Perhaps the best part about the downtime all eventers experience in the winter is the opportunity to look ahead at the upcoming year and plan out goals for the season. Maybe this year your goal is to compete in a long-format USEA Classic Series event!
The USEA Classic Series keeps the spirit of the classic long-format three-day events alive for Beginner Novice through the Preliminary levels. Competitors have the opportunity to experience the rush of endurance day, including roads and tracks, steeplechase, the vet box, and cross-country, as well as participate in formal veterinary inspections and educational activities with experts on the ins and outs of competing in a long-format three-day event.
There is no doubt that most eventers are well-organized and travel to events with most everything they need. But a classic series long format event is a little different. Your preparation will start much earlier with the conditioning that must take place and you will be likely be staying at the venue several days longer than you would for a regular horse trial. Part of the fun of doing a classic series long format event is having the opportunity to 'test' your organization skills and showcase yourself and your horse at your best. So, attention to the details becomes part of the experience!
Twenty-eight horses and riders contested the final USEA Classic Series Training Three-Day of the season at the Galway Downs International Event in Temecula, California, November 2-5. Jordán Linstedt and Janine Jaro’s 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Staccato (Stakkato x Certosa), led the field wire-to-wire on their dressage score of 27.1 to claim the final USEA Classic Series title of the year.
For CCI3* riders, experience served them well as they battled Eric Winter’s cross-country course on Saturday at the 2017 Galway Downs International Three-Day Event. James Alliston continues to lead the pack aboard Happenstance, followed by Ellen Doughty-Hume and Sir Oberon in second, and Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me in third.
Great Britain's James Alliston stayed firmly in control of the three-star division after a faultless run with Mary McKee’s Happenstance. Though it is their first CCI3* as a pair, their seperate experience at the level gave them all the skills for success.
Happenstance’s relaxed disposition served Great Britain's James Alliston well today as chilly weather descended on the Temecula Valley. While cool breezes spooked a few of his competitors, Mary McKee’s 11-year-old Holsteiner remained calm, cool, and collected to earn a score of 43.3.
“When I cantered around the arena he was definitely a little sharper than I expected, but when he went in the ring to do his test, he relaxed and felt really really good,” Alliston commented. “He’s quite a relaxed horse in the dressage in general. He knows his job and he’s normally pretty workmanlike when he gets in the boards.”
The first competitors of the 2017 Galway Downs International Three-Day Event kicked off the competition Thursday in the dressage arenas. Both the CCI* and Training Three-Day divisions completed the first phase with Erin Kellerhouse and Jordan Linstedt leading at day’s end.
Erin Kellerhouse’s afternoon was certainly not going to plan when her own Woodford Reserve sent her flying out of the tack in warmup, but undeterred, she kicked on to set herself in the leading CCI* position on a score of 41.
The West Coast’s fall CCI3* kicks off tomorrow morning at the Galway Downs International Event in Temecula, California with the first veterinary inspection at 9:00 a.m. sharp. In addition to the CCI3*, Galway Downs will also host CCI2* and CCI* international divisions as well as horse trials for Novice through Preliminary and USEA Classic Series Training Three-Day division.
As the 2017 season draws to a close, riders all over the country are competing in long-format USEA Classic Series events as the culmination of their fall season. Hagyard Midsouth Horse Trials at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, hosted both a Training Three-Day as well as the only Preliminary Three-Day in the country at their event on October 18-22, 2017. Eleven pairs contested the Preliminary Three-Day, while the Training Three-Day saw 29 horse-and-rider combinations.
This article has been reprinted from Waredaca Talk.
Q: It’s been 13 years since the switch to the short format for the Athens Olympics—yet the long format remains a hot topic. Why do you think the eventing community has kept the conversation alive despite the slim chance of its return?
Waredaca Horse Trials in Laytonsville, Maryland hosted the only 2017 USEA Classic Series events in Area II at their fall event, October 19-22, 2017. In addition to a full horse trials for Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels, Waredaca also offered Training and Novice Three-Day divisions. There were 24 competitors in the Training Three-Day and 28 in the Novice Three-Day.
They saved the best for last in the Training Three-Day, as Margaret Myers and Sonja L. Twiford’s 11-year-old Thoroughbred/Paint/Shire gelding, Arikara, were the last to go in the division but made it count by running away with the lead and never looking back. The pair scored a 28.6 in dressage and led wire to wire on that score to finish 4.3 points ahead of second place on the final day.
The third annual Fall Spokane Sport Horse Farm Horse Trials in Spokane, Wash., September 28-October 1, offered riders the opportunity to participate in the Novice and Beginner Novice Three-Day events as part of the USEA Classic Series. Ten horse-and-rider combinations contested the Novice Three-Day while eight pairs competed in the Beginner Novice Three-Day, one of just two competitions of its kind in the United States this year. Most impressively, the winners of both divisions are just 14 years old and 13 years old, respectively.