Waredaca Showcasing Classic Long Format at 11th Annual Three-Day

Novice Three-Day competitors Emma Keahon and Wil’Ya Love Me on course at the 2015 Waredaca Classic event. Photo by Kate Samuels. Novice Three-Day competitors Emma Keahon and Wil’Ya Love Me on course at the 2015 Waredaca Classic event. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Waredaca is gearing up for its 11th annual long format three-day event in conjunction with the fall horse trials on October 20-23 in Laytonsville, Maryland. What began as an educational event in 2004, the Waredaca Classic Three-Day Event has developed into a popular autumn destination for eventers who dream of galloping steeplechase before leaving the cross country start box and relish the idea of weeks of carefully calculated conditioning programs.

This year, Waredaca looks forward to offering this special experience to competitors and their supporters and are thrilled to have booked the three-day divisions solid with a record 78 entries.

The Waredaca Three-Day began with just a Training level long format but they have since added a Novice level. This year, organizer Gretchen Butts and her team are excited to unveil several new improvements on the property that they hope will make the experience even more rider- and spectator-friendly.

The direction of the cross country course has been reversed which, along with a new track and feel, allows the relocated start and finish boxes to be more convenient to stabling on endurance day. There is a new jog strip, which is also more conveniently located than before.

Waredaca, like many of the USEA Classic Series events, offers a host of educational seminars to help riders make the most of their week and have a positive experience in each phase. By popular demand, legendary Irish eventer Eric Smiley is back at Waredaca as the lead clinician this year.

“From the minute he steps on the property, he immerses himself in the experience,” Gretchen said. “He multiplies himself by 100. He’s everywhere he needs to be and where you want him to be. He’s truly passionate ,and that makes a tremendous difference in his role as lead clinician and what he gives each rider.”

An Unparalleled Opportunity

In the past, the Waredaca Three-Day has run on different days than the horse trials, but last year the Classic was integrated more fully into the weekend event so the working adults and students could take less time off from work or school. Gretchen says this allows the event to “showcase the classic more completely. Now all of the weekend riders and visitors can see what endurance day is all about and get up close and personal with the action.

“Any three-day organizer will scratch their head each year and wonder why they do it, but it does have value,” Gretchen continued. “Having done the long format myself through the four-star level, I know it created experiences for me that are unmatched and never could be within the current sport. I think a lot of people who do it have experienced that feeling that we have to keep the long format going.”

Three-day competitors listen closely during an educational seminar at Waredaca. Photo courtesy of Gretchen Butts.

Three-day competitors listen closely during an educational seminar at Waredaca. Photo courtesy of Gretchen Butts.

Ingrid Johnston is thrilled to have qualified to compete in the long format at Waredaca once again with her Thoroughbred mare Leader’s Finale.

“I got hooked back when that’s what three-days were and fell in love with the whole concept of working so hard for one event. The whole year for one event and just to finish is such an accomplishment!” Ingrid said. “When I did the (Waredaca) Training 3-Day in 2011, I realized that I had forgotten so much and learned so many new things. I know it takes a tremendous effort of time and energy and money from so many, but it’s great to keep the spirit of eventing as it should be alive and well.”

The long format remains active today at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Preliminary levels thanks to the USEA Classic Series. If you’re missing out on Waredaca, check out the eight different events on the Classics calendar and find a long format near you to set as a goal. You’ll have the time of your life!

“The mission statement of the USEA is about education and opportunity,” Gretchen said. “The long format is one way to bring something to the educational experience for the membership that is unparalleled.”

Learn more about the USEA Classic Series

Visit the Waredaca website

The Waredaca Classic 3-Day EventIt’s impossible to capture in one video the heart, horsemanship and exhilaration of this past weekend, but I tried anyway. Thank you again to all of our wonderful competitors, volunteers, sponsors, officials, experts and a special thanks to Gretchen and Robert Butts for keeping the long format tradition alive.

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that the long format event brings horse and rider together in a way no other competition can. Bring on 2016!!

Posted by Waredaca Classic Three-Day Event on Tuesday, October 27, 2015