Kathy Viele and Matariki. Photos by Diana De Rosa.
Amateur Competitors Applaud the Sponsors for Their Support
The competitors in the third annual So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event in the “Heart of the Carolinas” were not just overwhelmed by how wonderful the event was but also by the generosity of its sponsors. The event took place May 2-5 in Chesterfield, SC. Amateur riders competing in Beginner Novice, Novice, and Training levels went home not only with a sense of accomplishment and accolades about an event well-run and facilities that are beyond comparison but also with a bounty of gifts.
A huge thank you went to the title sponsor NIKON who presented the winners of the three divisions with a Nikon D3200 Camera Kit (with an 18-55mm VR lens). Kathy Viele, Aiken, SC, rode Matariki to the victory in Training (T3D), Sarah Zimmer, Martinsville, VA, and Mardi Gras were the Novice (N3D) winners and Sara Miles, Assawoman, VA, and Misty’s RainDrop were the Beginner Novice (BN3D) winners.
The competitors weren’t the only ones going home with NIKON products. Gay Glenn was the volunteer who was the lucky recipient of a NIKON Coolpix S5200 Camera after her name was drawn out of the Most Valuable Volunteer’s bucket.
Everyone was a winner, thanks to the sponsors at this year’s event because every Competitor, Clinician and Official went home with a souvenir NIKON item ranging from laptop bags, to flexible keyboards, t-shirts, mood lights, luggage tags, umbrellas and so much more. The title sponsor NIKON was extremely generous with their support of this event because they recognize the value of the amateur riders.
“We here at NIKON are proud to be involved with Southern 8ths Farm’s recognized three-day event to support the amateur riders and their passion for Eventing. It is this same passion that drives NIKON each day. We look forward to a long relationship with So8ths!” remarked Bill Pekala, General Manager, NIKON Pro Services.
“Our sponsors have helped make the Southern 8ths Three-Day a destination for the amateur riders,” remarked Southern 8ths Farm owner Brad Turley. “NIKON’s support has been fabulous. Besides providing the winners with high quality cameras, they added in a camera for volunteers, provided a dozen cameras for the competitors to take part in a photo contest and then sent many extra items that impressed everyone.”
The Sponsors Say Thank You to the Amateurs with Their Many Prizes
The list of sponsors continued with Adequan, Bit of Britain, Brant Gamma, Breyer, CelebrityCafe.com, Cosequin, Dressage Collection, Ecolicious, FITS, Foxden Equine, Higher Standards Saddle Soap, Horse Quencher, The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program, Kan Teq, Mane Street Horse and Pet, Mrs Pastures Cookies, SciencePure/Pureform, Smartpak, Southern 8ths Farm, and USEA. Every sponsor donated products that made this event extra special for the amateurs who competed.
Both Adequan and Cosequin provided buckets that went to the competitors and were used in the veterinary box and other locations throughout the weekend. Cosequin also presented a bucket of prizes to the second place recipients. The 2nd place winners included James Baker, Southern Pines, NC, and Wings in T3D, Samantha DiMaria, Kendall Park, NJ, and Valentine for N3D and Catie Pannill, Martinsville, VA, and Kokoa Kat for BN3D.
The Jockey Club Low Score Thoroughbred Incentive award of a ribbon, $50 cash prize and embroidered Jockey Club duffle bag also was won by DiMaria.
James was also the recipient of the Foxden Goodwill Ambassador Award for his leadership throughout the weekend. Baker noted that the support of the sponsors at the So8ths/Nikon HOTC event has a much deeper meaning because for once the pomp and ceremony was not being focused on the top level, but rather on those who also deserve it.
Baker’s words were echoed by many when he said, “It makes a great deal of difference to me that these sponsors will recognize and support us at the lower levels. Too often only the top level gets any recognition yet it is the lower levels that provide the financial support through their membership, through day to day products and entry fees.”
In addition James won the highly sought after Bit of Britain Adult Rider Low Score grooming tote with brushes, a Bit of Britain bridle and a gift certificate all valued at just over $500. After the event Jim expressed his gratitude to Bit of Britain owner and Eventer, John Nunn, noting, “Thank you for your support and the quality of your products, but you should be here. This is the premier Training Three-Day that knocks the socks off of other T3Ds. You need to ride this event.”
Brant Gamma was the official show photographer. She provided the winner of each division with an 8×10 picture frame to include a photo of their choice. One of the winners, Viele, commented, “This weekend has been a long-term goal and your photos will help me relive the great moments and share them with friends.”
“I’d like to thank Brant Gamma for her support and helmet cams coverage as well as John Nunn at Bit of Britain for all he does for Southern 8ths and the adult riders,” remarked Turley.
Breyer donated a couple of model horses to the young volunteers in the group while CelebrityCafe.com provided a gift basket to volunteer Carolyn Sellers. Higher Standards Saddle Soap jars were given to the top three finishers in each division. FITS provided shirts that were added to the Horse Quencher Sportsmanship award won by Taylor Pence, Concord, NC, who was competing on Goldie.
Everyone received some Mrs Pastures Cookies and there were lots of happy horses being fed those cookies throughout the competition. SmartPak provided each competitor with a paste supplement and all the Officials received a SmartPak tote. Cosequin gave them all vet wraps and coupons. Both Foxden and SciencePure provided gift certificates to many of the competitors.
