Michael Willham has got the classic long format on lock. After winning the Hagyard Midsouth Long Format Training Three-Day in 2015, he and his 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse Fernhill Cayenne (A.K.A. “Cayenne” or “Cay”) returned to take the Prelim Three-Day title this year in October. The pair led from start to finish, adding just 1.2 time penalties on endurance day to their dressage score for the win.
Michael is a big proponent of the experience. “I thoroughly recommend competing in a long format event,” he says. “It is a ton of fun, an excellent way to honor tradition, and an exceptional learning experience for both you and your horse. That is why I not only competed in the T3D in 2015, but came back to compete at the P3D in 2016 instead of contesting the CCI1*.”
When he first began entertaining the idea of doing a classic long format, however, he recalls, “I didn’t know what to expect, what it would look like, how to prepare, what would be required.”
He hopes this video cam of his Hagyard Midsouth run will help educate others about the experience: “This video is for those of you who are thinking about competing in a classic long format but are unsure of what to expect. I was in your shoes a little over a year ago, when I decided to compete in the T3D at Hagyard Midsouth in 2015.”
“It is still about 29 minutes long, so just be prepared,” he says. “However, if you were like me before I did my first T3D, I had a bunch of questions and would’ve willingly watched a half hour helmet cam video, if there was one available — I looked, I never found one! So this is why I wanted to run my helmet cam for the entire time this year. Hopefully this helps someone ease the anxiety about what is involved.”
Many thanks to Michael for putting the video together, which includes walkthrough text explaining aspects of the format Michael had questions on before he first competed in the classic long format. We love the commentary and tips scattered throughout, the speed/course data, and of course the view between Cay’s happy, pricked ears!
Best of luck to you and Cay in 2017, Michael! Go Eventing.
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