Olympians in Chattahoochee Valley for international equestrian c - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Olympians in Chattahoochee Valley for international equestrian competition


The Poplar Place Farm Horse Trials are taking place this weekend, March 21-23, just outside of Columbus in Hamilton, Ga.

Over 400 horses and riders from the Unites States, Canada, England, Venezuela and Holland are in the Chattahoochee Valley area competing in the three day event. Organizers say the trials are like a triathlon for horses. The competitors range from beginner to Olympic level.

"We have quite a few Olympians here," says Poplar Place Farm owner Gary Stegman. "Wannabe Olympians that are trying out for the team, and also past Olympians. Some of them have been Olympians twenty or something years ago."

Today's event was the first phase of the trials, known as the dressage competition.

Cross country course designer Tremaine Cooper explains, "First, the dressage is probably closest to figure skating. There's a prescribed set of movements. Different levels do different movements."

The Cross country phase and the show jumping phase will take place Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stegman says they love having spectators at Poplar Place Farm Equestrian Center, which is located at 8191 US Highway 27 E, Hamilton, GA  31811. There is a snack bar and restrooms, and there is no charge for attending the events.

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