From first flight thrusters to dependable hilltoppers, the Piedmont Fox Hounds Hunter Trials offer everyone an exciting and fun-filled day of competition on October 2, 2016. The third annual edition of this beautifully staged and smoothly run event returns to the historic Salem Farm Show Grounds in Upperville, Virginia, courtesy of Shelby Bonnie, MFH. Open to all riders, foxhunters and non-foxhunters alike, each division's classes include the opportunity to exhibit both in the Grand Prix field on established, undulating turf, and over impeccable all-weather footing in the Grand Prix ring.

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Beautiful prizes for winners in all divisions. Photo by Richard Clay.

If you've always wanted to seize the opportunity to compete in the storied show rings and on the beautiful turf of the Upperville Colt and Horse Show grounds, this is your chance! The fantastic judging panel includes Snowden Clarke, Pam Covington, and Jimmy Hatcher. The timetable has been carefully scheduled to reduce competitor wait times and make the day run efficiently. Divisions include Hilltoppers (split by age if necessary), Junior, Low, Adult Amateur, and Open Hunters, as well as the Hunter Derby and overall Hunt Challenge Trophy. Opportunities for warmups over the courses will be available.

Middleburg Real Estate will once again sponsor the popular Hospitality Tent, stocked with food and beverage for all competitors. Embroidered championship and high-point award coolers have been generously donated by Morgan Stanley, Farm Credit of the Virginias, AHT Insurance, Tri-County Feeds and Merrill Lynch. Dover Saddlery has sponsored gorgeous leather halters for division champions and leather lead shanks for division reserve champions, in addition to trophies for winners of each class. And regardless of how you place, save your entry number: The Tack Box, Inc. will give a 10% discount to each exhibitor who brings their hunter trial number into the store to make a purchase.

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A Hilltopper enjoys exhibiting her mount over the flawless grounds. Photo by Richard Clay, courtesy of Hilltopper Pride.

Gum Tree Farm is sponsoring the Sheep's Pen, a challenging addition to the already lovely course of jumps. The Sheep’s Pen features an operational gate that will test hilltoppers and Derby contestants in handy hunter skills. Hilltoppers, take note: A special division is set aside just for you (no cross-entering into the jumping classes) over the same gorgeous grounds as the Over Fences classes. 

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Riders of all ages are welcome. Photo by Richard Clay.

Whether you’re preparing for the North American Field Hunter Championships, introducing a horse to competition, or just out to have an insanely fun day, the Piedmont Fox Hounds Hunter Trials are the perfect venue. If you are not planning to ride, come watch the action or volunteer a few hours of your day! Enjoy an early autumn afternoon in northern Virginia and support the hunting community. For more information, contact Barbara Riggs at barbarasriggs@gmail.com or (540) 878-8386. View the full prizelist online here.

 

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