ESSEX HORSE TRIALS

Tickets

Tailgates

Tailgate Spots Available Now!

Tailgate Sponsorships offer an up-close viewing of some of the most exciting sections of the Cross-County course. Check out the map to view spaces available:

Waterside Tailgate Spot: $300
Located at the water complex, you’ll have an up-close view of the action at the water jump.

Water View Tailgate Spot: $150
Located just beyond the front row of the water complex, you’ll be positioned overlooking the jump with a great view of the event.

Hillside Tailgate Spot: $50
Overlooks most of the Cross-Country course and offers a panoramic view of the entire Moorland Farm property.

Ringside Sponsorships: $500

New to 2021! Reserve a small, private tent for you and yours to spend the day ringside at the Show Jumping arena. 10×10 tent and 4 folding chairs will be included at your spot, however, should you require additional seating or tables, we ask you to bring them with you. Please email katherine@essexhorsetrials.org for more information or your request to reserve a tent.

General Admission

Subsequent to New Jersey’s loosening COVID restrictions and regulations, we are pleased to announce that general admission tickets are now on sale! The cost is $10 per and children 17 and under will be complimentary. We will be operating under the State guidelines in effect at the time of the event.

Kick Off Celebration

Join us as we kick off the Essex Horse Trials weekend on Friday evening, July 16 with a concert hosted by Music in the Somerset Hills!

Spectator FAQ

Welcome to the Essex Horse Trials at Moorland Farm! Few sports outside Eventing allow spectators to witness competition from such an up-close vantage point. We encourage you to experience each of the sport’s three disciplines – Dressage, Cross-Country and Show Jumping. They are all quite different and, together, are remarkable in the effort and teamwork they require of each horse and rider combination. During the event, please feel free to explore the grounds and don’t hesitate to ask questions of volunteers or officials, who will be happy to assist you.

Coming to Essex

What time do the gates open?

Gates open to the public at 8:00 a.m. where you will be directed to your designated tailgate spot. Stay up to date on all Essex Horse Trials announcements and updates by adding your name to our mailing list! Sign-up now.

What happens if it rains?
Competition goes on during inclement weather. Only in the case of lightning or torrential rains that make riding unsafe would there be a temporary cessation of activities.
What can I bring to the Essex Horse Trials?
The Essex Horse Trials will have food available for purchase, courtesy of food trucks. However, please use discretion and limit food and beverages in glass bottles, and be mindful of cleaning up your tailgate space at the conclusion of each day – thank you for helping us keep our grounds beautiful!
What am I not allowed to bring to the Essex Horse Trials?
Golf carts, ATVs, motorcycles, mopeds, Segways or any other motorized vehicles are not permitted on the property outside of designated parking areas.

Please do not bring tents.

Is handicapped parking available?
Handicap-designated parking spaces will be available. Please be advised that the Event is held in open fields with rolling terrain.
Where should I stay if I need overnight accommodations during the Essex Horse Trials?

Please refer to this link to Somerset County Tourism for a list of area accommodations.

Is there anything else I should know when I come to Essex?
Please be considerate of beautiful Moorland Farm and use the trash receptacles provided.

Shirts and shoes are required and must be worn at all times.

The Competition

What is Eventing?
Eventing is sometimes referred to as an “Equestrian Triathlon” because it requires that a horse and rider compete in three disciplines, or phases: Dressage, Cross-Country and Show Jumping. The scores for the each of the three phases are then combined to determine final placings.
What is Dressage?
Dressage is the first phase of the competition. This tests a horse’s obedience to the rider. All riders in a division perform the same set of movements, or test, and they are judged on impulsion (the desire to move forward), submission, harmony and ease of movements. Dressage is a sport of finesse, so take a few minutes to admire the horse and rider team as they perform.
What is Cross-Country?
Cross-country is the real heart of Eventing. This is the part of the sport that truly separates it from other equestrian disciplines. The horses are required to jump solid obstacles that they have never seen, often at speed, relying totally on their trust in their riders. Boldness, bravery and discipline on the part of both horse and rider are full on display in this phase of the competition.
Why do the horses also jump in an enclosed area?
This phase is called Show Jumping and it requires the added difficulty of accurate jumping. If the horses don’t jump accurately, the fences fall down, adding penalty points to the scores. To be successful in this phase, the horse must jump quickly and carefully. The final placings of an event are often determined by the number of rails knocked down in Show Jumping, which can be a real heart-stopper for spectators.
How do you know the horses want to jump?
This is a demanding sport that requires a very special horse. If the horse wasn’t willing, there would be no way to force it to do this. The horse and rider teams competing here are true partnerships.
What is the best part of the competition to watch?
All of it! Each phase has its own unique challenges. To truly get a feel for the sport, try to watch a little bit of everything – and keep in mind the following as you enjoy your day at Essex!

Horses Have the Right of Way

This is particularly true during the Cross-Country Phase where horses will be moving at speed on designated tracks. A rider is not responsible for avoiding collisions with spectators. It is your responsibility to stay out of the way of horse and rider.

  • Always look both ways before moving and stay alert for warnings from officials.
  • Stay behind marked barriers and ropes, and keep the area clear around cross- country jumps.
  • Observe the advice or directions of fence judges on the cross-country course.
  • Crossing the cross-country course is permitted, but always make sure that a horse is not coming and heed instructions from crossing monitors.

Quiet, Please!

At times, spectator etiquette at equestrian competitions closely parallels that of major golf tournaments. Undue noises or sudden movements, even by a stroller or umbrella, can cause distractions to horses and riders and can affect the outcome of the competition – or, worse, cause an accident. Each of the phases requires concentration of both the horse and the rider.

  • Dressage – Keep a safe distance from the Dressage arenas and avoid undue noise or any sudden movements that could distract the horse, but don’t hesitate to applaud when the horse has completed the test!
  • Cross-Country and Show Jumping – Similarly, remain a safe distance away and stand still while the horse and rider approach a jump. Reserve your applause until they complete the cross-country jump, or in the case of the Show Jumping Phase, their course.
  • Disturbing fellow patrons with loud conversation or inappropriate behavior is also not permitted and may result in removal from the competition grounds without a refund.

Unauthorized Assistance

Do not assist a competitor while they are doing any of the three phases of the competition. Providing assistance to a rider during competition, whether solicited or not, is FORBIDDEN and may result in the competitor’s elimination. Shouting instructions and giving directions is considered unauthorized assistance. However, you are permitted to:

  1. Catch a loose horse
  2. Help a rider remount after a fall, or
  3. Hand a rider any part of his/her equipment, when they are either mounted or dismounted.

Do not hesitate to ask questions of volunteers and officials. If you are unsure of any of the rules, or just have general questions about the competition, the staff will be happy to assist you.

Small Children

Small children should be closely watched and in the company of an adult at all times. Children are typically not aware of the danger that horses present. Horses will be traveling at speed this weekend and they may not see your child. You are responsible for your children!

Dogs Must Be Leashed

No exceptions! Loose dogs are a hazard to competing horses, will be impounded, and the owners fined $100.

Statement of Liability

Neither Essex Horse Trials Organizing Commitee nor Moorland Farm accept any responsibility for any theft, accident, injury or illness to horses, riders, employees or any person or property whatsoever.

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Essex Horse Trials

P.O. Box 617
Far Hills, New Jersey 07931
Phone: (908) 234-9115 ext. 13