After 21 years of Greenwood Horse Trials, you’d imagine that just about everyone in Parker County has either ridden, volunteered, or visited the event, says Greenwood Horse Trials organizer Christie Tull. If you haven’t, your next opportunity will be this coming May 6 – 8.
Horse Trials are a triathlon for equestrians that originated from military training exercises, which became part of the Olympic Games. The scores from dressage, stadium jumping and cross-country jumping tests are combined to determine the optimum horse and rider pair for each nation. By the 1960’s, the sport spread from cavalry officers to civilians and young riders, with different divisions for experience and age levels.
Now, hundreds of “Eventers” – yes, that’s what Horse Trial riders call themselves – come to Parker County to compete, train, and live with their multi-talented steeds. Greenwood Farm started in 1982 with a handful of horses. Now, new facilities for breeding, training, and boarding specialized breeds of jumpers and dressage horses have grown significantly in Parker County. Texas is attracting international talent.
The growth of the sport horse industry in the Weatherford area began with the good western horse facilities encouraging high-quality support services, Ms. Tull believes. Most importantly, she thinks Weatherford’s generous spirit fosters sponsorship of all kinds of competitions and endeavors. Dozens of volunteers and sponsors help keep the Horse Trials competition going, because entry fees could not possibly cover the provisions needed for the Horse Trials. It’s like having a cavalry come to town for a week.
Title sponsor Charlie Gilchrist’s SouthWest Ford helps make a vibrant event that is open to the public free of charge. Hike the cross-country course, tour the food, tack, and gift vendors, or sit in the large Competitor’s Pavilion watching beautiful horses. Greenwood Farm is four miles west of the Parker County Courthouse at 2100 Greenwood Road.
For more updates, and volunteer and vendor information, visit www.greenwoodfarmonline.com, email , or call organizer Christie Tull at 817-599-8159.