logo

Family owned and operated since 1932 on 220 Acres
in Northeastern Montgomery County, Maryland.
Call 301-570-4191  |  Email info@waredaca.com

Articles

About the 'Chase

By Cindy Collier Rawson

Rider negotiating steeplechase fenceThe steeplechase phase of a three-day event is an exhilarating experience, but can be nerve wracking for the uninitiated! You and your horse will be running at close to racing speed, clearing brush fences to complete the course against the clock. As the ‘chase is unique to three-day competitions, many riders have little experience jumping at its higher speeds and often feel a little daunted at the prospect.

This article is about how to prepare for a steeplechase and, like my previous articles, has been written with the rookie in mind. This is not a definitive guide, but is a description of how I prepare and what works for me. I have outlined some of the pointers and tips I have picked up (often the hard way!) and naturally, not everything I do will suit everyone. As with my previous articles, I am assuming that both you and your horse are fit enough for the task and that you have access to a trainer to guide you.

Although somewhat under threat with the move toward shorter competition formats, steeplechase currently remains one of the four “disciplines” to prepare for in the classic, long format CCI (three-day event). Steeplechase forms part of the speed and endurance aspect of a three-day event and involves the horse and rider galloping and jumping safely at three/quarter racing speed over a series of six to eight brush fences within an optimum time. Speeds vary according to the level of competition from 640 meters per minute (mpm) at a CCI* to 690 mpm at CCI**** level. That’s equivalent to approximately 23-26 miles per hour.

Minimizing the effect of the ‘chase on your horse’s energy stores requires maintenance of a consistent rhythm and balance. To make the whole phase as effortless as possible, a dedicated practice is therefore necessary before your first three-day event to establish the essential rhythm, balance, and confidence at speed.

Are You Ready?

A good gauge to determine is you are ready to compete at a three-day event is your current performance at horse trials. You should be comfortable at preliminary level, able to confidently attack the varying questions on the cross-country courses, and routinely finish clear and inside the time. If you are achieving this, then you are already riding at approximately 550 mpm. The step up to the steeplechase pace of 640 mpm is then relatively straightforward.

Getting Started

First of all, always think about you and your horse’s safety. I use the same equipment for steeplechase training as for cross-country schooling. For the horse, this includes studs in all four shoes, front and hind protective boots, bell boots, stud girth and overgirth. My own safety equipment includes my ASTM/SEI approved helmet and my safety vest.

As always, never jump alone and if possible, “coax” someone to assist you on the ground. The ground person can help both with adjusting fences and with filming. I make it a priority to have my competitions and schooling sessions recorded on video, as I find I learn twice as much if I can analyze my performances both visually and tactically.

To start your steeplechase training session, find a suitable galloping area such as a large, flat field. Remember that it is essential to do your speed work on good footing- more harm than good will be done if you pound your horse over hard and uneven ground. Many racing yards in the UK have all-weather gallops that they allow other riders to use. If you are fortunate enough to live near such facility, use it!

Once you have found a large field with good footing, use a meter wheel to measure out a wide oval circuit. Alternatively, you can pace out the distance. Measure out and place markers at 520 meters, 550 meters, 570 meters, 600 meters and 640 meters. The first three distances relate to the pace required for preliminary, intermediate and advanced cross-country courses respectively. The 600-meter marker is an additional reference point as you increase to the required steeplechase speed of 640 mpm.

The chances are that you will not have access to steeplechase fences, but building a suitable alternative is very simple and requires just a little adaptation. If you have a solid show jump “filler”, simply add a bar to one side by tacking on a strip of wood and a few end pieces to create slots to insert the brush (discarded Christmas trees make excellent brush jumps!).

Alternatively, construct a freestanding wooden frame that allows you to insert the brush and check carefully that there are no gaps in your jump in which your horse could get his hoof stuck.

