Local residents will have the opportunity to watch some of the most talented horses and riders on the West Coast test their mettle this weekend at the Flintridge Horse Trials, which takes place at the Flintridge Riding Club in La Cañada on March 7–8.
Horses and riders from all over the area will compete for top honors in the equestrian sport known as eventing. An Olympic sport since 1912, eventing is best described as an equestrian triathlon, with three phases that test the competitors’ skills in the ring, over fences, and galloping across the countryside. Dressage, a sort of equestrian ballet, tests the horse and rider’s ability to perform a series of prescribed classical movements in an enclosed arena. During cross-country, horse and rider gallop over natural terrain, up and down hills, across ditches, and into water, leaping over a variety of imposing obstacles along the way. In the show jumping phase, competitors make their way over a course of colorfully painted fences in an enclosed arena, making every attempt to leave all the fence rails in their cups when they cross the finish line.