Trott Brook Horse Trials in Jeopardy of Closing its Doors
By Julie Stenslie
Aug 10, 2009 - Trott Brook Horse Trails, Ramsey MN, was the vision of Dr. Kim Voller. Her love for the sport of eventing combined with the family farm of beautiful rolling hills made the perfect start to this show. The show started in 1996 and has grown steadily over time. Each year the Voller family takes time off from their hectic work and family schedule and solely focuses on setting up and taking down this show.
Building a cross country course for BN, N, T and Prelim is a daunting task. In February 1999, the self-made fund raising committee of Pat Ness, Patty Humphries, Beth Rosness, Janet Sullivan, Kristen Evanson and myself (along with many, many helpers) called on the community with a silent auction to see if we could generate interest and funds. Boy did we ever get response....10 times the amount of money we hoped to raise along with 14 direct jump sponsorships.
The show in 2000 was voted best overall event in Area IV. In 2001, they hosted the Chronicle of the Horse Adult Team Championships.
Along the way, the show has sported a family atmosphere including; the famous Saturday competitor party put on by Sue Goepfert, raffles, drawings, support to local charities, demonstrations by local horse activities and dog training. The Vollers added stabling at the request of those requiring overnight stablin, which was anothera huge time and money commitment requiring reservation of the equipment, set up and take down, which was handled by volunteers such as Mark Coombs. Each year new jumps are added and the track is changed to provide a variety of challenges for repeat riders. Areovation was added to the tracks and to the dressage rings to help provide better footing, also at the request of competitors. Beth Rosness has long been the XC clean up coordinator, helping Kevin Voller get the grounds ready. Lori Nelson continues to work on the dressage rings and provides decorations to the XC jumps to provide a festive atmosphere. Multitudes of volunteers are needed on the day of show and to jump judge; which has been coordinated by Elizabeth Coombs. Things were moving along and looking good.
Then a couple years ago the USEA threw a wrench in the schedule for Area IV. With the AEC's coming to Chicago, fear spread throughout the area organizing committees. Fear that we couldn't support the AEC's, Trott Brook and Otter Creek all within weeks of each other. As it turned out the community rallied and supported the shows these past few years. This is now the final year AEC's will be in Chicago and then they move elsewhere. However, the combined impact of the AECs and the poor economy may have taken its toll. Trott Brook Horse Trials is currently down on entries this year and in danger of being cancelled. With the minimum number of riders (150) required to reach the breakeven point, they are now down over 100 rides. Whie the riders pay their part for the show expenses, there is a huge portion of the show that is paid for by direct sponsorship and advertising dollars (generated by volunteers, Jennifer Johnson and Shauna Paul). As well as monies raised through the greatly successful schooling days, originated by Jill Wellman and currently organized by Katy Holub and Jane Braddock. While cut backs had already been made to try to keep expenses low, there are many expenses that have already been made to put on this show. As many long time competitors in this area know, events can come and go--and the majority have not been replaced. Please help support this local event.
The closing date is August 18th, send your entry in if you have been waiting!
For entry information see USEA Omnibus on line at: Trott Brook Farm Horse Trial - 9/5/2009
To Volunteer contact Elizabeth Coombs at: firstname.lastname@example.org