Don’t build too small a fence. This encourages the horse to run to the bottom of the fence before jumping rather than standing off slightly as is preferred for good ‘chasing technique. The solid part of the fence should be at least 3’-3’3” high with some width. It should lean away and have a visible ground line.

To encourage your horse to brush through the fence and not try and clear the fence like a bullfinch, allow some of the branches to protrude higher than the main body of the fence. Don’t make the brush too thick and solid until your horse has become familiar with brushing through the branches.

Using full size racing fences is an option but should be undertaken with caution. These fences will be large and unforgiving and during the learning phase you should not overface your horse or scare yourself in the process!

Rhythm and Balance

The steeplechase mantra is “rhythm and balance.”

After a suitable warm-up period of approximately 20 minutes at slow trot and canter, you’re ready to start learning to gallop comfortably at speed. To make this easier, try riding with your stirrups a hole shorter than you normally would for cross-country. This will help you stay over the horse’s center of balance. Don’t try to ride as short as a jump jockey, however, or I guarantee you’ll be popped out the front door at an inopportune moment!

A big key to ‘chasing is learning not to interfere with your horse. Do not make major adjustments in front of the fence and upset his balance. Up until now, your experience of riding horses over obstacles at speed is likely to have come solely from cross-country. In steeple chasing you must learn to let the horse flow. While you’re natural tendency may be to shorten his stride slightly as you approach the fence, try to concentrate on staying over his center of balance and not interfering. Sit up slightly six to eight strides away from the fence to help the horse keep his balance over his hindquarters and aim to keep a nice steady contact moving into your hand. It may be difficult to do at first, but with practice at speed your confidence and trust in one another will develop.

A few important principles to think about are as follows:

  • As the horse will be in more of a racing frame—lower to the ground, with his nose further in front than you’re used to—you’ll need to help him maintain his balance with as little interference as possible.
  • Keep a steady position, more braced (lower leg slightly further forward) than for cross-country. Riders that sit too far forward can be shot out the front door if the horse pecks on landing.
  • As you approach the fences, don’t change the contact of the hand. Allow the horse to determine the take-off point.

To learn to gallop at speed, you need to be able to gauge your horse’s pace in terms of meters per minute. Practice using your watch to gauge the speed needed to cover the distance between the markers in your field in one minute, starting with the 520 mpm and the 550 mpm markers. Jump your ‘chase fence several times at this speed, as this is your normal cross-country pace. Try to allow your horse to run freely, with minimum interference from you.

Pick up the pace and try to move up to 570 mpm and then 600 mpm. If your horse backs off too much or drops the contact before the fence, give him a little tap behind the saddle on landing, to send him forward and to encourage him into bridle. Finally, move him up to 640 mpm and you’ll have accomplished your goal. Do one or two circuits at your ‘chase speed and then slowly bring your horse back in a balanced canter to trot and walk.

Trust

Once you are up to full steeplechase speed, you need to start trusting your horse’s eye. As he gallops faster, your horse’s stride increases by anywhere from six o 12 feet per stride. To put this into perspective, a fence that is normally six strides away will feel like it is 36 feet closer than it would on a cross-country course. For a horse with a big stride, this can be a real shocker! The speed therefore increases the difficulty for the rider to see a stride to the fence.

Steeplechasing relies upon the horse to naturally find his rhythm at speed and his own distance to the fences (if the rider does not interfere). As you approach the fence, sit up to help the horse balance himself six to eight strides away. The horse’s head will come up slightly as he sees the fence and he will reduce the contact slightly. Stay in the rhythm and keep moving to the fence. A good stride will come, but you have to be brave enough to have faith in your horse’s eye.

On landing, encourage your horse to gallop on in the same rhythm.

Give the horse a good 20-30 minute walk to cool down and help prevent the build-up of lactic acid in his muscles. Take care of your horse as you would after a cross-country school. My general policy is to ice, poultice, and bandage my horse’s legs after any speed work.

