There has never been a better weekend for a jaunt to the Hudson Valley in general and Millbrook in particular. Set your sights on the Millbrook Horse Trials for an unforgettable getaway. Whether you are a rider, a shopper or a spectator, enjoy the tour de force, created by our keen equestrienne friends nestled in the heart of the equestrian countryside. Bravo to Gloria Callen, Jody Dady, Caroline Merison, Simon Roosevelt and so many more who have reinvented the weekend to include World Class Competitions, fantastic shopping opportunities, a hand picked array of food trucks to satisfy your every craving, and the grand launch of the Fizzy Filly, a libatious entrepreneurial extravaganza brought to you by two country gals, Eliza Glaister and Jessie Smith.
The Millbrook Horse Trials is a recognized United States Eventing Association Event, and an important part of a long equestrian tradition in Dutchess County. Recognized among the region’s most prestigious annual sporting events, it attracts world-class competitors from throughout the United States and brings some 400 riders and their support staff into the local community each year. MHT is the largest event in the northeast and the only one with an advanced division. US Olympic team riders regularly compete their upper level horses at Millbrook to warm up for the top international competitions.
I love to walk the course with the riders, you learn so much about the sport and the keen concentration and determination required to perform successfully.
Considered the triathlon of the equestrian world, Eventing is a rapidly growing sport. It includes three equine disciplines: Dressage, Cross Country and Stadium Jumping. MHT provides all recognized levels of competition from USEA Beginner Novice to Advanced level.
Shopping J Crew & Madewell at this time of year. The price is right for a summer refresh. Their “Boyfriend Jeans” are superb – just enough stretch for comfort, and the right amount of denim for fit. Paddock boots or clogs are necessary accessories, as are a sunhat, shades, tote for the program and a water bottle. I also throw in a rain jacket so it won’t. This one is from “Rains” the cool Scandinavian company. Folds to nothing.
Walking the Cross Country Course
Here is the fully calendar of events. Spectating is free!
Stadium Jumping is the culmination of the three day affair. It is excitement personified. For those of you who have gotten the bug watching the Olympics (Click here for the Olympic Eventing Schedule) it is a rare treating to view these competitive athletes live.
Stadium Jumping – Dress for It!
And Just in Case Your Were Wondering What to Wear for Eventing
DRESSAGE: The dress code for Training through Fourth Levels is a short riding coat of conservative color, with tie, choker or stock tie, white breeches or jodhpurs, boots, or Jodhpur boots, and protective headgear. Gloves of conservative color are recommended.
CROSS COUNTRY: A body protecting vest must be warn warming-up for and in the cross-country test. For the cross-country test light-weight clothing is appropriate. A shirt with sleeves must be worn. Protective Headgear, any color. Britches or jodhpurs may be any color. Gloves, if worn, may be any color. Boots are black or brown.
JUMPING: For the jumping test, a hunting dress of uniform with protective headgear is to be worn. Hat covers other that solid black or dark blue are not allowed. Coat must be in a dark color, while a shirt must be worn with a pin, chocker, or tie. Gloves, if worn, dark color, tan, beige or white. Jodhpurs or Britches must be light color or white, and boots brown or black.
I cannot end this article with a moment to recognize the trusty steeds who are true partners in the sport. To ask the same horse, to perform precise and exacting movement in the Dressage Ring, then full gallop Cross Country across a hilly landscape jumping fearlessly over anything in its way, to return to the confines of the Stadium Jumping ring to perform a series of athletic maneuvers in quick succession testing their abilities to the limit – it is a marvelous thing to behold! Volumes have been written about the symbiotic – both physical and emotional – relationship between horse and rider. Why not join fun this weekend and experience it for yourself!