US adds extra Rio Olympic eventing qualifier

Water obstacle action at the Pine Top Horse Trials in Georgia.

Leading US horse trials Pine Top has added a CIC three-star division to its February event to provide an additional Olympic qualifier before the early March cutoff date.

The Georgia event, from February 26 to 28, also includes Advanced, CIC**, and CIC* classes.

The late February Pine Top event, located an hour west of Aiken in Thomson, Georgia, has been running an advanced level competition since 1996, and is the pinnacle of the Aiken winter eventing calendar. It is one of the biggest Advanced events in the US, and it is the kickoff run for many Kentucky-bound horses every year.  An eighth generation family farm, Pine Top is known for its open, galloping courses and its excellent all-weather footing.

pine-topPine Top organisers Janet and Glenn Wilson said the request to add the three-star came just before the FEI application deadline.

“We immediately called Area III chair Jane Barron, who then polled the other area organizers for approval, and we called our course designer Derek di Grazia, whose response was ‘no problem’.”

Final approval was then received from the Eventing Technical Committee.

“We are pleased to add this 3-star division and we are thankful that Derek is on our team. This will be his second year as our designer and this is a big vote of confidence for us and our dedicated volunteers. We are looking forward to upping our game yet again,” the Wilsons said.

The next event for Pine Top is its Thanksgiving Horse Trials, on November 28 and 29.

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