Some horses will find galloping at speed easier than others, and this is where the Thoroughbred will have an advantage. If you are getting run away with, talk to your trainer about bitting alternatives. Certain horses will get stronger on competition day so be prepared to change bits in the ten minute box before going out on the cross-country.

You will find that most horses’ jumping shape will flatten out on steeplechase. Don’t worry, as this is a natural tendency when jumping at speed. It is, however, the opposite of the bascule (round shape) that your horse needs to jump cross-country and show jumping obstacles. The horse/rider combination must learn how to do both, so it’s always important to have a jump school a few days after any speed work over fences. You can remind your horse of the short bouncy stride that he needs for show jumping with gymnastic work.

The ‘chase should be a positive, encouraging experience for your horse to take forward to the cross-country. Hooking for strides is the biggest mistake possible, as at the best you will upset the horse’s rhythm and at worst you will cause a fall. If you hook back for a stride or use “Go pony go!” kicks to get over the fence, you are taking the horse out of his rhythm and needlessly wasting his energy. Watching top riders is always beneficial as they keep their horses in a smooth, rhythmic, energy efficient pace.

Walking the Course

Walking the ‘chase course is just as important as walking the cross-country. Here are a few pointers:

  • The pace for CCI* will be 640 mpm, lasting 3-3.5 minutes, over a distance of 1,920-2,240 meters. There will be five to seven brush fences with maximum heights of 1.0 meter (3’ 37”) for the fixed portion of the fence and 1.4 meters (4’ 7”) for the brush portion.
  • Walk the course alone the first time. That is the only chance you will get to imagine what your horse’s first impressions will be.
  • On the second walk, measure the course with a meter wheel and compare it with the official distance. Often organizers will wheel a very tight line, in which case making the time could be difficult. Take careful note of your minute markers and use fixed objects (e.g. trees)—not items that may be moved or obscured by crowds on the day of the competition. Write this information down for future reference.
  • Ask more experienced riders if you’re unsure of the approach to particular jumps. Don’t be shy. In my experience the “stars” of our sport are more than willing to give helpful advice.
  • Imagine how the course is going to look on the day. Visualize your perfect ride and don’t forget to imagine yourself successfully coping with any problems that might arise.

On the Day

On the morning of the competition, I go out on the course to check the footing and try to watch other riders to see if the steeplechase time is difficult or easy to make. Unlike the cross-country, there will be few spectators but use this to your advantage. Try to calm your nerves and focus. Once you start, it’s just you, your horse, a few brush fences and the chance to gallop at speed.

  • Toward the end of Phase A Roads and Tracks, consider a short canter to get the horse thinking “forward” before the steeplechase.
  • Arrive at the ‘chase about a minute before your start time. It gives you a chance to check your girth and adjust your horse’s noseband.
  • Get into a steady 640 mpm rhythm as soon as possible after the start.
  • Look for the best footing. If you are going later in the day in bad weather, you will find the take-off to jumps can get deep. Fortunately, steeplechase fences are generally wide enough to allow for a comfortable jump on either side of the center line.
  • Don’t panic if you are ten seconds down on the clock at the first minute marker. You have started from a standstill, and this is normal. You should be about five seconds down at the two-minute marker and on time at the three-minute marker.
  • I always choose a marker 30 seconds back from the finish line, allowing me to gauge and adjust my pace, if necessary, at the end of my course.
  • When you see a stride, make up your mind and stick with it! As I have found to my peril, indecision (particularly in the last few strides before take-off) will cause you real problems out on the course.
  • Keep your horse balanced as you slow down gradually onto Phase C.

There are no prizes for blasting around. The more the horse runs in a comfortable, consistent rhythm and balance, the less energy he will waste and the more energy he will have for the other phases of the competition. The aim is to finish just within the optimum time. You will need plenty of horse left for the cross-country and show jumping, so anything more than five seconds under the optimum time is burning up your horse’s energy unnecessarily.

