HAVE SOME QUESTIONS? START HERE FOR ANSWERS....
Q: What about qualifications.... and if I do not have all of my qualifications completed by the Opening Date?
A: Enter the event and secure a spot. That tells us you are really serious about participating! Send a COMPLETE entry, paperwork and fees PLUS a letter concerning your qualifications. IF you are not successful getting qualified, your entry and stabling fees will be fully refunded minus $25 office fee BUT it is your responsibility to withdraw before the Closing Date. Entries incomplete after the Closing Date will be considered 'LATE' and charged the late fee of $50 for the entry to be accepted. But hopefully you WILL be qualfiied to participate with a completed entry in before the CD!!
View Qualificiation Details
Q: In reading the schedule, I am trying to decide whether to arrive Tuesday or Wednesday?
A: Things actively start with the briefing on Wednesday Morning…then are fairly constant from that point! If you are close enough to arrive Wednesday morning (better after 6:30 as it is still dark any earlier) and can get unpacked and settled by 9:00 (briefing at 9:15) then certainly plan on that. It will probably take an hour by the time you arrive to off load, do a basic set up of your area and repack your rig. Otherwise, and if you want a more leisurely pace, plan to arrive Tuesday between 1 and 7. If anyone needs a different time, this MUST be arranged with Cindy Wood (410 726 8926) our stable manager.
Q: It says that the horse inspection demo is from 10-11:30 on Wednesday. But does that timeframe also include the actual inspection?
A: The discussion, demo and practice session for the horse inspection is Wednesday morning. The formal Horse Inspection is Wednesday afternoon between 3:30 and 4:30.
Q: So if I arrive Wednesday morning I would need to attend competitor briefing, totally unpack my trailer and get my horse settled in, have him inspected by the vet and be braided, dressed and ready for the demo and first horse inspection by 10am? What is the earliest on Wednesday that someone will be there to show me which stalls are mine and to pick up a packet?
A: Not exactly….you would need to complete your initial list by 9; you will have time in the afternoon to prepare your horse for the formal inspection.
Q: When does the competition finish?
A: We aim to complete everything--including mounted awards by noon on Saturday.
Q: What else do I need to know?
A: Start with the OMNI info which will be printed here once available in mid Spring!
Q. Do I really need to practice the inspection/jog? How hard can it be?
A Harder than you think! There is a trick to holding the reins to keep your horse’s head straight, and it is helpful to practice getting him to move off correctly, come back to the walk when you ask, and move off again promptly. Your horse should come to the practice wearing a bridle, and you should bring a dressage whip.
Q. Do I need to braid for the inspections?
A. It is customary to braid for the first inspection, dressage, and the second inspection (on Show Jumping day). At a minimum your horse should be spotless, wearing a clean bridle, and no boots.
Q. What should I wear for the inspections?
A. It is customary to “dress up” a bit for the inspections – khakis and a nice shirt, jacket and tie for men, that sort of thing. Remember, however, that you will be RUNNING to keep up with your (properly presented) horse, so wear sensible shoes, and avoid anything that might fly away such as unsecured scarves or hats.
Riding Phases A, B and C
Q. How do Phases A, B, and C work?
A. At your designated start time, you begin Phase A, trotting through marked gates ("A1" "A2" etc.) around the Waredaca fields. You will go through the last gate and keep going straight to the start of Phase B, steeplechase. There is a start box there, and a fixed start time. You will gallop twice around a loop with 3 fences, jumping most of them twice. You will come off phase B, and without stopping, just slowing to a trot, proceed directly onto Phase C, which is just like Phase A, only longer and a bit slower. You may be able to walk some on C. You will come off of Phase C directly into the "Vet" or "10 minute box" before D.
Q. How will I learn the track and gates for A and C (Roads and Tracks)?
A. Hack it! You are allowed to hack roads and tracks on the days prior to endurance day. It is a great way to learn your track and settle your horse at his new location. Be on the alert for how many gates are on each phase – you will need to pass through ALL the gates IN ORDER on endurance day. The track may double back on itself in places. Be sure you write down how many gates there are!
Q. How do I plan/time and ride phases A, B, and C?
A. As you hack around, you will notice that the tracks for A and C will be peppered with little signs saying "A2" or "C3" AND "K1" "K1.5" "K2." The latter are your kilometer markers. This is critical for pacing yourself.
Here's how that works.
You will get a start time for A, B, and D, optimum times/speeds for all phases, and distances. You then need to do some math, and make yourself a cheat sheet in waterproof ink on white medical tape that you will put on your forearm (or jacket arm) for reference while you are riding. It needs to be easy to read -- you will look at it a lot!
So you might be given times of: A 9:00 AM, B 9:12 AM, D 9:40 AM.
This means you will go out on A at 9 AM. Your cheat sheet will read something like: A = 10 gates, 10 mins @ 220 mpm. K1= 4 mins K1.5= 6 mins K 2=8.5 mins (NOTE: All math in these examples is purely imaginary, including the number of gates!).
So you are looking for 10 numbered gates; make sure you keep track! When you pass the little sign that says "K1" you should be at 4 minutes. If you are too fast, SLOW DOWN. You do not want to burn up energy on these phases. You can walk if you need to. If you are too slow, now is a good time to pick up a little canter or hand gallop to wake your horse up before steeplechase. Then check on your next "K" marker, etc.
