The Greenwood Horse Trials celebrated its 20th anniversary over the weekend during its spring event. The competition offered two international divisions in addition to national classes from lower through upper levels of achievement.
Equstrian enthusiasts converge at the Greenwood Horse Farms for what is known by followers as "Eventing."
The competitions are thorough and operate in three phases. Both the same horse and rider ride tests in dressage, a precision ride in a flat arena; show jumping "a round" over eight or 10 fences with rails that knock down; and finally a ride cross-country for one or two miles, while jumping over fences that don't knock down.
Originally, the sport was a contest between cavalry riders to test the horse and rider's ability, stamina and training for combat. Now, civilians do it for fun.
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Riders and horses compete with each other at a skill level where they are comfortable. The lowest fences and the least demanding dressage tests are at the beginner novice level, intended for those competitors who are just starting out. More difficult tests are offered at the novice, training, preliminary, intermediate and advanced levels.
The intermediate level is the highest degree of competition offered at Greenwood Farms, but international events such as the Olympic Games are at the "advanced" level.