New show grounds to host nine Regional and National Equestrian Competitions including two weeks of the internationally-sanctioned Split Rock Jumping Tour
[Johnstown OH] April 26, 2017 – Greater Columbus is now home to an all new equestrian destination and show series that is expected to draw leading amateur and professional riders and their equine partners from throughout the region during its nine week competition season running May through October 2017. Brave Horse is the largest equestrian show park ever to be developed in central Ohio specifically designed to accommodate top tier Hunter Jumper competitions.
Located on 75 acres in the heart of central Ohio’s horse country but just minutes from the I-270 outer belt, Brave Horse has been meticulously planned and developed to provide a peerless show experience for riders, horses, trainers and spectators. Owners Matt and Amy Harris first acquired property for the new facility in 2015 with a goal of expanding high quality showing options in the Hunter Jumper disciplines in central Ohio. Harris convened renowned experts in equestrian facility development, including architect John Blackburn, AIA of Washington, D.C, land planner Mark Kline of MKSK in Columbus, Ohio, and Karen Leeming and Lawton Adams of Footing First, to partner in the design of this spectacular new destination for equestrian sport. Now complete, Brave Horse Show Park and the Brave Horse Show Series is poised to present a new vision for equestrian sport in the region.
Brave Horse features seven state-of-the-art arenas dressed with the highest quality competition footing. A Grand Prix arena, built to specifications to accommodate internationally sanctioned competitions, features a subterranean watering system and a proprietary blend of footing used by Olympic and World Cup level equestrian facilities. The facility also features 250 permanent 12-by-12-foot horse stalls in five stable buildings with wide and well lit aisles and natural ventilation. Other additions to the grounds include a large show office, vendor area for equipment, apparel and catering services, hospitality area, judge and ingate boxes, landscaping and water features, green spaces, lighting enhancements and more.
“Our family has so much respect for this sport and it is a privilege to be able to contribute to its growth,” said Matt Harris, developer and owner of Brave Horse. “We are focused on delivering a show experience that will not only exceed the expectations of our exhibitors but also support the aspirations of a burgeoning equestrian community in Ohio and the region.”
“Advancing the U.S. Hunter Jumper disciplines requires offering a show experience that accommodates the needs of everyone from the young pony rider to Olympic level competitors,” said Belisle, chief operating officer of Brave Horse. “The investment in the development of Brave Horse will illustrate that we are serious about presenting an incomparable experience that includes superior footing, well-planned facilities and beautifully designed surroundings that highlight Ohio’s lush countryside.”
Brave Horse builds on the 25-year legacy of Showtime Series, a seminal force in the central Ohio equestrian community. In 2015, Harris began construction of a show facility adjacent to Willow Way Farm, which he had previously purchased, and in 2016, hosted an abbreviated schedule as he continued the design and build out of the show park. Yet more than 1000 horses competed in 2016, with trainers and riders alike attracted to the extraordinary attention to detail in the facility and the acute focus on the health and safety of horses and riders alike.
In fall 2016, Harris sought to reposition the series and the facility for national level competition as part of a deep and passionate commitment to the area. After a thorough study, the name Brave Horse was selected as a paean to the unique disposition that elevates any horse to show horse. “Time and again, my team and I heard riders refer to their mounts as ‘brave,’ and we knew that if the horse is brave, braver still is the rider with him. We felt that ‘Brave Horse’ was truly a song of praise to riders and horses alike,” explains Harris.
Developed in conjunction with the New York City-based design and branding firm, slover [AND] company, this exciting new name will become an important part of the exhibitor and spectator experience, with new wayfinding signage, prize graphics, a new website and all other materials reflecting a reverence and respect for, and joy in, the horse and the sport. The firm is far from new to the community, having developed on a pro bono basis the name and visual branding program for the beloved annual bike event, Pelotonia.
In January it was announced that international show jumping rider Derek Braun, founder of Split Rock Jumping Tour, would present two weeks of his transformative competition at Brave Horse, September 27 – October 1 and October 4 – 8. Braun’s series is based in Lexington, Kentucky and draws the world’s leading riders and show jumping enthusiasts.
Commenting on the partnership with Brave Horse, Braun said, “Split Rock Jumping Tour has taken U.S. show jumping to a new level. Brave Horse shares our same commitment to the highest quality facilities, unparalleled amenities and the best possible experience for riders and spectators. We cannot wait to host some of the world’s top competitors in Columbus right on the heels of the respected New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix. It’s going to be three full weeks of thrilling show jumping in Columbus!”
For sponsor, competitor and spectator information please refer to brave-horse.com. Stay informed about Brave Horse on Facebook at Brave Horse Ohio, on Instagram at @bravehorseohio and on Twitter at @bravehorseohio and on Snapchat at Brave Horse Ohio. The Brave Horse hashtag is #ridebrave.
About Brave Horse Brave Horse is a 75 acre show grounds located at 1029 South County Line Road in Johnstown, Ohio. Brave Horse Show Series 2017 features nine weeks of competition, including two weeks of the internationally-sanctioned Split Rock Jumping tour.