Jul 06, 2022

USEA Members Share Their Favorite Memories from Steeplechase

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
MGO photo

There are so many things to love about the USEA Classic Series: the way the conditioning and preparation strengthens your bond with your horse, the educational opportunities to enhance your skills as a rider, and, of course, your chance to experience the rush of the classic long format three-day event. There are eight Classic Series events taking place across the U.S. in the 2022 season and they are a great goal for many horse and rider pairs to work towards. Featuring the traditional long-format phases of roads and tracks and steeplechase in addition to the three regular phases of a horse trial, a USEA Classic Series event puts partnerships to the ultimate test. For riders who have already ticked off completing a long-format event from their bucket list, looking back on the thrill of steeplechase before heading out on cross-country often comes with fond memories. Check out what these USEA riders had to say about their favorite steeplechase moments!

Photo courtesy of Bonnie Kibbie

Bonnie Kibbie: "The most fun I've ever had at an event! Waredaca Classic Training Three-Day in 2015 (T3D). I've never felt more braze, or had more fun, on a cross country course."

Photo courtesy of Ashley Elizabeth.

Ashley Elizabeth: "Global Jedi and I completed the Novice Classic Series Event at IEA Horse Trials at the beginning of June. We had a blast on steeplechase! I joke that his Irish breeding finally got to shine as he galloped around and took every jump perfectly out of stride. Must have reminded him of hunting in Ireland!"

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Callahan.

Elizabeth Callahan: "Waredaca T3D- loved the confidence it gave my horse and how he jumped better each fence!"

MGO photo.

Heather Kozy: "Steeplechase [at the Fresno County Horse Park Training Three-Day in 2019] was such a blast, allowing Dream to open up and soar over those fences was so much more fun than I could have ever guessed. I am hoping to get to do this again with my new guy."

Photo courtesy of Briella Gates

Briella Gates: "I have done one Beginner Novice and one Novice [long-format] with Thundering Thunderbolt at Spokane Sport Horse Farm. Thunderbolt is only 14.2hh. His breed is 3/4 Morgan 1/4 Fjord. The best part of the classic series is the steeplechase. When we did the Novice steeplechase we went over the mpm of 450 and had 30sec to spare. Also at the start of roads and tracks he thought it was a race so galloped the first 200ft."

Photo courtesy of Eliza Herman.

Eliza Herman: "I did the Waredaca T3D all the way back in 2013 and the steeplechase is still one of my favorite memories! Freeman was an unraced TB but he definitely discovered his inner hurdle horse and by the last lap around was standing off the fences and jumping from what felt like miles away!"

Photo courtesy of Chris Cole.

Chris Cole: "In 2018 I fulfilled a promise I made to myself when years earlier I watched the horse trailer with my barnmates headed to Rebecca Farms, one riding in the first Novice Classic. [I promised myself] I would start jumping again (I hadn't in years), get my plucky 14.3 Haflinger fit, trained, and qualified to run in the Classic myself. It took me 4 years of traveling all over Washington, to Oregon, and California to get the miles and scores I needed to be able to compete. We worked so hard for those three days ...and hard work paid off. We got second place in a large class. The best part, the most rewarding, was in the ten minute box the vet who was checking my horse's pulse and respiration after the last roads and track looked at me and smiled while congratulating me on getting my Haflinger so fit and wished me luck. Fast and clean we went. This picture is after the last fence - the best feeling of accomplishment."

Photo courtesy of Carrie Dimon

Carrie Dimon: "My 18-year-old at the Hagyard Preliminary Three Day in 2017. I bought him when the classic format was the long format. My best [steeplechase] memory was in the pouring rain on cross-country at a T3D at Waredaca in 2007. Excited to return again this fall for the Novice Three-Day with my new horse."

Photo courtesy of Camille Forstadt

Camille Forstadt: "My gelding Quinn and I on our way to win the Classic T3D at Inavale Farms in 2010. At that time it was my first time ever going steeplechase and I remember how fun it was to just let him go and jump the fences at speed."

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, now including the Modified level too. 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 Bates Saddles, FITS, SmartPak Equine, Parker Equine Insurance, and Stackhouse & Ellis Saddles for sponsoring the USEA Classic Series.

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