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Volunteers, Teamwork and Perseverance Save the Day at IEA H.T. & Classic 3DE

Many thanks to Indiana Eventing Association (IEA) President Eric Sampson for this event report! The 2019 IEA H.T. & Classic 3DE took place May 31 through June 2 at the Hoosier Horse Park in Edinburgh, Indiana, and featured Starter through Intermediate/Prelim horse trials divisions as well as Novice and Training classic format three-days. You can view complete results from the event here.

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Area VIII Young Rider team member and two-star rider Elizabeth Henry and
Charlotte La Bouff won the Open Prelim division. Photo courtesy of JJ Sillman.

Like modern-day King Lears, for weeks we raged at the storms. Shaking our fists at the sky with one hand, while checking our smart phones’ weather apps with the other. Neither helped much, but given that everything was too sodden to set cross country course — or do anything else for that matter — it gave us the illusion that we were doing something.

Unprecedented rainfall throughout the Midwest (which caused a few shows to cancel cross country altogether) visited Indiana as well, creating flooded fields, homes, barns, and pastures where the mud became a living thing. The Hoosier Horse Park, site of the Trials, is situated on low-lying ground next to Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, IN. It is a jewel of a facility, cut from the Indiana forest for the 1987 Pan Am Games and maintained by Johnson County Parks, with some help from the IEA and other equestrian organizations. Naturally, it caught some of the worst storms in the month leading up to our show.

With two weeks to go before the event, optimism was in short supply. For cross country course designer Jon Wells and builder Rob Mobley, it was too wet to set courses but they could build some new fences. Five days out, we were sure that, at the least, Preliminary would not be able to run cross country.

All it took were a few lucky breaks, some serendipity, and all our courageous and hard-working volunteers. The IEA Trials caught a break when a few storms went just a bit north of the park; all of a sudden, at least some courses could be set. Jon Wells knows the Horse Park ground better than anyone, and set out to design courses that used the driest ground possible but met all the specs needed for competition. And much stone was ordered. Lots. Of. Stone.

A lot of stone went into making the footing before and after jumps as decent as possible.
Photo by Dan Stickney.

Jon, Rob, and former IEA President Dan Stickney (without whom this show would have never happened) got creative and worked every possible daylight hour. With barely 24 hours before the technical delegate was to inspect the courses, everything was set — including Prelim — and ready for competition. Of course, there was one more storm bearing down on us, so we held our breath until it just nicked the Horse Park while slamming Indianapolis.

When it came time for the show, the sun came out of hiding and competitors, volunteers, and officials were greeted with a light breeze and temperatures in the mid-70s. We had ourselves a horse show!

And what a show. More than 300 horses and riders came out to play, ably assisted by a village of cheerful volunteers who all deserve our undying gratitude and all the chocolate. The Classic Training and Novice 3-Day events were nothing short of thrilling, and remain a special feature of these Trials. Winners of each division are below.

A special shout out to some folks who truly made it all possible:

  •  Tammy Stevens, who coordinated ALL the volunteers, with an assist from Lisa Myers
  • Ellen Harrington, cross country chair
  • Wendy Luckcuck, stadium chair
  • Sue McKinney, dressage chair

We can never name all the volunteers who helped make this show so special, but thanks to you all!

Long-time volunteer Malcolm Neumeyer and supervisor Nick Neumeyer are
your go-to volunteers for literally EVERYTHING. Photo by Tammy Stevens.

IEA H.T. & Classic 3DE [Final Scores]
Intermediate / Preliminary: Jordan Fellers & Cor Qualitas (79.8)
Open Preliminary: Elizabeth Henry & Charlotte La Bouff (28.8)
Junior Training: Sarah Snowden & Appalachia (33.4)
Open Training: Alicia Harbin & Crowd Signal (31.1)
Training Rider A: Margaret Kimmel & Garfunkel (24.1)
Training Rider B: Elle Choate & Paddrick (29.6)
Training 3 Day: Erin Walsh & Notice The Trick (35.4)
Junior Novice: Ellie Teasley & Quintessential (27.4)
Novice Rider A: Courtney Calnan & Little Black Dress (29.3)
Novice Rider B: Michele Clark & Zues (26.1)
Open Novice A: Julie Upshur & Doc Daneka (33.8)
Open Novice B: Emily Hansen-Palmus & FireFox (24.8)
Novice 3 Day: Caroline Charette & Moondance (32.9)
Beginner Novice Rider A: Miranda Akins & Income Statement (31.9)
Beginner Novice Rider B: Lisa Edinger & Woodstock Checkmate (30.3)
Junior Beginner Novice A: Hailey Friedrich & Midnight Fringe (35.6)
Junior Beginner Novice B: Sophie Coorssen & Coolnaboy Rubens (23.0)
Open Beginner Novice A: Kristen Rozycki & Vandalia (29.0)
Open Beginner Novice B: Jane Musselman & Hello Paradise (31.0)
Junior Starter: Alexandra Kube & Flaming Raven Man (32.8)
Open Starter: Jeannette Lippy & CF Rogue (32.2)

Lindsey Shepard and Ulleandra demonstrate one way to deal with spotty footing … just don’t touch it! Photo by Shellye Katz McCarty.