Announced on Nov. 21 at the Ontario Horse Trials Association (OHTA) Annual General Meeting in Alliston, ON, Oakhurst Farm of Ashton, ON has been selected as the host site for the 2016 OHTA Championships, which will be held on Sept. 3-4, 2016. The competition will attract competitors from across Ontario to compete in the year-end provincial championships for the equestrian sport of Eventing.
Oakhurst Farm is Eastern Ontario, Canada’s premiere Equine Eventing facility. Situated west of Ottawa, owners Ruth Allum and Mark Nelson have been holding competitions in the Olympic equine discipline of Eventing for over 20 years. Oakhurst runs several competitions on site every year, attracting competitors from all over Ontario, Quebec and the north-eastern United States.
“The opportunity to bring a provincial championships to the nation’s capital region brings great excitement to our sport locally. Giving local coaches and competitors the chance to compete in front of family and friends, and encouraging competitors from other regions of the province to travel to the area will help our sport to continue to develop and grow. To be the first site in the Ottawa area chosen to hold the Championships in many years is very humbling. It will be our job to ensure our grassroots competitors, their families and coaches are all given a first-class experience,” says Ruth Allum, owner and chair of coaching for the Canadian Eventing Committee.
Owner Mark Nelson, current Ontario Equestrian Federation President, adds, “In 2015 I was given the opportunity to organize the Eventing portion of the Pan-Am Games (Toronto). The honour of having our own equestrian facility selected as the competition site for the 2016 provincial championships gives us a great opportunity to use the skills learned on the Pan Am organizing committee to run a world-class competition for our provincial competitors. We are excited to embrace this opportunity and have already started renovations, in cooperation with the OHTA and our generous sponsors, to our property to provide an outstanding competitive experience for grassroots competitors from across the province.”
Three-Day Eventing has been an Olympic sport since 1912, and is one of the only Olympic sports where men and women compete against each other. It is the ultimate test of the horse/rider team, and its fitness, accuracy, boldness, agility, power and trust. There are three phases to Eventing: Dressage, Cross Country and Show Jumping.
Dressage- Tests the balance, rhythm, suppleness, obedience of the horse, and most importantly, its harmony with the rider. The team is required to ride through an exact sequence of movements before a judge.
Cross Country – The most demanding of the phases, requiring the horse & rider to jump a series of fixed, unfamiliar obstacles, galloping across a course of approx. 5km. Stamina and trust between horse & rider are critical.
Show Jumping – Nothing beats it for judgment, speed and accuracy. One of the most popular equestrian disciplines, show jumping sees highly trained horses jump a set combination of jumps in a stated order.
Each phase of the competitions is scored with penalties for any errors, inaccuracies or issues. The winner is the competitor (horse & rider) who completes all 3 phases with the lowest number of penalties overall.
For more information, visit: www.oakhurstfarm.com/2016champs