After the ‘chase—Phase C

There will be a designated assistance area after Phase B, have a helper (armed with your horse’s spare shoes and studs, a sponge and water) check your horse’s shoes as you ride past. If he has lost one and the event has a compulsory halt on Phase C (generally within half mile of the finish of Phase B), fit an easy boot to allow you to reach the farrier in the rest area. If there is no compulsory halt, the farrier will be available just after Phase B and you can have your horse’s shoe replaced immediately.

If your event has a compulsory halt on Phase C, you have the option to dismount, sponge and scrape the horse.

After the exertions of the ‘chase, Phase C allows for a fair amount of walking. The pace is slower at 160 mpm (25-40 minutes over 4,000-6,400 meters). Once your horse has had time to recover, trot on again to get to the ten-minute box about two minutes before the required time.

Two useful books that I recommend for reference are The USCTA Handbook of Eventing (Chapter 11 by Bruce Davidson) and Training the Event Horse by Ginny Leng.

I hope that this article is helpful and goes some way toward easing the daunting prospect of a first three-day event. This information should help the first timer get a taste of the preparation required in order to take on the steeplechase with confidence. I welcome any feedback and can be contacted with any specific questions through my website at www.cindyrawsoneventteam.com.

Good luck and happy eventing!        

              

 

Omnibus & Info.

Helpful Links
Omnibus Term KeyDressage Tests • Entry Forms (HT | Fill-In) (FEI | Fill-In) (Xentry) • Stabling Form
• Membership (PDF) (Online) • Horse Registration (PDF) (Online) • National Qualifications SummaryFEI Qualifications Summary
• Find a Certified Eventing Instructor (By Area) (By Level) • USEA Ride Share (OFFER a Rider / NEED a Ride)Event Open Date Notification Sign-Up

Maryland
USEA Event ID: 15430

Waredaca H.T. and Classic Training 3 Day Event | Laytonsville, MD (AREA II)

Event Date: Oct 24-27, 2013
Open Registration Date: Sep 10 Close Registration Date: Oct 08

3 Day Event Registration Dates
Open: Aug 27
Close: Sep 24

Divisions
USEF/USEA Recognized Division:IP,P
USEF Endorsed/USEA Recognized Divisions:PT,T,T3D,TN,N,BN
USEA Recognized Test:CT-P,N3D

 

Competing an OTTB at a Waredaca Horse Trial?
Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue is sponsoring a special trophy to the best scoring OTTB at each Waredaca Starter Horse Trial and the USEA Area II Training & Novice Level 3 Days! If you would like your OTTB to be considered for this award, please sign up on the sheet located outside of the Show Secretary's office before each competition.

2013 N and T3D FAQs

HAVE SOME QUESTIONS? START HERE FOR ANSWERS....

Qualifications

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

DSC07918-523-150-150-100-cSchedule

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!

The Inspections

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.

DSC07963-525-150-150-100-cRiding 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!

N/T 3-Day Cross Country Specs

Cross-Country

Novice

Training

A Time: 10-16 min                  
Distance:  2,200-3,520m              
Speed:  220 mpm        

Time: 10-16 min                  
Distance:  2,200-3,520m              
Speed:  220 mpm 

B Time:  2.5 or 3 min
Distance:  1,175 – 1,410 m
Speed:  470 mpm
Time:  2.5 or 3 min
Distance:  1,250 – 1,560 m
Speed:  500-520 mpm
Jumping Efforts Efforts:  4-6
Brush Height:  3’7”
Efforts:  4-6
Brush Height:  3’11”
C Time:  20-25 Min
Distance:  3,200-4,000m
Speed:  160-220 mpm
Time:  15-25 Min
Distance:  3,200-4,000m
Speed:  160-220 mpm
D Distance:  1,760-2,420m
Speed:  400 mpm
Distance:  2,250-3,150 @450mpm or
2,350-3,290 @470mpm
Speed:  450-470 mpm
Efforts, maximum Efforts:  16-22. 110m per effort Efforts:  20-28. 120m @470 mpm or
20-28 @450 mpm

Basic Veterinary Guidelines for Classic Three Day

Arrival Day

In Barns: Horses are checked over by Veterinary Delegate, P&R’s look over legs and body for any pre-existing conditions

Vet starts documentation on TPR’s and makes notes about any pre-existing conditions.

