Eventing: Olympians to compete at Plantation Field this weekend


Members of the U.S. Olympic Equestrian team, including Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton of Chester County, Pa. and Will Coleman and Karen O'Connor of Virginia, are expected to ride in the Plantation Field International Horse Trials and Country Fair this weekend.

The event is held in the rolling fox hunting country just north of Unionville. Pa. On Friday the dressage phase will be held and admission is free. The parking fee for the Saturday's cross country and Sunday's show jumping is $20 and includes admission to the grounds for everyone in the car and a program.

Competition each day begins at 8 with main events beginning late morning each day. The shops and country fair begin at 9 a.m. and remain open until p.m. Proceeds benefit the Cheshire Land Preservation Fund and The Barn at Spring Brook Farm.

Every car admitted on Saturday or Sunday will be entered in a raffle to win a lesson from a member of the 2012 Olympic team. The Olympic riders are donating signed team gear from the London Olympics for raffle prizes.

"Plantation Field is important for the riders because the Eventing competition results are used to qualify for national and international championships," said Plantation Field's Amy Ruth Borun. "We are expecting more than 250 riders from Canada, the Midwest and East Coast to compete during the three days. Plantation Field is one of a few three-star competitions in the U.S. Some of the best riders and horses will be here."

Besides the eventing competition and the view, spectators will be treated to a country fair. "This is a family-friendly event," Borun said. "There will be activities for children, including a moon bounce and mechanical bull, food and shops with equestrian themes. A parade of hounds will take place on Sunday and on the same day we'll have a jousting exhibition and a bareback high jump contest all in the main arena. Plantation Field is the perfect venue to spend time with the family."

New for 2012 is a tailgating competition. "Tailgating is a wonderful tradition," said Katie Walker of Plantation Field. "It's part of the festive atmosphere. We are going to enlist a guest judge from The Whip Tavern, and prizes will be awarded."

Info: www.plantationfieldhorsetrials.com