At the beginning of June, the Indiana Eventing Association (IEA) Horse Trials hosted its ever-popular Novice and Training Three-Days as part of the USEA Classic Series. Kim MacMillan was on site at the IEA Three-Day and has complied 10 reasons why this event is not to be missed!
10-Indiana’s state motto is “The Crossroads of America.” Indianapolis sits at the intersection of four major interstates, two east-west (I-70 and I-74) and two north-south (I-65 and I-69) and the Horse Hoosier Park (HHP) is just a short hour south of Indianapolis and about 10-15 minutes west of Interstate 65. Many state roads and US highways intersect in Indianapolis and continue on toward the Horse Park as well (U.S. 31 and Indiana 252 among others). So, pack the horse trailer and head down the road to the HHP.
Kasey Mueller and James Blonde. Kim MacMillan Photo.
9-Midwestern Hospitality: People from the Midwest are known for their outgoing, friendly and laid-back nature. Other Midwest specialties include down-home cooking offered at many area restaurants, old fashioned soda fountains and ice cream parlors, many farmers’ markets offering organic produce, artisan cheeses and farm-raised meats and an ever-increasing number of local wineries and craft breweries. The staff and volunteers of the IEA Horse Trials embody Midwestern hospitality.
8-Plenty of space to ride and play at the Horse Park: The Hoosier Horse Park has over 200 acres and offers cross-country eventing and combined driving courses, a covered arena, two show jumping arenas, three dressage arenas, 384 stalls and 70 camping sites. The land the Horse Park sits on was originally part of the United States Army Camp Atterbury. Camp Atterbury still exists in a smaller version and is home to the U.S. Army’s Joint Tactical Maneuvers Facility, but the post was downsized in the 1980s and the extra land is now part of the Johnson County Park system. The adjacent Johnson County Park offers 561 acres with more camping spaces, fishing, birdwatching, hiking, biking, golf, an amphitheater for concerts and programs, shelter houses for picnics and reunions, and a baseball diamond. If someone in your family enjoys military history, then stop by the Camp Atterbury Museum just down the road from the HHP. Across the street from the Johnson County Park is the 4,905 acre-Atterbury Fish & Wildlife Area where visitors can hunt, fish and or visit the shooting range. There are also many tourist attractions, restaurants and hotels and B&Bs in the nearby Indiana towns of Franklin and Columbus and in Indianapolis. So, consider bringing the family to the IEA Horse Trials and they can play while you compete. Find out more about the HHP and Johnson Country Parks at: http://jocoparks.com/johnson-county-park/hoosier-horse-park/
Donald Kamenz and Unsolved Mystery. Kim MacMillan Photo.
7-Be able to say that you competed at the site of the 1987 Pan American Games where equestrian greats including Mike Huber, Nancy Lindroth, Emily MacGowan, Packy McGaughan, Greg Best, Katherine Burdsall, Lisa Jacquin, Rodney Jenkins, Ian Millar (Canada), Ellen Dixon, Ann Guptill, Carol Lavell, Nancy Polozker, Christilot Hanson-Boylen (Canada), and others represented North America and won medals. See more about the U.S.A.’s 1987 Pan American Games at: https://www.uset.org/home/americas-team/team-medal-history/
6-Comradery with other riders. Only other riders truly understand the thrill of competition and the ups and downs of competing and caring for horses. You can potentially learn something from others every day and you might make a new friend. The stabling layout allows you to easily visit with your neighbors. Rider meetings, organized course walks and social events offer time to mingle as well.
FE Gran Torino in the vet box. Kim MacMillan Photo.
5-Attend the Competitor’s Party On Saturday Night. Great food and music by a DJ in the covered arena at the Horse Park. This year there was also a 50/50 raffle and free tee shirts! Competitors and volunteers are invited to attend at no additional cost and tickets for family and friends are available for purchase.
4- Prizes and goodies. You have the chance to earn both completion and placing ribbons, award coolers, gift certificates, sponsor gifts and participant tee shirts. There were also special awards for the Best Conditioned Horse, the Best Turned Out Horse, and the Best Cross-Country Ride. Ribbons were awarded to ten places and there were special prize packages for first and second places.
Gun Slinger celebrates his blue ribbon. Allen MacMillan Photo.
3-Free Top-Notch Education. For the price of an entry in the IEA Classic-Format Three-Day, you also get a knowledgeable clinician providing valuable education and answering questions at no extra cost. The competitors this year all said that they learned a lot from Dorothy Crowell, an Advanced eventer and Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4* veteran, who was the clinician for the three-day riders. Another Rolex veteran, Cathy Wieschhoff, designed the show jumping courses and she was available for questions as well. The USEA also held a town-hall meeting (and served wine, cheese, fruit, soft drinks, water and assorted snacks) during the event during the IEA Horse Trials this year, which gave members a chance to speak out on topics that were important to them with two USEA representatives (USEA Area VIII representative Morley Thompson and Cathy Wieschhoff) moderating the town hall welcoming feedback and ideas.
2-Learn valuable horsemanship skills. Want to learn how to care for and groom your horse like a professional groom for one of the Rolex Kentucky riders? Or how to condition your horse like a four-star rider? Or what to pack for the D box so that you have everything you need? Or how and when to apply grease to your horse or which studs to use in their shoes? All these questions and more were addressed in the three-day educational clinic.
Dorothy Crowell giving a talk as part of the educational clinics. Kim MacMillan Photo.
And the number one reason to participate in the 2018 IEA Classic-Format Training and Novice Three-Day Event is:
1-Create a better partnership with your horse. Prepare to move up the levels and learn to dig deep to bring out the best in you and your horse. Without exception this year’s three-day participants emphasized that they learned how to better partner with their horses during the competition, and that they had better rounds on cross-country after completing the roads and tracks and steeplechase phases first. And, they felt that the competition made them braver riders.
Amanda Conti and Griegermeister. Allen MacMillan Photo.
Next year’s IEA Horse Trials and Classic Three-Day is May 31 – June 3, 2018