ETB Equine Construction to build 2016 Nutrena USEA American Eventing Cross Country Course at TIEC
Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Eric Bull of ETB Equine Construction in Scottsville, Va., has signed a contract to build the cross-country course for the 2016 Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships, to be held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, N.C., set to take place from Thursday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Sept. 4.
Eric also built the course for this weekend’s $75,000 Asheville Regional Airport Eventing Showcase presented by Wellington, Equestrian Realty, in Wellington, Fla. The course at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center features several beautifully crafted, Tryon-themed cross-country jumps to promote TIEC and the American Eventing Championships to be held later this year.
The American Eventing Championships will include competition from Beginner Novice to Advanced levels. The cross-country courses will start in the Derby Field, where there are banks, drops and other features that will be used throughout the course.
“It’s manicured and showy, which will look great with the Florida-themed part of the course that will cross-promote the Asheville Regional Airport Wellington Eventing Showcase,” said Bull. “These jumps look like Florida mansions, with painted finishes and have lots of little doors and windows and other details that will look appropriate in this setting.”
From the Derby Field the course heads out into a more traditional cross-country setting of open fields with a water complex, into a wooded area along a river, and out into more open space. These fences will be more in keeping with the mountains of the Western Carolinas, built with timber, stone, and log cabin style construction.
“Even to me, and I’ve seen a lot of different courses by now, the area along the river is surprisingly pretty,” said Bull. “It’s a faster-flowing mountain stream with clear water, moss covered rocks, and Mountain Laurel growing on the banks,” he continued.
“The Derby Field is in the grid of show rings, so horses will run through one or two sand arenas to get back to the Derby Field, and there will be some jumps in the sand arenas, similar to major events like Fair Hill, which we also build, with a few jumps in the main arena,” explained Bull.
“The fantastic part is you can hang out in the shopping area with all the amenities and watch cross-country; you can see about half of the lower levels and a third of the advanced course from there.”
Bull and his crew built the cross country courses for the inaugural AEC’s at the Carolina Horse Park in Southern Pines, N.C., in 2002. The Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships move around the country, and are held for three years at one location before moving on to the next. Bull is happy to see them return to the Carolinas after having been held in Texas for the past three years.
“It’s nice to have it back in the North Carolina where it all began,” he said. “The attendance should be back up because it’s much easier to travel to Tryon for many of the upper level riders, and this facility has all of the amenities. The dressage and show jumping phases will be held in a world class atmosphere; you can eat a great meal, go shopping, and it’s a great place to bring owners, or for non-horsey family members to come along for the weekend to support a rider but also enjoy things like fishing and hiking around Lake Lure, which is right up the road.”
The courses will also be used for the United States Pony Clubs Championships East, which will take place at TIEC in July 2016.
“I think the sky is the limit with this facility,” he said. “Mark Bellissimo’s vision is pretty grand far as what’s possible and where he sees this facility going.”
-Submitted by TIEC News