Nov 12, 2019

Tincher and Feaga Find Success at the Waredaca Hylofit USEA Classic Series Three-Day

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
Emily Tincher and Bluegrass Baron. GRC Photo.

Waredaca first began offering a Classic Series Three-Day competition in 2004 and is one of the longest running Classic Series Three-Day Events on the calendar. The Hylofit USEA Classic Series Three-Day allows horses and riders to experience the thrill of roads and tracks, steeplechase, and cross-country like the endurance days of old. This year Waredaca hosted Training and Novice Three-Day divisions and Emily Tincher and Christina Feaga emerged as the winners.

Emily Tincher and her own Bluegrass Baron (Indygo Shiner x Riverianna River), a 7-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, sat in fourth place after dressage on a score of 35.1, incurred no penalties during the endurance phase and pulled a single rail in show jumping, but still took home the win in the Training Three-Day.

Tincher started out riding in 4-H, doing dressage in addition to some western riding. When she went to college at the University of Kentucky she got involved with the Intercollegiate Dressage Team, placing third nationally. Through the team, she met a bunch of eventers, and went to volunteer at local events, including the Kentucky Three-Day Event. “By my second year I was working two jobs to take lessons and lease a sweet mare who had gone Training, fully bitten by the eventing craze,” she said. “My first horse trials was the Virginia Intercollegiate Team Challenge 10 years ago.”

Tincher took a break from riding while in veterinary school and planned on buying a horse after graduation. “My husband (and groom), Kyle, suggested I horse hunt a year early when he moved for his job,” she said. “Blue was a 3-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred (OTTB) by Indygo Shiner, a stallion I worked with a bit when in the vet department at the farm Blue was foaled at, Hill ’N Dale. A sturdily built gelding with a sweet personality and good brain, it felt like a sign that we had both been at this farm at the same time.”

Blue took to eventing like a fish to water, moving up to Training level last year with several competitive finishes. “Until the last year I never had goals to move higher than Training,” Tincher said. “As an adult amateur still working two jobs, the time requirement and jump height seemed intimidating. With the partnership we’ve built and guidance from our trainer, Jocelyn Gentry, we’ve been able to set and accomplish the exciting goals of a Training Three-Day and moving up to Preliminary. Blue is my horse of a lifetime, OTTBs can do anything!”

“Talk to other riders who have completed one,” Tincher advised. “After listening to a USEA podcast from a previous T3D amateur winner, I almost gave up on this dream listening to her schedule, which would have been unachievable for me. I credit fellow veterinarian and T3D rider Dr. Scott Owens for encouraging me at the beginning of the season and would never have figured out the conditioning without the great resources on the USEA, Waredaca, and USEF websites.”

“To me, [the Classic Series Three-Days] preserve a different side of our sport and test a partnership at a level of competition that’s more accessible than FEI for an amateur with a busy professional life,” Tincher observed. “As our partnership has grown, I knew we would both have the time of our lives on steeplechase. After competing in six recognized events this season, it felt like the perfect event to build to at the end.”

“I loved the educational side of the week,” she continued. “Learning from our vet, ground jury, dressage judges, show jumping course designer, and our clinician, Olympian Eric Smiley, set this event apart. The culmination of that was a moment in warm-up Sunday morning when Eric checked in and realizing my coach wasn’t at the show (we often go to shows without her), he set jumps for me and gave me some tips before going in the ring. From a seasoned Olympian to the community of athletes and volunteers, the passion for our sport was energizing moving forward and made the whole week special. It’s also pretty hard to beat leading a victory lap!”

Christine Feaga and In the Mick of Time. Tara Zabroske Photo.

In the Novice Three-Day, Christina Feaga and In the Mick of Time, her 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, scored a 33.8 to lead the division after the dressage phase and never let go of the lead, carrying their dressage score all the way through to a first-place finish.

Feaga started out riding in the hunter world in middle and high school, not encountering the eventing world until a friend introduced her to it after college. “[My friend, Alli Smith, and I] went to my first horse trials together and I have been hooked ever since,” she said.

Feaga has had her partner, In the Mick of Time aka “Mick,” since he was a 5-year-old. “We have really become a team over that time,” Feaga said. “We have a mutual respect that I believe has improved our riding. He is a character but that makes him even more lovable.”

Feaga has done the Novice Three-Day at Waredaca once before, competing there with Mick three years ago. “We had a great time but had a run out at one of the cross-country jumps,” she recalled. “It was such a fun experience I wanted to do it again and see if I could improve on my score from the first time. I believe doing the Three-Day makes you a better rider and your horse stronger.”

“I think it is very important to have good instructors helping you and your horse as well as making sure you and your horse are fit to do the extra riding on cross-country day,” Feaga continued. “It is such a great experience, but it is also a lot of work. Completing a long format event is worth all the extra work you must do to get ready for it!”

“My favorite part of the competition was cross-country day as well as meeting new people in the eventing world,” Feaga concluded. “I would like to thank Waredaca and everyone involved in making the Three-Day Event possible. They create the event to be a learning experience that makes you a better horseperson.”

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, FITS, 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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