Jog/Horse Inspection

Each horse is presented to the Veterinary Delegate, TechnicalDelegate and the President of the Ground Jury for First Horse Inspection; Vet shares pertinent information with the Ground Jury. If another Vet is available for the hold then they would talk to the rider about the horse and get some history. IF there is only one vet then a knowledgeable horse person can go to the vet hold with the rider and gather information on the horse.

Riders should be prepared to present their horse properly, clean and braided with rider attire suitable for the presentation.

Day 1: Dressage

Day 2: Endurance Day

Ten Minute: Veterinary Delegate stays in Vet box for duration of X-C, each horse come into Vet box for evaluation and jog prior to being released from Ten Minute Box to the Start. There are personnel also available to assist any horse in recovery box if possible--Vet and usually three vet assistants (preferably vet techs) and three volunteers to keep time.

Vet and a member of the Ground Jury watch the horses trot into the Ten Minute Box.

Vet/Techs: do TPR and this is recorded on the vet sheets.

Horses are checked at six minutes and then if all vitals have come down then they are released to the individual keeping the time on the horse. At two minutes the timekeeper advises the rider so that they can be put up on the horse and then at ten minutes the rider is released to the start of XC.

Once the riders come back off xc they come into a Vet Box for the horse to be cooled down and determined if they can leave for their stalls.

Day 3: Jumping

Final Horse Inspection: Each horse is presented to Veterinary Delegate, Technical Delegate and the President of the Ground Jury for Third Horse Inspection; if passed, the horse and rider will continue to the Jumping Phase.

Notes Worth Reading from Previous Years

2012 CROSS COUNTRY DETAILS

NOVICE 3 DAY

               PHASE A:         DISTANCE: 3080 METERS

               6 GATES           SPEED: 220 MPM
                                        OPT TIME: 14 MIN
                                        TIME LIMIT: 16:49

               PHASE B:         DISTANCE: 1175 METERS
                                        SPEED: 470 MPM
                                        OPT TIME: 2: 30
                                        TIME LIMIT: 5:00

               PHASE C:         DISTANCE: 3960 METERS
               9 GATES          SPEED: 220 MPM
                                       OPT TIME: 18:00
                                       TIME LIMIT: 21:37

               PHASE D:        DISTANCE: 2400 METERS
                                       SPEED: 400 MPM
                                       OPT TIME: 6:00
                                       TIME LIMIT: 12:00
                                       SPEED FAULTS: 5:27             

TRAINING 3 DAY

               PHASE A:         DISTANCE: 3080 METERS
                                        SPEED: 220 MPM
                                        OPT TIME: 14 MIN
                                        TIME LIMIT: 16:49

               PHASE B:         DISTANCE: 1300 METERS
                                        SPEED: 520 MPM
                                        OPT TIME: 2: 30
                                        TIME LIMIT: 5:00

               PHASE C:         DISTANCE: 3960 METERS
                                        SPEED: 220 MPM
                                        OPT TIME: 18:00
                                        TIME LIMIT: 21:37

               PHASE D:         DISTANCE: 2800 METERS
                                        SPEED: 470 MPM
                                        OPT TIME: 6:00
                                        TIME LIMIT: 12:00
                                        SPEED FAULTS: 5:24

 


 Previous Pre-Arrival Notes

  • ARRIVAL AND CHECK IN: Plan to check in any time on Tuesday BETWEEEN 1 AND 7 OR WEDNESDAY BETWEEN 6 AND 9 AM at our Stabling complex –NEW LOCATION FOR THIS YEAR…OFF DAMASCUS ROAD, PAST THE MAIN WAREDACE ENTRANCE TO THE NEXT ENTRANCE BEFORE THE SHARP CURVE—WAREDACA WEST ENTRANCE NEXT TO THE STEEPLEHCHARE AREA.

  • IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ARRIVE DURING THE ABOVE TIMES---OR If you are unclear where to go, call       Cindy Wood (410 726 8926), our stable manager, extraordinaire, to discuss other options. TRAFFIC FLOW, Gear Drop Off and Trailer Parking will be under the explicit direction of Cindy and her assistants—no exceptions to this.     

  • ON SITE STABLING: All who requested Stabling will be assigned a horse stall and 1/2 of another shared stall for tack.   If you have a request as to a tack stall partner, please send to Gretchen via email: GRETCHEN@WAREDACA.COM before the 18th.

  • For those who did NOT request 3 DAY stabling and wish to purchase a DAY STALL, this can be arranged for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The cost is $50/day; you are responsible for your bedding and stall cleaning. Arrange this thru Gretchen/Email in advance so assignments can be made. These stalls will be located at our East Entrance and must be vacated by 2:30 on Friday.

  • ANYONE USING A STALL MUST PROVIDE A $50 MUCK DEPOSIT CHECK WITH CINDY WOOD UPON ARRIVAL IF YOU ARE HAVE NOT ALREADY SENT ONE TO THE WAREDACA OFFICE.

  • Upon arrival, an Area 2 volunteer will greet and assist you with your specific stall assignment and orientation to the stabling area. Pack thoughtfully as your gear will need to be transported to your stall via utility vehicles and trucks; you will not be able to off load from your trailer directly next to your stall. You will also receive a participant packet with lots of information as you begin your Training 3 Day experience!

  • WHAT TO BRING: All of your personal gear and equipment plus whatever is needed for your horse and his stabling. Don’t forget rain gear! Remember that protective headgear is required at all times when mounted.       AND your horse must always wear an identification number when out of his stall—ie bridle number.       Bring a portable CHAIR as well, for the briefings, meetings, some of the seminars etc.
  • No bedding is supplied. You can pre-order bedding ($8/bag) via Email (Gretchen@waredaca.com) which will be delivered to your stall prior to your arrival IF we have received your payment in advance; if not, they will be delivered upon payment. Otherwise, plan to bring your bedding, plus wheelbarrow, hay, feed, muck equipment, buckets, hooks, baling twine and so on. You can also purchase bedding while here from Rob Lang; contact Cindy Wood for this OR Email the address above. The mobile Bit of Britain tack trailer will be on site although their arrival time is still uncertain whether it be Wednesday or Thursday.
  • FOOD: Area 2 has done a great job of providing dinner for you on Wednesday and Thursday evenings PLUS a Friday afternoon Beverage and Cheese ‘Social’. The dress code is comfortable and casual.       Each rider gets one free ticket. If available, additional dinner tickets may be available for purchase from Cindy W. If tickets are pre ordered via Email (Pwmansfiel@aol.com) no later than October 15, the cost is $20 each; if purchased upon arrival, subject to availability, the cost is $30 each—no exceptions.
  • LUNCH:  Assigned Volunteers will be provided with lunch. Everyone else has several options. You may drive to a lunch source, the closest place being one mile away (the local ‘greasy spoon’ with top notch burgers) or an Italian restaurant (3 miles away) or a carry out deli (4 miles away)—directions will be included in your packet. LOTS of options 7 miles away in Olney or 9 miles awar in Damascus! Sorry but no commercial deliveries out here! There will be a lunch concession ON SITE for Friday!
  • WHAT NOT TO BRING: We love ‘em and have seven who live here and call Waredaca their rightful home but please consider leaving your dog at his home. If they accompany you, they must be leashed at ALL TIMES-NO EXCEPTIONS.               
  • Bikes, that is the non-motorized types are allowed to go anywhere on the property.  Motorized bikes are not. All transit between Stabling and the Waredaca Camphouse, site of our evening dinners) must be on the paved road and not across the fields unless you are walking or we will get very upset with you!!
  • PHONE NUMBERS: Keep these numbers close at hand and share with those at home in your absence:

