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Fri, 2017-06-02 08:57

USEA Classic Series Kicks Off at Indiana Eventing Association Horse Trials

Authored By: Kim MacMillan
Novice Three-Day competitor, Donald Kamenz from Zionsville, Ind., wasn’t shy about showing off his legs, or his horse’s, in the first horse inspection as he trots his pinto Warmblood gelding Unsolved Mystery. Kim MacMillan Photo.

Beautiful weather in South Central Indiana — sunny and temps in the high 70s — greeted the 33 participants of the 2017 Indiana Eventing Association (IEA) Training and Novice Three-Day Event, part of the USEA Classic Series. There are 10 competitors in the Training Three-Day and 23 in the Novice Three-Day.

The first horse inspection for both divisions was at 5 p.m. yesterday. Riders donned their fancy duds and the horses were beautifully presented with the announcer doing his best to create a formal atmosphere similar to the horse inspections at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. He announced each rider’s name, their horse’s name and noted that each was from the U.S.A, among other vital statistics.

After morning exams of all arriving three-day horses and a mandatory lunch meeting, the riders were also allowed practice jog time in the area where the inspection was to take place later in the afternoon. Of the 33 horses presented, two in the Novice Three-Day were asked to re-jog immediately after their first pass down the macadam; both were accepted after the second trot up without further incident.


Natasha Erschen, East Dubuque, Ill., and her 7-year-old German Sport Horse gelding FE Gran Torino take their turn down the lane during the first horse inspection in the 2017 IEA Training Three-Day Event. Kim MacMillan Photo.

One additional horse, also in the Novice Three-Day, was sent to the hold box and jogged again at the end of the order, then after much discussion the veterinarian asked to see the horse on a lunge line in the covered arena to evaluate the horse on a circle in soft footing. It was nice to see the Ground Jury give the horse’s welfare so much attention, but also every chance to be able to compete. They talked with the owner, and each other, at length and then the horse was accepted making the acceptance rate 100 percent.

The goal and theme of the IEA Three-Day, is to educate the riders, owners and grooms about a full-format three-day competition. After the horse inspection there was a presentation, “Three-Day Walk Through from the Start of A to the Finish of D,” followed by a question and answer session. The presentation covered, among other topics, the endurance day timetable, what to expect in the “D” box (vet box), the proper use of studs in the horse’s shoes, and what to expect in the steeplechase phase and why it sets the horse and rider up for a smoother go around the cross-country course. 

Tomorrow it is time to play in the sand arena – dressage is up next!


Quick Car, a 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned and ridden by Kathy Baar from Nicholasville, Ky., looking sharp during the during the first horse inspection in the 2017 IEA Training Three-Day Event. Kim MacMillan Photo.

IEA Three-Day by the Numbers

Of the 10 horses in the Training Three-Day, four are mares and six are geldings. Breeds represented in the Training group: five are Thoroughbreds; two are Irish Sport Horses, and there is one each American Warmblood, German Sport Horse and Selle Francais. The riders come from five states: Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin. One rider, Natasha Erschen from East Dubuque, Ill., is riding two horses in the Training Division, Emerald Lion and FE Gran Torino.


15-year-old Indianapolis, Ind., native Rachel Dowless is participating in her first three-day event at the IEA Event with her 12-year-old Hackney-Shetland cross pony mare A Little Twist. Dowless has had A Little Twist for two years and she trains with Lee Ann Zobbe. “I’ve been volunteering at this show for a long time and I’ve always watched it and it looks really fun!” said Dowless. Kim MacMillan Photo.

Nine mares and 14 geldings make up the Novice division with nine Thoroughbreds, two Quarter Horses, and one each American Warmblood, American Sport Horse, Canadian Sport Horse, Connemara, Dutch Warmblood, grade, Hackney, Irish Draught, Morgan, Paint, Trakehner and unspecified Warmblood. The riders in Novice hail from six different states: Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Keep up with all the action by following the live scores here.


Volunteer Coordinator for the 2017 IEA Horse Trials and Three-Day Event and a IEA Board Member Dorie Mayfield, Bloomington, Ind. (right), celebrated her 29th birthday on the first day of the horse trials. Mayfield said that she manages roughly 250 volunteers from several states to help stage the horse trials work force. Kim MacMillan Photo.

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. Check out the schedule below, 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 SmartPaksPoint Two Air Jackets; online subscriptions to Eventing Training Online; USEA logowear; Fleeceworks saddle pads; and Stackhouse saddles!

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