FEI Eventing World Cup Resumes in Florida 

11 Mar 2004

Red Hills Horse Trials welcomes the FEI Eventing World Cup 

The second season of the FEI Eventing World Cup will resume today at the Red Hills Horse Trials held near Tallahassee, Florida's capital city. Thirty-five riders from ten countries will take part in the CIC-W*** scheduled for 12, 13 and 14 March 2004. The Red Hills Horse Trials are part of the United States Eventing Association's Gold Cup Series.

Named for the sloping terrain and rich red earth known as the red hills of North Florida and South Georgia, the event features a challenging cross-country course designed by British Olympian Captain Mark Phillips, current Chef d'Equipe and Technical Advisor for the United States Equestrian Team. It was built by Hugh Lochore (GBR), and is set in the central area of a 120-acre indigenous plant horticultural park owned by Tallahassee ecologist and horse enthusiast Colin Phipps. It features a variety of formidable obstacles winding through Phipps' arboretum.

The FEI is proud to count this high profile event, which has set itself as a mission to increase awareness and educate the public to Eventing, further cooperation among horse enthusiasts, promote the concept of resource protection, land and green space preservation and raise funds to benefit non profit organizations with compatible educational and environmental purposes, among the 2004 FEI Eventing World Cup qualifiers.

Thirty-five competitors representing Australia, Belgium, Canada, India, Ireland, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the USA have entered 55 horses for the World Cup class.

The participation of David O'Connor, president of the newly established United States Equestrian Federation, should be given particular notice. Since his breakthrough ride in 1985 in his first international competition, he has been on a steady climb to the top. Along with his victories in prestigious competitions such CCI 4* Lexington and CCI 3* Fairhill, he has won three exceptional gold medals: one as a member of the Pan American team in 2003, one as member of the World Equestrian Games team in 2002, and the most coveted and precious one - the Olympic gold at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

The younger generation will also be represented by 20-year old American Brittany Kart or 24-year old Donna Smith of New Zealand.