Oct 30, 2017

Q&A With a Three-Day Winner - Carol Kozlowski

This article has been reprinted from Waredaca Talk.

Q: It’s been 13 years since the switch to the short format for the Athens Olympics—yet the long format remains a hot topic. Why do you think the eventing community has kept the conversation alive despite the slim chance of its return?

A: From the early days of our sport, the “long format” – at any level- was considered the pinnacle of achievement, the ultimate test. Thirteen years ago, the FEI directed our national upper levels to adopt the “short format” as the ultimate test. The “speed and endurance day” was truncated with the roads and tracks/steeplechase/roads and tracks phases eliminated. The new format is, theoretically, a more modern way of testing our elite athletes and preserving their welfare. I won’t belabor the argue nets supporting or detracting from the validity of this move but it’s undeniable that the decision to “modernize” our sport was not an entirely popular one. The notion that “the complete test” was truly outdated never really was accepted by many event riders in this country, most notably those riding at the lower levels.

In a way, a statement was made in this country that the lower levels would not be dictated to by a foreign body these riders did not feel a sense of obligation to follow. In preserving the tradition of our sport, even if only on a national level, we’ve honored our roots.

Furthermore, what better way to test horse and rider, at ANY level, than to challenge them with a long format eventing competition? It’s a goal that nearly every level rider can set their sights on, requiring greater determination, dedication, and perseverance than a standard horse trial. A long format event is special. It’s grueling and a completion is truly an accomplishment. Without diminishing the abilities of our upper level athletes who are successful in FEI competition, the long format is the pinnacle for those riders who aren’t likely to compete on the world stage. They can train just as meaningfully and as determinedly and I believe it’s that sense of accomplishment that’s kept the long format alive in this country.

Q: As a previous winner of the Waredaca Classic Three-Day, what can you tell us about the experience? How does it compare to your other eventing experiences?

A: I’ve given my talented but fragile-minded young horse quite a bit of time at each level before moving up and a few years ago I thought doing the Waredaca Classic Three-Day would be a good end-of-season test for him. He’s always been very spooky jumping, especially cross-country, and I wanted to test whether doing the road and tracks and steeplechase would settle him enough that he would leave the start box more confidently on cross-country. I felt a Training Three-Day would be just physically demanding enough, as he’d done two Preliminary events earlier in the season. Well….I’ve had enough experience doing long formats (I was lucky enough to ride at such events as Radnor, Chesterland, Bromont, Morven Park, Ledyard and even christening the new courses at The Virginia Horse Center) to know that spending about 45 minutes warming up for cross-country trotting around and then REALLY galloping on steeplechase usually produces a horse that bursts out of the box on cross-country and is in front of my leg! Not so with this horse, at Waredaca I had to ride pretty hard the first part and my notion that he’d attack the course after the first three phases didn’t really pan out. I had to kick! But that’s not the norm, nearly everyone who’s done long format will tell you their horses are ready to GO, no warm-up jumps needed for those ninja warriors!

Carol and Main Attration AKA Matthew on their way to winning the 2015 Training Three-Day.

I have to say that everything I did at Waredaca felt true to the heart of the long format. Again, having experience from “the old days” helped my cause, but it was clear everyone competing there were absolutely serious about every aspect of the competition. I’d forgotten how exhausting and how rewarding the Three-Days were and I was really proud that my youngster held it together for the win. I probably put more effort into that ride than some of my upper-level horses and I was really glad I took advantage of the opportunity to compete there. The fact that it was an educational competition was also a great help, I was clearing some cobwebs of my own!

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About Carol Kozlowski

"I’ve been an active competitor for over 30 years, graduate “A” Pony Clubber and competed through CCI3*. I’m a veteran of numerous “long-format” events, coaching the Area II Young Riders to Gold medals in the long-format the final year it was run as such in 2003. Most recently won Waredaca Training Three-Day in 2015. I’m based out of my farm “Mothersfield” in Avon, NY, where I still teach and train and try to find time to compete when I’m not wearing my President of USEA hat!"

Jun 23, 2021

Inside the Show Office: Commonwealth Dressage & Combined Training Association

“Schooling shows are about learning, not about being intimidated,” says Miranda Kettlewell, VP of Dressage for Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association (CDCTA).

For horses and riders, schooling shows are a great way to practice without the added stress and expense of a recognized or sanctioned competition. Venues and clubs can offer schooling shows as a way to open the door to their communities, increase their revenue or membership, and partner with local businesses.

Jun 22, 2021 Eventing News

US Equestrian Announces Horse Substitution for U.S. Eventing Olympic Team

US Equestrian has announced a horse substitution for the U.S. Eventing Olympic Team ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Luke Syndicate's Luke 140, the selected mount for Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.), will be replaced by Martin’s first direct reserve, Tsetserleg, a 14-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner, Thomas Turner, and Tommie Turner. Luke 140 sustained a minor injury during his training preparation and has been withdrawn from consideration for the team but is expected to make a full recovery.

Jun 22, 2021 Education

Jumping Phase Warm-Ups with Jennie Brannigan

If we go along with the edict that preparation is everything, then getting the warm-up right for each phase at a competition is crucial and should be treated as though it is as important as what happens inside the arena or on the course. CCI5* rider Jennie Brannigan gives us her top tips for a good warm-up for the jumping phases.

Jun 21, 2021 Competitions

The Event at Rebecca Farm Returns for Spectators

World-class equestrian competition is back with full spectator attendance and opportunities for giving back

After a one-year hiatus for spectators due to Covid-19, The Event at Rebecca Farm will be running at full strength for competitors and spectators, July 21-25. The Event draws more than 600 riders and 8,000 spectators each year to the picturesque Flathead Valley in northwest Montana.

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