Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Waredaca Classic 3DE

Maryland had a bit of a Nor'easter come through last weekend, and it wreaked a bit of havoc on the scheduled classic 3DE at the beautiful Waredaca Farms.

steeeeeeeeeeple chase!!!! the horses all looked so so so so so freakin happy during this phase haha
Luckily everyone proved to be exceptionally resourceful and the organizers were able to juggle the schedule well enough to make everything work.

only 3 prelim riders and i believe all had clear jumping xc!
Riders arrived on site on Wednesday night, did their jog ups Thursday morning, then immediately on to dressage (which had originally been scheduled for Friday). It meant that the course walks and steeplechase lessons happened on the same day as dressage, but it seemed to work out well enough anyway.

tell me this is not the most picturesque scene tho!
For those unfamiliar with the classic long format events, they're typically run almost a bit like an extended clinic or eventing camp. Riders have to qualify to ride in the event, but once you're there they basically want to see everyone complete.

giant brush fence jumped quite well for the training division
Professionals are on hand to walk all the riders through each phase, including the roads and tracks and steeplechase courses. This includes a specific steeplechase lesson, considering most competitions don't include this any more so many riders never have the opportunity to practice.

there were some hairier moments through this bending 4 stride line of corner to corner, but for the most part everyone handled it well!
It makes for a really cool atmosphere and experience for the riders, and I was super happy for my friend who busted her butt the whole season to qualify. And I knew I wanted to be part of the experience somehow or another.

So I signed up to volunteer for the Friday dressage warm up, with the idea that I'd be on hand Saturday morning for my friend's jumping and endurance phases.

i had a great view of lots of the course from my assigned jumps!
With the schedule change, my volunteer role ended up shifting to jump judging cross country on Friday instead. Which worked out well enough for my purposes anyway. I was lucky to get a great assignment on course with views all across the course.

novice corner jumped pretty much perfectly for everyone!
As a relatively newer eventer, I've spent tons and tons of time going to all the "big" events we have locally. Watching all the professional riders cruise around those massive upper level courses. It's intense and incredible and majorly inspiring.

But it's also.... how to say, almost a completely different world from my own experience as an eventer lol.

woooooo Maryland!!!!
The likelihood that I'll ever ride around an advanced course is... slim. For many reasons but primarily bc I don't personally have a burning desire to get there haha. I love to watch it, but it isn't really *my* reality, if that makes sense.

fun video compilation here!!

On the other hand, tho, there's something so much more relatable and exciting in watching a whole bunch of amateurs at the lower levels cruising around, having the time of their lives. Especially at an event like this, where each and every rider has had to spend months planning, qualifying, conditioning.

So much collective effort goes into competing at an event like this. I imagine for many of the riders, it must have felt a little bit like their own personal Kentucky haha.

Which, for me? That is in some ways so much more inspiring and meaningful to watch than the upper levels. It has all the same adrenaline and thrill of the upper levels, but in a way that is maybe more personal bc it seems more accessible for a mere mortal like myself haha.

also. we may or may not have done some shopping, finding these free jump stirrups out in a big tub, looking sad and forlorn. conveniently in my friend's colors... the packaging looks like it's been sitting for a while, so boom, perfect recipe for some haggling haha. and my friend walked away with some seriously nice stirrups at a seriously discounted price :D
I've written before about not personally being very motivated to do recognized events. In our area, the unrecognized events are just as big, with just as much atmosphere, and are often over almost the same courses (and definitely the same jumps).

From my perspective, the only superficial difference between recognized and unrecognized events is the price tag. Some folks argue there's also a difference in the quality of the competition too but I'm not personally convinced that's the case. So like, unless I'm trying to develop a record for my horse or myself, or qualify for something, I personally don't see much ROI for the price difference.

Tho it turns out there *is* something I want to qualify for eventually. It's not a year over year thing and is rather based on lifetime record. And it's more a part of my 5-10 year plan than anything immediate. But my friend had so much fun at this 3DE this year that she's already planning for next year. So who knows, maybe I'll toy with the idea too ;)


23 comments:

  1. People are always talking about the barn they would have if they had the money, but if I had money, I'd be building a steeplechase course with amazing footing. I LOVE steeplechase!!!! It's funny you posted this today as my Galway Down T3D photos came up in my FB memories today. Man doing a 3Day is fun! I think you and Charlie should try and qualify towards a Novice 3Day. It's a goal I have for June (in a couple years at least) and I think Charlie would LOVE the steeplechase too! It means recognized events, but in this case, I think it's worth it!

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    1. charlie had SO MUCH FUN at the pace clinic we did this summer where we worked over steeplechase style fences and speeds. it was awesome - would totally do that again! it was also instrumental for helping us get our mojo back after the stickiness of plantation haha. so i'm totally with ya on being a major steeplechase fan ;)

      personally i don't see a future in which i work toward an N3D. the cost of the events is so so so much higher for recognized vs unrecognized, and then the event itself basically costs the same as almost an entire season doing just starters. that's.... not enticing to me. at all. haha. there is something down the line in my 5-10yr plan that could involve needing qualifications through recognized competitions, but the minimum qualifying level is T so..... yea.

