Long Format Alive and Well in USEA Classic Series

Beautiful Rebecca Farm! Photo by Jessica Kerschbaumer. Beautiful Rebecca Farm! Photo by Jessica Kerschbaumer.

The largest event in the United States, the Event at Rebecca Farm, opened entries in the classic format divisions last week. Riders have been busy collecting qualifying scores in anticipation of entering, the first step in completing their Novice or Training Three-Day Event. The Event at Rebecca Farm is a destination event for hundreds of eventers across all different levels, but right now it’s all about those who have been aiming for the long format.

Devoted venues keep the long format alive in the U.S. with support from the USEA in the Classic Series. For nine weeks each year, long format eventing returns to the U.S. But simply competing at a certain level will not get you into a three-day, and there are special guidelines for qualification.

Qualification for the Preliminary Three-Day and Training Three-Day requires NQRs (a qualifying result with a dressage score under 50, no jumping penalties on cross country and no more than four rails in stadium) while the Novice Three-Day and Beginner Novice Three-Day requires numerical final scores.

Preliminary Three-Day Event (P3D): Both the competitor and the horse must have obtained an NQR at three horse trials at the Preliminary level or higher, plus an additional NQR at the Preliminary level or higher with no more than 20 jumping penalties on cross country.

Training Three-Day Event (T3D): Both the competitor and the horse must have obtained NQRs 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 two NQRs at the Training level or higher.

Novice Three-Day Event (N3D): The rider must complete with a numerical final score at four Novice horse trials or higher.

Beginner Novice Three-Day Event (BN3D): The rider must complete with a numerical final score at four Beginner Novice Horse Trials or higher.

At the classic three-day, Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Preliminary riders alike perform two jogs for the ground jury, the same as at an FEI event. Pairs then perform their dressage test on the first day and get some rest before the big day.

Cross country day isn’t just about cross country at a classic three-day. Nope! You get to channel your inner Denny Emerson as you take on roads, steeplechase, tracks and END with your standard cross country run. Then it’s time for ice and ice and more ice, wraps and long walks in anticipation of passing jogs before stadium the next day.

The classic format divisions are always popular at Rebecca, and riding in one is a season goal for many riders on the West Coast and surrounding states. Here are some fast facts about other classic format three-days in the U.S. Did you know?

  • Hagyard Midsouth in October runs the only Preliminary three-day in the country. Heart of the Carolinas in late April runs the only Beginner Novice three-day.
  • The fall event at Galway Downs in Temecula runs only the Training three-day in late October, but the class is so popular it was split into two divisions last year.
  • The Training three-day is the most popular nationwide, with Areas 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 offering at least one division per year.
  • Most three-days run in the fall, following the idea that ending your season on a CCI is a goal for many eventers.

This format also serves as a stepping stone and vital learning tool for riders who might not want to participate in FEI level competition, but still want to challenge themselves and their horses. Many riders are now starting to use the Training three-day format to prepare to step up to Preliminary.

Here’s a look at the 2015 USEA Classics Series Calendar:

Preliminary Three-Day Events
Hagyard Midsouth, Oct. 22-25, 2015, Lexington, Kentucky (Area 8)

Training Three-Day Events
Heart of the Carolinas, April 29-May 3, 2015, Chesterfield, South Carolina (Area 3)
Indiana Eventing Association (IEA), May 28-31, 2015, Edinburgh, Indiana (Area 8)
Coconino, July 16-19, 2015, Flagstaff, Arizona (Area 10)
Event at Rebecca Farm, July 22-26, 2015, Kalispell, Montana (Area 7)
Colorado Horse Park, Aug. 14-16, 2015, Parker, Colorado (Area 9)
Hagyard Midsouth, Oct. 22-24, 2015, Lexington, Kentucky (Area 8)
Waredaca, Oct. 22-25, 2015, Laytonsville, Maryland (Area 2)
Galway Downs, Oct. 29-Nov 1, 2015, Temecula, California (Area 6)
MeadowCreek Park, Nov. 20-22, 2015, Kosse, Texas (Area 5)

Novice Three-Day Events
Heart of the Carolinas, April 29-May 3, 2015, Chesterfield, South Carolina (Area 3)
Indiana Eventing Association (IEA), May 28-31, 2015, Edinburgh, Indiana (Area 8)
Coconino, July 16-19, 2015, Flagstaff, Arizona (Area 10)
Event at Rebecca Farm, July 22-26, 2015, Kalispell, Montana (Area 7)
Colorado Horse Park, Aug. 14-16, 2015, Parker, Colorado (Area 9)
Waredaca, Oct. 22-25, 2015, Laytonsville, Maryland (Area 2)
MeadowCreek Park, Nov. 20-22, 2015 | Kosse, Texas (Area 5)

Beginner Novice Three-Day Events
Heart of the Carolinas, April 29-May 3, 2015, Chesterfield, South Carolina (area 3)

So start clearing the calendar, stepping up your fitness game and getting your qualifications in. The long format is here for those that want it! Have you already completed a Classic Series event this season? Are you aiming for one as your goal for the rest of the year? Let us know in the comments below.

Go Long Format. Go Classic Series. Go Eventing!

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