Cindy DePorter/cell: 919 612 1230
Gretchen/cell: 240 401 4010
Cindy Wood/Stable Manager: 410 726 8926
Janey/Waredaca business office: 301 570 4191
Robert and Gretchen/home: 301 774 7123
Vet on call: Damascus Equine Associates: 301 807 4381
Farrier on call: Tom Parris 301 854 6138
Julie Augustine/3 Day Vet: 301 379 3921

Any questions, please Email us as soon as possible. CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU SOON!!

GRETCHEN AND CINDY, CINDY W, BETH, PAT AND A BUNCH OF OTHERS!!


Previous Educational Schedule

2012 CLASSIC THREE DAY SCHEDULE…FEATURING OUR LEAD CLINICIAN STEPHEN BRADLEY!! CAPABLY ASSISTED BY TREMAINE COOPER, MELISSA HUNSBERGER, NATALIE HOLLIS, PHYLLIS DAWSON, STEURT PITTMAN, MAX CORCORAN AND VALERIE VIZCARRONDO!!

Competitors move into stables –times to be confirmed

Arrival Exams –time frame to be confirmed

Packets handed out

Wednesday October 24

8:00                                         Vet Check in; Packet Pick up

9:45                                         Competitor Briefing and Welcome/Stable Office Packet Pick up

10:00 – 11:30 am                      Horse Inspection Demonstration: Stephen Bradley assisted by Melissa Hunsberger, Natalie Hollis, Valerie Vizcarrondo

Horses                1- 25     10 – 10:45
                           26 – end     10:45 – 11:30

Noon to 1:15 pm                Training and Novice Dressage Test Critique:   Sue Smithson
                                          Bring your lunch and chair to the dressage ring.                                                                              

1:15 – 2:30                   ROADS AND TRACKS LECTURE/DISCUSSION TO INCLUDE MATH CALCULATIONS FOR A, B AND C   : Bring Your chair and note pad to the Stable Office; if raining location to be announced.  

Stephen Bradley Drive around Roads and Tracks, meet at the Stable Office

(trucks will be available to take riders around as a group.)          

3:15 pm-4:15 pm                       First Horse Inspection

4:30 – 6:00 pm                         Cross Country Walk: RIDERS ONLY

Training Riders with Stephen Bradley       Novice Riders with Valerie Vizcarrondo

6:30pm                                     Dinner/Waredaca Meeting Room

                                                 Ten Minute and Vet Box what to expect: Dr. Julie and Stephen

                                                 Nutrition Lecture: Southern States: Jessica Morton; “How to Read the Nutritional Label”

Thursday October 20

8:00 AM                                  Test Ride

8:20—12:00 PM                       Dressage

10:00 – Noon                Steeple Chase Practice (divided by horse number)

                                     riders can hack A and C on their own afterward

                                    Tremaine Cooper and Stephen Bradley; MEET NEAR FINISH

1:00pm – 4:30 pm        Dressage

2:00 – 4:00 pm             Steeple Chase Practice (divided by horse number)

                                     riders can hack A and C on their own afterward

                                    Tremaine Cooper and Stephen Bradley MEET NEAR FINISH

5:00 – 6:30pm              Cross Country Walks: Tremaine Cooper : Training Riders

                                     Stephen Bradley: Novice Riders                                                     

7:00pm                         Dinner: Max Corcoran: What to Bring to the Ten Minute Box

                                    and Tales from the Olympics

                                    Jeff Kibbie and Rob Lang Cross Country design/construction: What are you actually jumping?

