Jun 24, 2024

The Organizers of the USEA Classic Series: Sarah Broussard Champions Fun at The Event at Rebecca Farm

By Kaleigh Collett - USEA Staff
Sarah Broussard (far right) poses for photos at the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds at Rebecca Farm. USEA/Meagan DeLisle photo

Anyone who has had the pleasure of competing at The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana, will likely tell you that it is one of the most picturesque and inviting eventing venues in the country. The Broussard family, owners and operators of Rebecca Farm, have tirelessly supported the sport of eventing for decades, and that support has extended to the USEA Classic Series since its inception.

Sarah Broussard, the organizer of The Event at Rebecca Farm, grew up competing in the traditional long format of eventing, eventually making her way up through the Intermediate level. When the transition to short-format competition ensued in the early 2000’s, Broussard decided to concentrate her focus and that of her event’s on preserving the legacy of long-format eventing by hosting a Training Three-Day, and eventually, a Novice Three-Day as well.

“We actually got our start running the FEI long-formats before they stopped offering them,” explained Broussard about The Event at Rebecca Farm’s progression into the Classic Series. “I am old school, and I’m all about the three-day. What’s funny is when I was competing back in the day, I mentioned to someone that we should have a Training Three-Day and they thought I was ridiculous [at the time]!”

While Broussard’s innovative ideas didn’t take shape immediately, she was thrilled when the Classic Series opened the door to long-format experience for competitors at the lower levels. Not only does it promote an improved connection between more horse and rider pairs, but it also broadens the educational opportunities available to competitors that are still getting their start in the sport.

“The educational side of the Classic isn’t something that was available when I did it," Broussard explained, “but having people talk about roads and tracks and your pace and kilometer markers is so valuable.” The team at Rebecca Farm leans heavily into the educational components of their Classic Three-Day Event, offering several opportunities for learning throughout the week taught by a star-studded list of eventing professionals.

Perhaps the most popular activity is the steeplechase practice, which has Classic Series competitors get out on the track and get up to speed with the help of clinicians before the competition begins to better prepare them for the pace required at their level. In addition, there are several presentations that will take place before the competition kicks off the set the tone for the week. Rebecca Brown, ECP Level IV certified coach and USEA EA21 Coach, will give a beginner's guide to presenting your horse for an inspection. Former USEA President and 'r' eventing judge Carol Kozlowski will lead “The View from C” talk that gives competitors insight into a judge’s thoughts as they are viewing a test.

Marc Grandia and Kaylawna Smith-Cook, both experienced competitors at the CCI4*/Advanced level and well-respected eventing coaches on the West Coast, will teach the competitors about the roads and tracks phase of endurance day. Finally, course walks will be available for each three-day division. Tamie Smith, winner of the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and accomplished five-star competitor, will lead the Training Three-Day course walk, while Sharon White, 2023 Pan American Games (Santiago, Chile) team silver medalist and seasoned five-star rider, will walk with the Novice Three-Day riders.

When asked what sets the Classic Series apart from any other eventing competition, Broussard highlighted the dedication and perseverance needed to succeed. “I just think it teaches so much horsemanship; the ability to take care of your animals better, a fitness schedule, and all that you need to learn to run a three-day that you don’t necessarily have to do to run a horse trial.” Broussard continued by noting that horse and rider pairs that complete a Classic Series event typically leave better off in terms of their relationship and bond.

When it comes to preparing for your first Classic Series event, Broussard cautioned not to underestimate the power of walking. “Something a lot of people forget about is walking,” Broussard said. “You can get a horse quite fit with hour or two walks. There was one year where it was really muddy, and I couldn’t do gallop sets, but I could ride on the road. So everyday I walked between one and six miles, and it made a huge difference!”

Broussard’s parting words for any eager Classic competitor was this: “Don’t get lost on roads and tracks! I’ve known several people who have done this. Our team works really hard to set everyone up for success, but alongside that we want you to have a hell of a lot of fun!”

To learn more about Rebecca Farm and their Classic Three-Day Event, visit rebeccafarm.org. Entries for The Event at Rebecca Farm are open through July 2, and the omnibus listing for the event can be viewed here. The USEA wishes all the competitors at The Event at Rebecca Farm’s Training and Novice Three-Day on July 17-21 the best of luck!

If you are interested in competing in a Classic Series event in 2024, visit useventing.com/events-competitions/competitions/usea-classic-series to view the full calendar of events this year.

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 from USEA sponsors. Click here to learn more about the USEA Classic Series.

The USEA would like to thank bronze sponsors D.G. Stackhouse & Ellis Saddles, PulseVet, and SmartPak Equine as well as contributing sponsors Bates Saddles and Parker Equine Insurance for supporting the USEA Classic Series.

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Weekend Quick Links: July 13-14

Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered!

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA

Official Horse Boot of the USEA

Official Shockwave of the USEA

Official Horse Wear of the USEA