The Essex Horse Trials, an iconic pre-Olympic-qualifying three-day event held at the United States Equestrian Team (USET) headquarters until 1998, was conceived in the 1960s as a competition for young riders. Until that time, good courses and well-built fences rarely filtered down to the lower competitive levels of the sport.

In 1968, thanks to the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Elliot Haller – and behind the driving force of their son Roger – “Hoopstick Farm” in Bedminster, NJ, became the first home of the Essex Horse Trials. The first event was held in the fall of that year and two levels of competition were offered, Training and Preliminary, in a one-day horse trials format. Read more…