with Ramone.
Well that’s super handy!
I’ve gotten way too spoiled. Now that I live in Middleburg, VA everything is practically in my backyard! I did got to Virginia Horse Trials this year, which is about 3 hours away, but otherwise I have more than a handful of venues that are 5-30 min away from the farm!
Cool! You’re pretty close to me!
Oh my goodness, how lucky are you?!
I think geographic location has a lot more to do with distances you’re willing to drive. In Indiana it was a minimum of 3 hours to get to anywhere. Bigger shows were 4-6 hours away in multiple directions (Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Lexington). Six hours to Lexington (on crappy roads with tons of traffic) was a bit far for me, though I would have been willing to do it if I had a competitive horse. Just for scores, it was too far. The 4-5 hours to Cincinnati (on easy roads with no traffic) wasn’t too bad, and worth it for scores.
Now in Maryland… more than an hour feels a little ridiculous. Loch Moy is 20 minutes from my barn. Morven Park is 45. Prince Georges EQ Center is an hour (or so). Fair Hill is 3 hours, but would be worth it if I was eventing. Schooling shows abound in the 30 minute area around my barn. It’s truly horse heaven out here, and people are horrified by the distances I used to drive just to get to a show.
Oh definitely location makes all the difference when it comes to how far you have to go. And lucky you, you’re in horse show mecca!
We only have 3 venues in the state that hold rated H/J show, and they range from about 3-5 hours away, so that’s what you have to do if you want to do rated. We do have a lot more schooling shows though anywhere from 15 minutes for our local circuit, about 2 hours to a slightly better venue, and a really nice circuit 3ish hours away at one of the rated show venues.
15 minutes for a schooling show sounds pretty amazing though!
It’s a bit farther from our barn, but it’s nice to be able to get there from home so quickly! It definitely saves on lodging costs.
I’m super duper spoiled- we have too many barns to count that host a great local H/J circuit within an hour’s drive (usually closer to 20 min). Even for rateds, we have HITS Culpeper 90 min away, and Upperville/Loudoun Benefit are practically down the street. I had no idea when I moved here just how accessible the shows would be, and it makes my wallet hate me.
Oh my gosh.. how do you resist all the shows?!
It’s so hard! I try to limit to once a month for locals or every other for rateds as budget allows 🙂
My barn is one of the main locations for our local B and C circuit H/J shows so I haven’t shown off property in years now. With Stampede’s issues (he always figures out something) and therefore his lack of consistent showing I’ve never seen the point. Plus the fact that if I hit all the B shows at my barn (that’s happened twice in 7 shows seasons) and do okay I can still snag a year end ribbon. Showing on the cheap!
Otherwise all of the other B show locations on our circuit are within 2-3 hours and the barn goes does 2-3 farther away shows per year like traverse city, mi or the ky horse park which is 5-6 hours. I hope to do more some day but probably not until I get another horse who can handle the work load better.
Wow, would be so nice to be able to show at home!
I like to dream that one day the KY Horse Park will be on my list, but at over 8 hrs away that might be a pipe dream.
Uhm, yeah… I don’t travel. In fact, the last time I stayed at hotel for a horse show was when I was in high school. My max is 50 minutes, and now most shows are closer (under 30 minutes) from my house. So… basically I’m spoiled rotten.
You and the Middleburg folks- y’all are so lucky!
We are basically spoiled rotten and can get to all the recognized and unrecognized shows our hearts desire without ever going farther afield than 2hrs each way.
Oh wow. Yes- lucky you!
I am lucky because our local rated series is 15 minutes from the barn, which makes for an easy trip!
The only things my barn travels several hours for are Hunter paces, because it’s fun to ride new places and territories!
Oh my gosh. 15 minutes. I can’t even imagine what that’s like.
I’m with you on the under 3 hour trailering! I wish CHP was closer and not on the other side of 74 in Charlotte otherwise I’d make the trek there too 🙂 i love all the war horse schooling shows you have but I don’t think it’s worth it to drive that far for a schooling show 😦 keep on enjoying it and one day we’ll be back at the same venues!!!
When I used to event, I refused to go farther than the Indiana Horse Park or KY Horse Park, thats about 2 hours. My SO lives abotu an hour from the KYHP and I also will just stay with him instead of getting a hotel. Gas to and from is actually cheaper than a hotel. I HATE paying for hotels. Luckily, the KYHP seems to host like 1 show a month, so that was nice I am so so so so lucky to have most schooling shows within 25-45 minute drive too. I might go 2 hours for a recognized jumper show, but I’m not about that trailering life. So expensive. I could literally never haul 7 hours for a horse show (did it once…NEVER again).
I have and will drive hours for a show. Especially since I am limited by what shows will allow the mule. I will travel significantly further for endurance rides. However, I like to stick to rise in the 1-2 hour range when I can.