Apr 18, 2019

The Dos and Don’ts of a Classic Three-Day

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

By having phases A-D on endurance day, the United States is the only country to still offer steeplechase and roads & tracks through the Hylofit USEA Classic Series. With more phases, different timing, a vet box, and a horse inspection, Classic Series Three-Day Events are quite different than regular horse trials. Maggie Deatrick, an Advanced level eventer, has competed in several long format events including the Training Three-Day at the 2018 Midsouth Three-Day Event.

Based on her experience at Midsouth (click here for her story) Deatrick gained invaluable information and has the 'dos and don’ts’ for Classic Series competitors to compete safely, smoothly, and successfully.

USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

The Dos

    • Do hack around the roads and tracks if possible, and if then bike or walk it on foot. It's easy to miss a gate in the moment.
    • If this is your first time (or first in a long time) long format, do pick an event that has a reputation for providing a solid education schedule published well in advance of the event. Arrange your schedule so that you can, at minimum, attend the session on how to calculate your watch and set your times.
    • Once or twice prior to the event, do practice jumping something out of a gallop immediately after warming up. It can be a little daunting to aim right at a brush fence at a full gallop as your first fence of the day, but that's what happens on endurance day.
    • Do look at your shoeing schedule and have your farrier reset your horse with new shoes about a week and a half to two weeks prior to endurance day. Ask for the old set of shoes and bring them with you to the vet box prior to phase D. You probably won't need them, but if you do lose a shoe in phases A, B, or C, it'll be gutting to have to withdraw from phase D just for want of a shoe.
    • Do make sure to have one extra of every piece of tack in the vet box, if only for your peace of mind. Like the shoes, you most likely won't need it, but if you do you have it.
    • Do add a water bottle for yourself to your vet box supplies.
    • Do take advantage of steeplechase practice if offered at the event if you're at all nervous about phase B.
    • Do use an extra armband sleeve to cover your calculated times on your forearm to protect it from sweat or rain.
    • Do read the rules of the Classic Series Guidelines several times, particularly for the endurance day. Make sure you understand the independence of timing in the first three phases.

The Don’ts

    • Don't over-complicate things. People sometimes use two watches, but I personally think that makes for too many moving parts.
    • Don't forget to allow for time to go out to the vet box prior to your ride and leave your things. If you have a helper, they can do that but you'll need to get your things to the box before your ride.
USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

About the Hylofit USEA Classic Series

The Hylofit 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 Hylofit USEA Classic Series event during the year will have the chance to win a variety of prizes at the events from USEA sponsors. Click here to learn more about the Hylofit USEA Classic Series.

The USEA would like to thank Hylofit, FLAIR, SmartPak Equine, Stackhouse & Ellis Saddles, and Parker Equine Insurance for sponsoring the Hylofit USEA Classic Series.

About Hylofit

Now available to purchase, the Hylofit system hit the marketplace in 2018. The Hylofit system is the only equine wearable to offer in-ride feedback for horse and rider. Hylofit’s state-of-the-art product is designed to maximize communication between horse and rider, improve training results, and promote the overall health and well-being of the horse. Hylofit unique features include real-time feedback, post-ride insights, rider insights, overall well-being of the horse and rider, zone training, sharing features, video features, weather impact features, and more. The Hylofit system that tracks both horse and rider’s heart rate is comprised of four hardware components, an app for iOS or Android, and an optional app for the iWatch.

Hylofit is generously providing a 10 percent discount for Hylofit products to all USEA Classic Series competitors! Hylofit will also provide 11 Hylofit systems to the high scorers of each USEA Classic Series event at the 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.

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