As a way to help thank the sponsors, notebooks were put out on a table throughout the competition so that anyone could write a note to the sponsors. Taylor wrote to Horse Quencher, “I won many of your products this weekend and cannot wait to try them. Thank you so much for contributing to such a wonderful event.”
The Dressage Collection Low Dressage Score prize of a beautiful Classic Handbag will probably end up with the trainer, Suzanne Lacy of Riverbend Farm, since she brought a bunch of riders to compete at this year’s event. Sarah Zimmer, Martinsville, VA, had the lowest dressage score of 30.70.
The Ecolicious Best Turned Out award of their all natural shampoo and conditioner went to Pannill, Baker and Manny Diemer, Raeford, NC, who placed 4th on Krugerrand in N3D. Ecolicious products were also given out to a number of the other competitors who placed at the top.
Additionally, Ecolicious owner Petra McGowan was thinking out of the box and offered a donation of all of their products to one lucky recipient who would use them and document their use. That recipient was Erin Hite, Durham, NC, who commented, “I won the raffle and used your products over the weekend. They smell great and work. I love that they are natural. Cody and I worked a year to get here and really appreciate your support at our own mini-Rolex!”
The Mane Street Best Conditioned Horse Award and the Kan Teq Closest Lady to Optimum X-C Time was won by Sarah Baker, Southern Pines, NC, who rode Poetic Justice to a 4th place finish in T3D. Sarah was thrilled with her gift basket filled with cool horse items and an embroidered cooler from Mane Street as well as a Safety Vest from Kan Teq.
“This is an amazing event,” commented Sarah. “Nobody treats the competitors better!”
Wendy McCaughan, owner of Kan Teq, was there throughout the competition and provided vests to competitors to try out. Wendy even took part in some of the contests and won the prize for the SmartPak Most Innovative Hat and received an embroidered vest from Southern 8ths Farm.
Wendy took some time after the event to offer her comments noting, “I would like to say how impressed I was by the amazing energy shown by those behind the scenes. They were truly tireless in their mission to gather every ounce of feedback, every sponsor photo opportunity and every moment of action whether on the magnificent cross-country course or in various clinics.
“Everything in the indoor arena was so beautifully presented with no detail left to chance. I particularly liked the vast display of prizes. Also the effort given to reinforce every sponsor’s contribution was absolutely brilliant (i.e. the Nikon Photo Contest, the sponsor books, the Sponsor Hat Contest) with each idea cleverly feeding all media and social media requirements! Clearly the pre event organization and the commitment of a loyal and quality team helped make this the slick, professional event that it turned out to be.
“All the online postings on Facebook, also on Chronicle of the Horse, reveal clearly how happy the riders were. With facilities that are second to none, clinics and demos that were simply great, added to the generosity and interest of the host and hostess, So8ths event is an absolute must for any enthusiastic rider wanting to progress in the sport of Eventing.
“It was a fantastic opportunity for Kan Teq and I am so pleased to have had the time to meet riders, trainers, grooms and the wonderful organizing team. It is so valuable to me to be able to explain, fit and let the riders take and try out our innovative vest with no time pressure. Plus the relaxed evening activities made for the easy striking up of new friendships and because of that my social network just got a whole lot wider! My thanks to everyone who not only gave me the opportunity to become a sponsor of this event but who helped me maximize my sponsorship.”
USEA also supported the event through their USEA Classic Series sponsor package.
A Final Heartfelt Thank You
Of special note was all the support given by Southern 8ths Farm owner Brad Turley and his girlfriend Pati Martin. They provided t-shirts to all the volunteers, fans to the competitors and gifts to the clinicians and officials.
Both Brad and Pati were extremely heartened by the sponsorship support. The Long Format is something Brad truly believes in and recognizing the amateur competitors has always been his personal goal. “I was truly overwhelmed by the sponsorship we received for our amateur level competition. These competitors are the ones who deserve to be recognized. All of us at Southern 8ths Farm, from the staff and volunteers to the officials and clinicians and especially the competitors were and still are extremely appreciative of the support given by 21 well-known equine companies. We are all touched that these companies were willing to show their support to a host of riders who represent the foundation of the sport of Eventing. I personally want to say thank you to each and every sponsor that made this year’s So8ths/Nikon HOTC Three-Day such a success,” Brad commented.
Finally, it was Viele who echoed many of the words spoken by the competitors when she wrote this note to Brad and Pati: “You have built an amazing facility here: well thought out, outstanding footing for Dressage, beautiful tracks and grassy gallops, and challenging, interesting cross-country courses. I can’t imagine the countless hours and generous financial support it has taken for you to put this three-day on. But you have made this adult amateur’s dream come true.
“It’s been many years that I wanted to compete in a Long Format and finally doing it I’ve found the experience has exceeded my expectations. I’ve learned things about competing, about myself, about stable management. But most importantly I’ve been reminded about what a wonderful, enthusiastic and supportive community eventers are; from the staff, clinicians and volunteers, to my own friends and coach. The enthusiasm for the Long Format runs deep and I’m honored to have gotten to take a crack at it. Thank you for making it possible.”
For more information about this annual event and links to photos and videos, visit their web site at www.so8ths.com and be sure to “Like” them on their Facebook page.
To keep up with what is happening, visit these links: www.so8ths.com, www.facebook.com/so8ths; http://www.youtube.com/user/So8ths/; for photos check out the 2013 folder at www.tinyurl.com/presslink-so8ths.