Morven Park’s Cross Country Course

Since I had a lot of time to kill at Morven Park, I decided to check out their cross country course. On foot, of course. Certainly not with any intention of riding it, because I want to live a bit longer.

But, I will start with arrival. Morven Park has the weirdest entrance to the horse area. It may just be me, and that I’ve always entered through the normal entrance to get into the park, but the horse entrance is so weird. It’s not marked at all, it’s north of Leesburg, along 15.

north of leesburg

After traveling down that road, you will reach the actual entrance to the park.

morvenparksign

And a reminder to keep the most specific speed limit ever.

speedlimitsign

Pass by the indoors, where my other two shows were held…

morvenparkindoor

There’s lots more fields on the right side that I didn’t even get a chance to check out. They were setting up for some kind of carriage driving competition over there, which did look kind of neat.

I parked behind the indoor, where the barns are.

outside stalls

The part of the cross country course I checked out is right past these barns. I saw jumps in other fields, but they looked way too far to wander to, so they will stay a mystery for now.

The outdoor arena where I showed was down from the barns.

morvenparkoutdoor
On the day of the show.
Invasion of the ponies. Cutest infestation ever.
Invasion of the ponies. Cutest infestation ever.

When I was checking out the cross country though, it was empty, so here’s just to the right of the above.

startinggate

To the right of the starting gate (is that what it’s called? I don’t know x-country), were these jumps, which ended up being a picnic area for some teenage boys. Were the boys dragged there by their mothers, or were they trying to look supportive to their girlfriends? Alas, we did not find out.

crosscountryjumps

To complete  the jumps in this field, there was this ditch jump, which ended up being right next to the warm up area. That meant Berry had to spook at it 3 times, once almost running into someone else. I’m sorry other person. I would have apologized when it happened, but by the time I got Berry back under control, she had melted away into the crowd of bays so fast it was impossible to tell who she was.

ditchjump

I took a hike to the next field over, and found this behemoth.

Deer. god.
Deer. god.

I found this water complex.

waterjump

And from the other side of it:

watercomplex

There was a second pond next to this one, but it had no jumps at it. It did, however, have this super creepy gargoyle.

morvenparkgargoyle

I feel like there’s a story to go with him…

Next to the water complex was a ditch.

Smart thinking, making it also a drainage ditch.
Smart thinking, making it also a drainage ditch.

I didn’t feel like walking to it, but there was lots and lots of open field, with some more jumps, just like this one:

field

And then I found the most terrifying jump I have ever seen. It started with just spotting it out of the corner of my eye, and being like, “oh, that’s a big log. Wait, is that log over the creek?”

It sure was, Courtney. It was sure was.

creekjump

creekjump2

And just to make sure you can understand how high up this thing is, I braved copperheads and went down in the creek bed to get a picture.

Holy guacamole! It's like 6 feet high!
Holy guacamole! It’s like 6 feet high!

And that pretty much sums up why I will never pursue eventing. I can’t live on the edge, I’m much too mild.

Moving on from there, there were a bunch of these log jumps, but they all kind of look the same, so this picture sums them all up.

logs

Then, there were a whole bunch of jumps lined up along the fence, quietly waiting to be pulled into use.

crosscountryjumps2

I don't even eat at a table this big!
I don’t even eat at a table this big!

corner

I found the one jump that was satisfactorily inviting.

I'll take a course of these, please.
I’ll take a course of these, please.

This adorable narrow log.

skinnylog

A hand with some kind of growth on the thumb.

thumbsup

There were a bunch more, but they were variations of ones that I already showed. They have tons and tons of jumps though.

They do offering schooling, for interested parties…

I don’t think I will ever be brave enough to jump the majority of these. I’m just too much of a weenie. Little uncomplicated logs is about as far as I’ll go.

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11 comments

  1. Where you start can be called a start gate, or a start box! I just entered my first Event of the season at Morven… can’t wait to see the jumps in action!! That table is mammoth… and I agree with Amanda that trakehner looks fun!

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