Horses, but not as we know them: hobbyhorse craze goes global

  • The 2018 World Equestrian Games venue has taken on another, slightly different, championship.

    Tryon International Equestrian Centre (TIEC) in the United States will host a series of hobbyhorse qualifiers and championships this summer.

    The craze, which started in Finland, has captured the attention of youngsters across the world after the release of the award-winning documentary Hobbyhorse Revolution.

    An estimated 1,000 people came to watch the hobby horse championships held in the country recently. And it would appear the competitive pastime has now gone global.

    TIEC has said it is “honoured” to host what is thought to be the first organised hobby horse competition in the US.

    It will run during the Tryon Summer Series, which features five weeks of top-class international showjumping and hunter jumping — on real horses.

    Demonstrations will take place on 3 June and 10 June with the competitive series running in earnest on 1, 8 and 15 July, with the final on 22 July.

    Competitors can either bring their own hobby horse or buy one on site, with classes divided by school year.

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    There will be dressage and showjumping, with weekly special awards for best hobby horse, best turned-out rider and best kept stable.

    “Pegged as a ‘safe, fun and affordable way to ride horses’, hobby horse competition offers youth the ability to experience the pressure of organised competition, without the expense or logistical efforts surrounding competing on a living horse, which can be demanding financially,” explained a spokesman for TIEC.

    “Competitions run similarly to regular horse shows, offering different fence heights for jumpers and tests/levels for dressage riders.

    “Riders receive ribbons and awards for top-placing finishes and practice their skills before competition with trainers and coaches.”

    For more details, email hobbyhorse@tryon.com or visit: www.tryon.com

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