Jul 22, 2018

The USEA Classic Series Lives on at Rebecca Farm

By Kate Lokey - USEA Staff
Jeanne Carley and Shannondale Fionn. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo

The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Mont. is host to many USEA programs, including the Classic Series, Charles Owen Technical Merit Award (COTM), Young Riders (NAYC), and more. The USEA Classic Series offers competitors the opportunity to compete in the traditional long format of three-day eventing at the Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels, and provides an educational opportunity for both horse and rider. From professionals to amateurs, the Classic Series offers something for everyone.

The Event at Rebecca Farm hosts Novice and Training Three-Day divisions, allowing competitors to experience the thrill of the ‘chase. The Classic Series divisions are so popular at Rebeccca Farm, that they have to split Novice and Training into an A and B division. The Classic Series events offer the full, long format of eventing, including the additional horse inspections and endurance day, where competitors have to complete four phases: A (roads and tracks), B (steeplechase), C (roads and tracks), and D (cross-country).

In the Novice Three-Day A division, it was Jeanne Carley who led from start to finish, aboard her own Shannondale Fionn (Shannondale Sarco x Shannondale Sasha). The pair scored an impressive 28.3 in dressage, and jumped double clear on endurance day to head into the final day with a decent lead. Shannondale Fionn took down one rail in today’s show jumping round, but the pair had enough room for that error, so they still came out as champions on a 32.3.

“I wanted to finish on my dressage score, but he spooked at the fox print on the show jump, and then we weren’t squared up and took that rail down. I did the Novice Three-Day with my first event horse back in 2013 and it was so fun to come back and do this again,” explained Carley. “I picked up the sport [of eventing] in my 50s and now I’m in my 60s and I know I know I’ll never do an FEI event, so this Classic Series program offers a great opportunity to see what the long format is like. I had a horse when I was a kid, and took a 30-year gap, and in my late 40s I was given an Arabian horse. I went to watch The Event at Woodside in California, and I thought, ‘this looks like a lot of fun,’ and after that I searched for a horse that could do it, had my Irish Sport Horse in 2013, and now I’m here with Shannondale Fionn!”

Samantha Hollow-Bist and Scout. USEA/Kate Lokey Photo.

In the Novice Three-Day B division, Samantha Hollow-Bist came out as champion aboard her own 11-year-old paint gelding, Scout. The pair finished endurance day on their dressage score of 26.2 and while they had one rail down in show jumping, they still finished on top. “I’ve had him for a little over a year, and he actually just started jumping a year ago,” explained Hollow-Bist. “He’s a total business man though. He’s always just like, ‘okay, whatever you say’ and he does it – it’s great.”

Hollow-Bist explained that she’s never done a USEA Classic Series event before, but that she has learned a lot through the process. “This is my first long-format event, and it’s definitely been an educational experience. I’ve never done jogs or anything like that, and there’s a lot of conditioning and training that has gone into it to get here. This has been a big learning experience. [Scout] is not a fan of conditioning work and he hates hills, but the more fit I can get him, the better he his, and the more he enjoys his job. We had a lot of fun this week.”

Cecily Bonadio and Just Off Broadway. USEA/Kate Lokey Photo.

Cecily Bonadio and her own 6-year-old Oldenburg mare, Just Off Broadway came out as champions in the Training Three-Day A Division on a 35.4. The chestnut mare was bred by Graceland Equestrian, and is by Libero Star and out of Gigi. The pair finished the endurance phases on their dressage score, and took down just one rail in show jumping today to remain victorious.

Heather Morris and Von Zipper. USEA/Kate Lokey Photo.

In the Training Three-Day B division, Heather Morris brought an up and coming 7-year-old called Von Zipper, an Oldenburg gelding by Contendros. “DJ is a good boy,” said Morris. “I sourced him through Justine Dutton who just got him in from England, and he had done some BE100s over in Europe and I think he’s about ready to move up to Preliminary now.”

Morris explained that she used the Classic Series division as an educational test for DJ to see if he was ready for more, and the long format would help her answer that question. “I love the Classic Series, and I thought it would be so good for him to do. This is our third show together, and I didn’t want to move him up to Preliminary here since the courses are a bit big, but the Classic Series helps them grow up. It’s good on their endurance, the courses are more challenging, and the show jumping is bigger. It really helps show if they’re ready to move up or not, and I think this was great for him.”

Morris also brought several students to The Event at Rebecca Farm, and had four of them competing in the Novice Three-Day divisions. “I also encouraged my students to compete in the Classic Series because it’s so educational. Next Level Eventing is here in full force, and we are even winning all the FEI divisions (except NAYC), from the one-star, up through the three-star. It’s a really special event here at Rebecca Farm, and we’re so proud to have our team doing so well.”

For all live scores at The Event at Rebecca Farm, go here.

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 have the opportunity to 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 into 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.

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

2018 USEA Classic Series Schedule:

Preliminary Three-Day Events

Heart of the Carolinas | May 3-6, 2018 | Chesterfield, SC (Area III)

Hagyard Midsouth | October 17-21, 2018 | Lexington, KY (Area VIII)

Waredaca Classic Event and H.T. | October 25-28, 2018 | Laytonsville, MD (Area II)

Training Three-Day Events

Fresno County H.T. | April 27-29, 2018 | Fresno, CA (Area VI)

Heart of the Carolinas | May 3-6, 2018 | Chesterfield, SC (Area III)

Indiana Eventing Association (IEA) | May 31 - June 3, 2018 | Edinburgh, IN (Area VIII)

Coconino | July 11-15, 2018 | Flagstaff, AZ (Area X)

Event at Rebecca Farm | July 18-22, 2018 | Kalispell, MT (Area VII)

Spokane Sport Horse Farm H.T. | October 5-7, 2018 | Spokane, WA (Area VII)

Hagyard Midsouth | October 17-21, 2018 | Lexington, KY (Area VIII)

Waredaca | October 25-28, 2018 | Laytonsville, MD (Area II)

Galway Downs | November 1-4, 2018 | Temecula, CA (Area VI)

Novice Three-Day Events

Fresno County H.T. | April 27-29, 2018 | Fresno, CA (Area VI)

Heart of the Carolinas | May 3-6, 2018 | Chesterfield, SC (Area III)

Indiana Eventing Association (IEA) | May 31-June 3, 2018 | Edinburgh, IN (Area VIII)

Coconino | July 11-15, 2018 | Flagstaff, AZ (Area X)

Event at Rebecca Farm | July 18-22, 2018 | Kalispell, MT (Area VII)

Park Equine KY Classique | August 31-September 2, 2018 | Lexington, KY (Area VIII)

Spokane Sport Horse Farm | October 4-7, 2018 | Spokane, WA (Area VII)

Waredaca | October 25-28, 2018 | Laytonsville, MD (Area II)

Beginner Novice Three-Day Events

Heart of the Carolinas | May 3-6, 2018 | Chesterfield, SC (Area III)

Western Underground, Inc Coconino Summer | July 11-15, 2018 | Flagstaff, AZ (Area X)

Park Equine KY Classique | August 31-September 2, 2018 | Lexington, KY (Area VIII)

Spokane Sport Horse Farm | October 4-7, 2018 | Spokane, WA (Area VI)

The Maryland H.T. at Loch Moy | October 11-14, 2018 | Adamstown, MD (Area II)

For more information about the USEA Classic Series, please contact Kate Lokey, (703) 779-9897.

For questions about qualifications, please contact Sharon Gallagher, (703) 669-9995.

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