Nestled in the quiet pastures of Nevada County’s own Penn Valley resides one of the last local instructors of the vaunted equestrian sport of eventing.
Also known as horse trials, eventing is the triathlon of the horse world, putting a single rider and horse combination through competition that includes dressage, stadium jumping and a cross country course. Eventing grew out of comprehensive cavalry tests and is rigorous for horse and rider alike.
It is the only Olympic sport in which men and women compete as equals.
Rose Frazier-Hart of R&R Stables in Penn Valley coaches riders young and old in the art of controlling 1,000-pound-plus animals to perfection.
Frazier-Hart has been at it more than 32 years, 24 in this location. Frazier-Hart herself competed at the Preliminary level in eventing (very advanced despite the title) and pre-St. George in dressage. Frazier-Hart has taught literally hundreds of riders, many of whom have gone on to great success themselves. One young woman, Teresa Harcourt, started with Frazier-Hart when she was 7 years old and is currently competing at the Advanced level, having taken her horse to college to compete.
Being involved with riding has been shown to increase adolescent girls’ self-confidence, but many will simply say their horse is their best friend. While the girls have fun mastering dressage and jumping, they are unwittingly learning responsibility, tenacity and the value of hard work.
Often, the love of horses and horse sport never leaves riders. Frazier-Hart has several students who are grandmothers who returned to the sport once their children were out of the home.
The local eventing season will kick off with the Spring Horse Trials May 18-19 at Eventful Acres, a 35-acre equestrian facility in Oregon House. Owned and operated by Rod and Karen Hiskin, Eventful Acres has been hosting competitions since 1990. Its lush, rolling meadows are dotted with a multitude of interesting jumps, water features, ditches and other challenges for eventers. Eventful Acres’ competitions are mostly attended by riders from the local area and Bay Area, but folks have come from as far away as Colorado and Hawaii.
Frazier-Hart and riders from R&R Stables will be sure to have their boots polished and horses in top condition for the Spring Horse Trials. But whether you want to put yourself to the eventing test or just have some fun on horseback, R&R Stables can accommodate. “Schooling” horses are available for those who want to ride but are not interested in owning their own mount. Additionally, some riders “trailer” their horses to R&R for instruction.
For information, visit http://4horsenrider.com.