Kingston Short Course Eventing Series

By: Katie Holman


  It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention and with horse trials lacking in the eastern Ontario area, Cathy Colwell along with Joe McAllister, Cathy's husband, and long time supporter of Corner-Stone Farm set out the remedy their void. Having been a strong supporter of eventing in the region for years, Colwell-McAllister decided to offer an affordable alternative for those wanting to give eventing a try. The solution – introduce Short Course to the area!  

A short course is an exciting new take on traditional eventing. It’s an expanded version of the combined test, where XC type fences are integrated into the jumping phase. Like normal horse trials, the dressage phase is completed first, followed by the stadium/XC phase; a continuous round of stadium jumps, moving out into the XC fields and then finishing up once again in the stadium ring. It is an excellent introduction to horse trials or eventing at a new level.

Corner-Stone Farm ran their first Short Course in early 2008; an in-barn “invitational” which drew 20+ entries. With the layout of their property, Colwell knew a short course format would be perfect for them.  At the end of the day, competitors went home with smiles, ribbons and the knowledge that they just had a positive and safe experience. With the success of their first short course, Corner-Stone Farm decided to add another one later that fall.

                Dear Cathy,

                I have been wanting you to know that because of your short course in the spring, which was accessible enough to make me feel I could do it, I went to Hawkeridge for September and did  Oakhurst pre-entry on the 27th. Unfortunately, it meant not doing your show, which I hope  went well. We had a great time and it all went well. I never would have conceived of doing it if        not for your show in the spring.

                So if one of your goals is to make a venue inviting enough to get people going in eventing, it  completely accomplished that goal with me.

                Will be aiming for more pre-entry, possibly entry next year.

                Thank you, Diana Wyatt


By 2009, the short course bug was spreading throughout the region. In addition to Corner-Stone Farms two short course events, other farms in the area joined in. Emerald Meadows, operated by Allison Montgomery and Costalotta Farm’s Cyndi & Jen Boogaards each added a short course to the schedule

With the addition of Wendy Waller of Charleston Lake Riding School in 2010, the Kingston Short Course Eventing Series was born. A fantastic series has emerged where 6 of the 11 short courses in Ontario are held in the Kingston area. Janet Zizian, a sponsor of the provincial year-end awards, guided this series through its first year with her infinite wisdom.

            As you know, I REALLY enjoyed this summer and all six of the Short Course Events. I feel blessed to have been invited to ride at these four farms and deeply appreciated all the hard work that everyone put into these shows.  I found them to be VERY welcoming and forgiving and supportive.  EVERYONE was friendly and helpful and truly made me feel that the motto of these shows was “the success of all participants”.  Also, the fact that all these shows were quite close made it very convenient and somewhat stress free.  The close distance together with the specific ride times, made it very relaxing.  We would arrive early enough to walk the course and prepare for dressage and then relax a bit and then get ready for our jumping time.  I will   probably never move to a higher division than what is offered at the short courses but for young people just starting out who have dreams of riding at a higher level, these shows will instill confidence in an atmosphere of friends and support and camaraderie where there is no other agenda other than success.

                 The other item I liked was that the Jr. and Sr. Riders are separate.  I am a senior rider that enjoys and is comfortable at the 18” level for now.  I do not want to be perceived as stealing  ribbons from little girls (and usually they kicked my butt).  This show series divided the Jr. and  Sr. riders so I did not feel out of place competing against the Jr. Riders.  Again, a very welcoming and non-judgmental way of allowing everyone (young and old and oldest) to compete, enjoy and not feel bad about succeeding.

                 I have told all my friends (mostly seniors) and will hope to have an Old Gals club attending next season.

                Sincerely, Debbie Givens

At the Ontario Horse Trials Association year-end awards banquet, held November 20th at Cardinal Golf & Country Club, Kingston swept the short course pre-entry division, with Alex Legget on McKenzie (Corner Stone Farm horse and rider) as Champion and Alex Morgan on Heart O’Gold finishing as Reserve Champion. What a way to cap off an outstanding season!

From one little in-barn show has sprouted an entire short course series. Cathy Colwell is thrilled to be able to promote inviting, affordable, local fun where safety is paramount!“(short courses) make a great introduction to the sport. The short course still incorporates dressage – which is so important. I feel it really proves the riders skills and training.”


For 2011, Kingston is pleased to be hosting the series again, with 6 shows on the calendar once again.

Kingston Short Course Eventing Series Dates

Emerald Meadows       May 15, 2011

Corner Stone Farm      June 19, 2011

Costalotta Farm            July 10, 2011

Charleston Lake           July 31, 2011

Corner Stone Farm      August 28, 2011

Emerald Meadows        Oct 16, 2011

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