Colors of deep red, bright orange, and vibrant green made a picturesque backdrop for the first Beginner Novice Three-Day Event at the Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland. On October 12 – 14, Carolyn Mackintosh opened her farm for riders to compete in the fall MDHT with a new USEA Classic Series Beginner Novice Three-Day (BN3D) Event. Ella Lucas and Truthful Saint took home blue, Mary Perry on Cozmos took home red, and Neva Giannini on Stilwell Can Do rounded out the top three for the first ever BN3D at Loch Moy Farm.
“I’d like to point out that the entire field of 12 entries finished on a number!” Lucas emphasized. Playing a role in the success of the event, the educational opportunities were appreciated by all. “The amount of educational content the clinicians, Carol Kozlowski, Sam Henley, and Stephen Bradley were able to supply was astounding. From perfectly turning out a horse with the EMTC team to steeplechase and roads and tracks practice with Carol, along with Dr. Chad Davis’ paying such close attention to all of our horses and being available for anything we’d ever want to know. This was a truly educational experience,” said Lucas.
Growing up across the pond, Lucas caught the “eventing bug” in England and then came to America where she would meet her ‘horse of lifetime’, an off-the-track Thoroughbred named Manhatten IV, who taught her not only how to ride but how to trust the partner underneath. “I only leased him for a short time but he taught me more than just how to ride. Taking me to my first recognized event to winning at Novice, [he also taught me] how to trust your horse to do his job but not to be silent in the tack. I think everyone who knows him will agree he is a very special horse and I was so lucky to compete him. I can not thank [his owners] Ashley Dodds, Tonya Dodds, and Erin Brooke Harrington enough for making that partnership so special.”
On the hunt for her next horse of a lifetime, Lucas found another off-the-track Thoroughbred named Truthful Saint aka Saint who was produced up to the Preliminary level by Dasha Ivandaeva. “By mid-June [of 2018], with help from Natalie and Suz Hollis and the entire Destination Farm crew, [Saint and I] were ready to compete and finished on our dressage score at our first Novice. Realizing our relationship wasn’t quite there yet, we decided to move down to Beginner Novice and aimed for Maryland Horse Trials Beginner Novice Three-Day.” With the help from her friends, family, coaches, and horse, Ella Lucas won the BN3D on her dressage score of 30.70.
“This was a richly rewarding experience for everyone that took part, it takes a village to put on a long format and I’m so thankful Carolyn Mackintosh and the MDHT team put there all into this event and made it a truly special experience. [Also,] a big thank you to everyone at the USEA that has helped establish the Classic Series, hopefully this is just the start!”
In the backwoods of Woolwich, Maine, Mary Perry was introduced to horses through saddle seat. “As kids, we would hack our Morgan horses all over the rural neighborhoods of Woolwich, Maine, along the roads, next to the river, up the power lines, through the woods and fields – anywhere our hearts desired,” said Perry.
"In the 90s, I had the special opportunity to train with Jane Sleeper and show her Advanced horse, Silverwood (Stevie) at Training level at Fair Hill. That was the highest eventing level I’ve achieved and the peak of my confidence jumping.” After a couple of unfortunate falls from other horses, Perry rediscovered that confidence in Cozmos. “It wasn’t until I rode Cozmos (barn name Cosimo) at Bennett’s Creek Farm that I decided I really wanted to jump cross-country fences again.”
“If there’s a jump in front of him, Coz will jump it,” described Perry of her 13-year-old Pinto/Shire gelding. Perry continued to give praise to her beloved Cozmos. “He is very careful and has great self-preservation instincts that you can feel when you’re on him. We started out five years ago jumping cross rails, and he’d clear the standards with his hind end! Our first horse trials were unrecognized starter trials at nearby Loch Moy Farm, and the next year we moved up to Beginner Novice, winning a few blue ribbons along the way. But his favorite thing to do is hack around the farm and pop into Bennett Creek for a rest.”
A Maryland resident, Perry’s dreams came true with her top placing at the BN3D and and she gave thanks to the people in her corner. “It was a dream to be able to do a Beginner Novice Three-Day event so close to home, at such an excellent and friendly facility as Loch Moy Farm. My two instructors, Rose Agard and Kristin Bachman, encouraged me and got us prepared well in advance. Rose trains Cozmos one day a week, and she was an invaluable coach, mentor, friend, and groom at the Three-Day. We couldn’t have succeeded without our support team, including the informative clinicians at the Three-Day and AJ, the farrier on site. The roads and tracks phases of the endurance day reminded me of those fun hacks back in Maine and, somehow, they prepared us to make the time on Steeplechase! I would highly recommend the Three-Day,” emphasized Perry.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the first ever MDHT Beginner Novice Three-Day!
About the USEA Classic Series
The USEA Classic Series keeps the spirit of the classic long format three-day events alive for Beginner Novice through the Preliminary levels. Competitors can 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.
Riders who compete in a USEA Classic Series event during the year will have the chance to win a variety of prizes at the events and will also be entered in a drawing held at the USEA Year End Award Ceremony for a year’s supply of SmartPak supplements and a custom fitted Stackhouse and Ellis saddle. Click here to learn more about the USEA Classic Series.
"No matter how old you are, be open to all disciplines, learn how to ride a dressage horse, a gaited horse, a show jumper. Go fox hunting and point-to-pointing and horse showing. You’ll learn from all of them and when you do decide which discipline you want to do, you’ll be better at it anyway.”
The University of Findlay’s Three-Day Eventing Team was established in 2013, the same year USEA voted and approved the USEA intercollegiate program. The UF team has over 30 members encompassing a variety of majors at the university. The team has access to two indoor arenas, a large outdoor arena, and 70 acres of on-site cross-country fences.
Bellamy, an Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding of unknown breeding, came to Tamra Smith’s farm in Southern California with his mane half-way down his neck and filled with burrs. Bellamy had been sitting in a field for a little over a year after unseating several riders in a row and Smith, known for being good with tricky horses, agreed to take him on.