Friday October 21

9:00 am                        Cross Country Test Begins                                            

3:30                             Wine, Sodas and Cheese                                             

4:30 – 5:30                  Stadium Course Walks: Phyllis Dawson: Training first half

Stuert Pittman Training second half  Stephen Bradley Novice all riders                            

Saturday October 22

8:30am                                     Final Horse Inspection

10:30am                                   Show Jumping

                                                 Mounted Awards given after each division

Training Tips for the T3Day

The Inspections

Do I really need to practice the inspection/jog? How hard can it be?

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.

Do I need to braid for the inspections?

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.

What should I wear for the inspections?

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

How do Phases A, B, and C work?

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.

How will I learn the track and gates for A and C (Roads and Tracks)?

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!

How do I plan/time and ride phases A, B, and C?

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

What happens there?

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

What do I do in the 10 minute box?

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

What do I need to bring with me for endurance day/ the 10 minute box?

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

What does my "10 minute box crew" need to do?

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! 

Qualifications

The thrill of the “chase” lives on for those who still want to experience the unforgettable rush of the classic format three-day event! Long-format classic format events from the Preliminary to Beginner Novice levels are available in the SmartPak Equine USEA Classic Series and include Roads and Tracks, Steeplechase, and Cross-Country on Endurance Day. In addition educational activities are offered at the Classic Series Events.

Qualifications

(T3D in the 2013 Rules for Eventing under Appendix 3 and for N3D on www.useventing.com/programs/classic)

Training Three-Day Event (T3D):  Open to competitors of any age, on horses four years of age or older. Both the competitor and the horse must have obtained NQR’s at four horse trials at the Training Level or higher, one of which must be attained as a combination. A competitor established at the Preliminary level may compete on a horse which has obtained 2 NQR’s at the Training Level or higher.

Novice Three-Day Event (N3D):  Open to competitors of any age, on horses four years of age or older. The rider must complete with a numerical final score four Novice Horse Trials or higer.

Prizes

This year the SmartPak Equine USEA Classic Event winners have the opportunity to compete for a variety of prizes including: SmartPak Halters and Lead Shanks, SmartPak Bridles, Five Star Tack Bridles, Fleeceworks Saddle Pads, Stackhouse Saddles and much more!

What is a Classic 3-Day?

DSC07906Interested in the Novice/Training 3 Day event at Waredaca? You are not alone!  Plan on it!! October 22-25

There's a waiting list with eventers like Stephen Bradley, Karen O'Connor, Sharon White, Phyllis Dawson, Natalie Hollis, Steuart Pittman, Melissa Hunsberger, Tremaine Cooper, Pam Wiedemann and many more on it -- and it's for volunteering at this Classic 3 Day event! That's right, these USET riders, former Olympians, World Championship team members and many more will be back to coach, advise, and assist at the USEA Area II Adult Riders 2014 Training Three-Day Event, the "Half-Star".

cindy bike

Held at Waredaca Farm in Laytonsville, MD., the hybrid educational competition is in it's 9th year at the beautiful eventing facility in the heart of Maryland's horse country. A special treat this year will be the return of the very popular eventing rider Stephen Bradley, as lead clinician. He is scheduled to assist competitors during the entire event AND offer many educational opportunities for those non participants who volunteer and are interested in the Classic format. All seminars, course walks and talks are open to all entered riders and grooms, support crew and so on.

A special perpetual trophy honoring the great Brown Betty, an advanced level mare owned by Oliver and Barbara King, will be awarded to the highest scoring mare in the competition. This award includes a $50 prize.

The "half-star" is a classic three-day event complete with roads and tracks and steeplechase, which takes place over three days, but is scaled down to the novice and training level. Upper level eventers, many of whom are USET members, Olympic medalists, and more, volunteer to assist the riders throughout the competition with course walks, seminars and more. Dinners are held each evening for riders, grooms, volunteers and staff. Volunteers are welcome! For more information contact co-organizer Cindy DePorter ( areaiiadultrider@aol.com) or Gretchen Butts (gretchen@waredaca.com) OR for volunteering, contact Beth Sokohl (bethsokohl@comcast.net).