Fifteen riders across the Novice and Training Three-Day divisions at the Western Underground, Inc. Coconino Summer II Horse Trials & T/N3D Event experienced the thrill of the ‘chase through the woods at the Coconino County Fairgrounds in Flagstaff, Arizona (Area X) and participated in a series of educational activities to increase their knowledge of the long format.
In the Novice Three-Day, Kirsten Woznicki and her own 8-year-old Westphalian/Thoroughbred gelding Plateaux (Pablo x Sweetheart) scored a 29.4 in dressage and never looked back, putting in four double-clean phases on endurance day and going double-clean in show jumping to lead the division from start to finish on their dressage score.
Woznicki and Plateaux, also known as “Bob,” traveled from Katy, Texas, where they train with Genna Huffman at Diamond Riding and Training Academy. Woznicki and Bob began their partnership just shy of a year ago, and while Bob had competed through Training level, Woznicki had only competed through Beginner Novice. They moved up to Novice earlier this spring. “My trainer Genna had talked to me about the Three-Day and it seemed like fun,” said Woznicki of her decision to compete in the Novice Three-Day. “I liked the idea of the long format and trying something new.”
Of her partnership with Plateaux, Woznicki commented, “Bob is the best horse I have ever owned. He is a gentle giant, with the heart of a teacher. He will give you his all 110% of the time and I make a mistake he will always have my back. Bob is my best friend and teacher.”
“My favorite part was the endurance [phases]. I was worried about having to remember where all the roads and tracks go and make it to all my check points but that all went away the second Bob and I got on course. Bob absolutely loved it, which made the ride even more fun! I was glad he was having just as much fun as me,” said Woznicki.
Megan Compton and Linda Paine’s Happy Hour, a 9-year-old Thoroughbred mare (Audio x Qtrpastree) were the winners of the Training Three-Day, leading the division the whole weekend on their dressage score of 32.7.
Megan Compton and Happy Hour all dressed up for the jog. Photo courtesy of Megan Compton.
The pair have been together less than a year. “I own Happy’s brother, Five O’Clock Somewhere, but he got injured. When [his] breeder found out, she contacted me about Happy. I [went] down to try her five months ago and took her home that day. We connected instantly.”
Compton made the decision to do the Training Three-Day to test Happy’s fitness. “When I picked her up she was on the skinny side so I'm very proud of how healthy she looks now,” remarked Compton. “I'm also very proud that Happy won [Best Conditioned Horse].” Compton feels that her experience with Happy in the Training Three-Day has prepared them to make their Preliminary level debut next month. “She's never felt more fit and prepared.”
Compton’s advice to those considering competing in a long format event? “Do it! It is so much fun and a great opportunity to better understand your horse and their fitness levels.”
Complete scores from the weekend are available here.
About the USEA Classic Series
The thrill of the 'chase lives on for those who want to experience the unforgettable rush of the classic long format three-day event!
Long-format events from the Beginner Novice to Preliminary levels are still a reality with the USEA Classic Series and include roads and tracks, steeplechase, and cross-country on "endurance day," as well as horse inspections. Educational activities are offered at the Classic Series Events. Visit the USEA Classic Series page to learn more about the Series and see upcoming classic format events in your area, and check here to see if you are qualified!
Thanks to our generous sponsors, the USEA Classic Series Event winners have the opportunity to compete for a variety of prizes including SmartPak engraved halters and leadshanks; the chance to win a year of SmartPaks; Point Two Air Jackets; online subscriptions to Eventing Training Online; USEA logowear; Fleeceworks saddle pads; and Stackhouse saddles!