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.
Linstedt has always had a love of horses and grew up riding, starting with trail rides with her mother at the age of two. “When asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, I would say without hesitation, ‘I want to compete in the Olympics,’” said Linstedt. “I was in my first horse trials at the age of 14 and I’ve been hooked ever since. I definitely had the dream. The transition from being a kid with a passion to making the transformation into a professional is a tough one, but for me it all came together and I wouldn’t change it for anything.” Linstedt was fortunate to have parents who owned a riding facility where she could train, and began teaching lessons at the age of 16. In 2009, Linstedt moved south to California to work with Tamie Smith, who helped Linstedt make the move up to Advanced with her horse, Tullibards Hawkwind, aka “Jack,” who she ultimately competed with at her first Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2012.
Now, Linstedt runs her own training business, Jordan Linstedt Eventing, out of Neelie and Simon Floyd’s Hawkwind Farm in Duvall, Washington. “The farm is named after Tullibards Hawkwind, the horse that gave me the introduction to the top level of our sport and taught me everything along the way,” said Linstedt. “The Floyds’ daughter Madelyn rides with me and they are like family to me. It is a great situation and I am very lucky to have their help and support.”
Sired by the top European show jumping stallion, Stakkato, and out of a Charon mare, Staccato was bred by Ulrich Fisher and backed by Phillip and Hannes Baumgart in Germany. The Baumgarts are friends with Jim and Jean Moyer, who were on a trip to Germany with Jaro in 2013 which is where she purchased Staccato before importing him to the United States. Asia Thayer spent two years working with Staccato when arrived in the States and he spent a brief period with a couple other event trainers before settling with Linstedt, who first catch rode him at Twin Rivers in April of 2016. “From that very first event I knew he was extremely talented and he reminded me in some ways of my horse, Revitavet Capato. Since that first event, Staccato has improved tremendously in all three phases but the show jumping has come the furthest.”
Linstedt explained that Staccato was very tricky as a young horse as he is insecure and a bit nervous, and she had been looking to move him up to the Preliminary level this year but just felt that he wasn’t quite ready to make the jump from Training to Preliminary. “I entered the Training Three-Day at Rebecca Farm and it was one of the best decisions we had made for Staccato,” she said. “Being a very spooky and nervous horse, the roads and tracks really helped take the edge off . . . [It] gave him a chance to settle in and relax in a different environment then an ordinary warmup area prior to heading right out on course. The first fence on steeplechase he really attacked and felt confident around the entire track, and then going back out of roads and tracks after galloping on steeplechase he felt very relaxed. When I went out on cross-country it was a different feeling than I had felt before with him, he was super game and taking me to every fence. It felt like he would have jumped anything.” Linstedt and Staccato led the Training Three-Day at Rebecca farm from start box to finish flags to secure the win.
The decision to enter Staccato in the Training Three-Day at Galway Downs was somewhat last-minute. Staccato had spent the summer competing in the jumper ring before competing in the Area VII Training Championships at Aspen Farm as his last run before moving up to Preliminary at Equestrians Institute. “[On cross-country at E.I.] it was hard to see the next fence coming because of the number of trees and it seemed like a lot of questions came up around turns,” described Linstedt. “He was a bit overwhelmed and just never got into a great rhythm. He did win that weekend but it took some serious piloting on my part.”
Linstedt and Jaro decided it would be in Staccato’s best interest to compete in the Training Three-Day at Galway instead of the Preliminary since he had such a confidence-building experience in the Training Three-Day at Rebecca Farm. “We both felt like it would be a great last run [of the year] for him, regain some of the confidence he maybe lost at E.I. and really make sure he was ready for a busy and successful year at Preliminary in 2018 with goals set on a CCI* at Rebecca Farm in the summer if not earlier.”
Staccato was fit and ready to run in the Training Three-Day because Linstedt has each of the horses in her program on a conditioning schedule. “My horses all condition on a water pipeline that runs past the property of my facility,” she explained. “It is perfect for conditioning with various hills from long slow inclines to shorter steep inclines. At Training level, they will do trot sets each week or slow canter sets. The Preliminary horses do a bit more or add in a second set each week depending on the horse. I conditioned Staccato for the Training Three-Day as if he was running his first Preliminary. I also was fortunate to use the racetrack at Pegasus Training Center in Redmond, Washington [to do some long-distance gallops] for my last two gallops. The first gallop I did 20 minutes of trot and two 10-minute slow canters, and the second gallop on the track I did 20 minutes of trot, two 5-minute canters and two 2-minute sprints. Staccato felt very fit and ready for the long format!”
“It took him a while in his career to cross paths with me but I really think our partnership is something special,” commented Linstedt. “I hope to produce him up the levels. He has all the talent in the world, and if I can continue to keep him going in this direction he will be a force to be reckoned with! I am very fortunate to have his wonderful owners. Janine and Vic are extremely supportive and want only the best for Staccato. They are at every show helping with everything and anything they can. Staccato and I are lucky to have them!”
View the complete competition results by clicking 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.
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!
It's been a long road, but we've finally arrived at the end! In June of 2017, the USEA undertook a project - to tell the story of each of the currently active USEA recognized events, starting at the beginning of the alphabet and working our way all the way through to the end. Now, more than three years later, we've reached the final event on our list.
Horse & Country TV is pleased to announce a partnership with the MARS Great Meadow International (MARSGMI) to provide live and on-demand coverage of the 2020 event. The competition will be held at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia August 19 to 23 and will feature many of North America’s best eventing combinations.
For over 20 years the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) has been educating all levels of eventing instructors to confirm their knowledge base, both theoretical and practical, upon which they will continue to build throughout their teaching lifetime. The USEA is now shining the spotlight each month on some of the 300 ICP Certified Instructors.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).