Since you are starting B at 9:12, you want to be pulling into the start box at 9:10. Give your horse a breather, and shorten your stirrups. Do not trot A and C with short stirrups. You will be exhausted by the time you get out on XC.
Your steeplechase stirrup length may well be 1 or 2 holes shorter than your XC length. You can figure this out with the steeplechase coach during the practice session (another strongly recommended activity -- she'll walk the course with you, tell you how to time it, and then have you gallop a practice fence a couple of times).
So you are in the box at 9:10, shortening your stirrups. Zero out your watch just like you would for a regular XC run, because you will NOT have time to look at it on steeplechase, and you will want to hear the minute beep to know your pace.
You will go around the track twice, and you will know where your one minute mark is (from your practice session) -- if you beep before you get there, keep kicking!!!
After you cross the finish line, slowly ramp back down to a trot. The clock does NOT stop, and there is NO break between B and C. Just keep going and head for the first C gate. There will be an authorized assistance area right near the beginning of “C” where you are allowed to have helpers waiting for you -- ONLY in that area can they in any way interact with you. If you have someone there, s/he should check to see if you have all 4 shoes. Depending on your horse, you may want to provide an easy boot in case you have pulled a shoe on steeplechase. In any event, your helper should note which shoe is missing so it can be taken care of in the 10 minute box. Your helper should also have a bucket, water, scraper, sponge -- it is a great help to get some water on them right then and start the cooling process, especially if it is warm out.
While you are walking here it is a good time to lengthen your stirrups again.
You can keep going, slowly, while your helper works on your horse. You have some extra time on this phase. Your helper should check your galloping boots, bell boots, and if there is anything you will need to replace/fix at the vet box,s/he can get a head's up now.
Keep going on C. It's just like A, only longer and slower. You will have your same cheat sheet. Again, you want to go only as fast as you have to to arrive at the box 2 minutes early. Any faster is just wasted energy.
According to our schedule, you should be arriving at the vet box just about 9:27 or so -- a few minutes early for your 10 minutes, plus a minute or so to get over to the start box for your 9:40 start.
The 10 minute box
Q. What happens there?
A. You have 10 minutes which you must spend in this box. The main goal here is to make sure the horse is sound and has all its gear intact (especially shoes), give yourself a mental break, and COOL THE HORSE DOWN. The horse MUST be cleared by the vet, who will see it jog and check its temp, pulse, and resp. If the horse has not recovered sufficiently in 10 minutes you will not be allowed on D.
This is where all your conditioning comes in handy, along with quick work by your helpers to cool the horse. Once cleared, you mount up and head over to D, which is just like XC at a regular horse trial. You will finish back at the vet box and get checked out one more time before being "released" to leave
Q. What do I do in the 10 minute box?
A. Trot into the box on a loose rein. Hop off immediately. Go sit down, get a drink, have a banana. When there are 2 minutes left on your 10 minute clock, go get your (cooled and prepped) horse, and find the vet, who will do another TPR and have you jog the horse. Hop on, and go on down to the start box for D
Q. What do I need to bring with me for endurance day/ the 10 minute box?
A. In addition to your regular horse trial/away show “gear,” endurance day requires a few extra items, including:
- Waterproof marker and white medical tape – you will want to write your gates/times and distances for A, B, C, and D on the tape, and attach it to your forearm, so you can refer to it as you go. You will learn how to take “shorthand” notes for this reference guide at Gillian Clissold’s talk on Roads and Tracks on Wednesday night (strongly recommended!!!).
- 4 extra shoes for your horse, MARKED (ie, RF, LF, etc. Your farrier can put small notch marks on each shoe that will be instantly recognizable). On endurance day, put in appropriate studs for your spares, so they can be quickly tacked on in the 10 minute box
- Full “cooling kit” for the box, including sponge(s), scraper(s), buckets, vetrolin, etc. EVERYTHING you bring for the box should be clearly marked with your name in waterproof marker.
- Stud kit should come to the box, with the studs you are using marked or separated out so your grooms can quickly replace any that have gone “missing.”
- Energy bars/bananas/drinks for you while you are in the box
- Dressage whip (for the jog, if your horse needs it)
- Extra ANYTHING that might break on phases A, B, C (boots, bells, stirrup leathers, etc. etc.)
- Cooler or anti-sweat for your horse if the weather demands it
- Halter and a lead rope for the jog
Q. What does my "10 minute box crew" need to do?
A. Your crew should keep track of your time in the box to make sure you are ready to jog for the vet at 2 minutes out. Your crew will
- Check all gear – boots, shoes, tack, studs.
- Replace/repair as needed, including taking the horse to see the farrier in the box.
- Cool, cool, cool the horse. This should begin the moment you arrive in the box, and continue up until the moment you present back to the vet.
- Change your stirrups to XC length.
- Hand you drinks/food as needed, and help you stay mentally focused.
If possible, you should have 2 or 3 people on hand to help you. Some horses are very wound up at this point, and can be a handful. Spend a few minutes thinking about your cross country course, zero out your watch again, and then go out and enjoy a great phase D!