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    2. Totally agree with Nadia, the classic 3D was absolutely life-changing for me and Henry both.

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    3. That’s awesome! Everyone definitely seemed to have a blast

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  2. Honestly, the biggest difference between the recognized and unrecognized events here is that ALL the recognized events are run over 2+ days. >.< It ends up just feeling like a money grab to do Starter on Sat and Sunday.

    I would LOVE to qualify for a T3DE at BN with May. If the eventing clydesdale can do it, so can May!

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    1. Yes haha you totally should ! One of my favorite venues here just started offering a BN 3 day and it was SUPER popular. We are lucky here to have tons of one day recognized events too, but they’re still about double the cost of an unrecognized.

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  3. I'm with you on the reasoning to not go recognized. I just wanna go out and do the thing, enjoy the thing, improve at the thing. I don't need all that recognition at a higher level of any kind & my wallet deeeefffffinitely doesn't need it lol

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    1. Ha seriously. Like it’s all so personal right? I don’t think there are wrong reasons to show recognized. Obvi horses are a money losing proposition almost no matter what. For me tho if I can get my kicks for cheaper, all the better!

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  4. I didn't even realize the events you've done were not recognized, they seem very well run, suitably challenging, and good experiences.
    I'm curious what your 5-10 year plan thing is!!

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    1. ha yea, we are super spoiled in this area. i exclusively compete in unrecognized events, but almost every single venue i go to also hosts recognized too. so we jump the same jumps, and often the same courses. our unrecognized events are often just as big - if not sometimes a little bigger too. it's nice to have the option!

      and re: the plan, right now i'm pretttttttty far away from any of the prerequisites and minimum requirements, so i'm reluctant to share too much until / unless it becomes a little more realistic haha

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  5. The long format is inspiring to me to see the culmination of all that planning, prep work and conditioning. It is closer to any reality I might live than the upper levels.

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    1. agreed 1000% -- definitely way more accessible!!

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  6. My husband loved doing his long format and Eugene loved it too. I really enjoyed learning about the format and helping out as well. I'd love to do one myself someday, though Levi can't do the endurance so it'll have to be with another horse.

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    1. i really enjoyed learning about the format too!! it's kinda crazy bc you read about it on paper or whatever and it's like, wow that's a lot. but then you see it in action and it seems a lot more reasonable and to make a lot more sense. all the horses i saw looked so freakin happy too - and across the whole day i maybe saw 2 (if that) tired horses by the time they got to my jumps at the end of the day. there's definitely something to be said for that kind of conditioning program!

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  7. I actually competed at the Waredaca N3D this weekend and can't say enough good things about the event. The organizers were beyond amazing in changing the schedule at the last minute in order to not only run the endurance day dry, but run it at all. Given the Fri/Sat rain, they said they most likely would have had to cancel endurance if the schedule was left as is. I also noticed way more camaraderie at this type of event as most people left their trainers at home and instead utilized the provided clinician. Everyone was so willing to help each other out and rooted for clear rides in each phase. I recommend adding a few recognized events to anyone's schedule just to get the qualifications needed to make this a possibility :) I have a draft X, so I took the conditioning very seriously, which made every "Accepted" and approval from the vets to proceed that much more rewarding. 10/10 recommend.

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    1. wooooo congratulations!!! i was also SUPER impressed with how well the organizers handled the last minute scheduling changes - it really didn't seem to impact the event at all. and agreed that everyone was super friendly, i enjoyed hanging out in the stabling (and the brewery lol) too, getting to chat with everyone.

      glad you had such a good time! i took videos of quite a few riders - actually had more footage than i could include in the video above. if you're interested you can email your number to fraidycat.eventing at gmail and i can check to see if i have any footage of you, would be happy to send it your way if i do ;)

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    2. I was actually the horse/rider right after the Maryland pair, but I'll email you separately with my number. Thank you for your help volunteering!

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  8. It's the same in San Diego but for H/J the schooling shows have the same quality as the rated shows, great prizes, same venues and fences - less fill yeah but great year end awards. If I was doing the horse thing just for me (instead of mostly for me and to sell my horse eventually) I'd probably kick around at the local level!

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    1. yup we definitely have our own driving forces compelling us to this crazy sport, and luckily it doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all!

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  9. Oh, that sounds so cool! I wish we had those opportunities here!

    All our eventing events are official, but either through pony club or Equestrian Australia. It would be cool to have one of them run a proper 3 day!

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  10. There is a long format 3DE not too far from me but I have never been in the right place to go! I always wanted to. Jealous of the orange stirrups, one of my new XC colours!

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  11. Hey guys

    For the show jumpers out there, here are some great tips and exercises to help you get really good at riding a related distance. I use them on all the people I coach, and get excellent results.

    http://clear-round.com/index.php/2018/10/28/showjumping-training-related-distance/

    They’re yours to use, and I hope they help you jump more clear rounds

    Regards
    Dave Miller

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    1. I have to admit Dave that I struggle to understand the comments you leave here...

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