Greys Reign Supreme at Waredaca's SmartPak Equine/United States Eventing Association Training Three-Day Event
RELEASE: November 9, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By the United States Eventing Association
The SmartPak Equine/United States Eventing Association (USEA) Area II Adult Riders Training Three-Day Event, October 22-25, at Waredaca Farm in Laytonsville, MD, hosted 37 riders in three divisions. The event was a huge success with all but two riders completing the exciting long-format course. When it came time for the award ceremonies, it was three grey horses that earned the blue ribbons. D.C. McBroom aboard Twain won the A division on a 35.30 having added no additional penalties to their dressage score. Carrie Meehan and Blue Devil, winners of the B division, also pulled off the lowest score of the entire weekend, finishing on their dressage score of 28.4. In the C division, Jamie Doolittle riding A Dream Come True came home with the blue on a 38.7 having moved up five places to take the win.
Carrie Meehan, a 20-year-old from Leawood, KS, competed at her first Training Three-Day at Waredaca. "I actually tried to take my horse, Duane's Country, to the T3D last year but the timing just wasn't right," Carrie explained. "So this year, it was on the "must hit" list of shows for me. I just started riding Duke this summer, and I was hoping that would be enough time to get used to each other so that we could make it to the three-day."
Meehan and Duke were able to click and she, along with her trainer, Emily Beshear, made the decision to use the T3D as a stepping stone to moving up to the Preliminary level. The decision was a good one as Meehan had a fantastic experience. "My favorite part of the weekend, in relation to the competition, was definitely the steeplechase, of course!" she said. "I gallop racehorses at a local track, so it was fun putting to use what I've learned at the track and combining it with jumps. But I also loved the atmosphere because now most horse trials are only one day, so there's not a lot of interaction between competitors. There was no lack of team spirit there, and the seminars and dinners I thought gave us all a chance to connect and really meet other people."
The Training Three-Day competitors enjoyed seminars by such notable horsemen as Phyllis Dawson, Stephen Bradley, Karen O'Connor, Max Corcoran, Danny Warrington, Pam Wiedemann, and Dr. Kent Allen, and many others who donate their time each year.
Meehan said that she would definitely recommend the long format to other riders since it adds a whole new level to riding your horse at home and at competitions. She said that she thinks it is also a great way to really test out your abilities and know if you are ready for the next level or not. Meehan and Duke plan to finish out the season going Preliminary, and next year they are aiming to do a one-star and hopefully qualify for the American Eventing Championships at the Preliminary level.
"I do want to thank Emily and Jeff Beshear for everything they have done for me, and for Jeff letting me ride such an amazing horse. I would not be where I am today without them. They have been nothing but generous and supportive of me since I got here. And of course my parents for always believing in me and doing whatever it takes so I can accomplish my dreams!"
Jamie Doolittle of Matthews, NC, took home the win in the C division. The 14-year-old, who finished on her dressage score, rode her own 15.1-hand Thoroughbred mare, A Dream Come True, to earn the blue. The pair has been competing successfully at Training level events all over the east coast since January and won their most recent event at the Horse Trials at The Ark.
D.C. McBroom partnered with her Connemara/Thoroughbred gelding Twain to take home the blue in the final division of the Training Three-Day.The pair began their weekend in fifth place, where they posted a commendable 35.3, and after adding no faults on endurance day, they leapt to the top of the scoreboard in the 12-horse division. They left all the rails neatly in their cups on show jumping to clinch their win.
McBroom was thrilled with her experience, and recommends the Training Three-Day Event for everyone, even those who have no desire to compete beyond Training level. “I think this type of event is great for anyone,” explained McBroom. “I thought I knew my pony really well, and I thought I knew myself, but this event really opened up so much knowledge for us. Standing in that vet box after Phase D, we both looked at each other and felt such a connection. For the first time we really felt like we took a huge step in our relationship, and gained so much trust in each other.”
The 16.2-hand 13-year-old gelding, who previously competed up to Intermediate, thoroughly enjoyed himself on cross-country. “On steeplechase I could feel him saying, ‘Really? Are you sure? Okay, let’s go!’ After that, he was so bold on Phase D, and just clocked around, and didn’t question anything.”
The pair didn’t have one of their better show jumping rounds, but Twain’s cattiness over the jumps left them with a clean round. “We’re embracing our ‘inner forwardness,’” joked McBroom, adding that Twain is notoriously lazy. “He was sucking back behind my leg during stadium. But he can jump the moon—and from just about any distance! And he hates to touch the rails, too.”
Even though McBroom’s been one of Twain’s biggest fans since she met him years ago when his previous owner Caitlin Silliman competed him, she only recently got the ride on the precocious grey. “Steve actually got him as a surprise for me,” said McBroom. “We both fell in love with him when Caitlin had him, and when she went to work for Phillip Dutton, she realized that she didn’t have as much time to compete him anymore.” The McBrooms picked up Twain last November, and the rest is history!
Even though this is the first year McBroom has had the opportunity to compete at a long-format Training event, she’s no stranger to the long format, having volunteered at many of the Training Three-Day Events since their inception several years ago. “Ever since Area 2 began organizing this Training Three-Day Event, I’ve tried to compete, but for one reason or another it never worked out. This year, the stars finally aligned!” said McBroom.
McBroom hopes to get a few refresher Training events under her belt in the spring, and plans to compete in some Preliminary/Training divisions before making the move up to Preliminary. “I’d really like to compete at a classic format Preliminary event—I’d love to do Kentucky [Midsouth] in the fall, and if we’re not ready, then maybe Virginia in the following spring.”
McBroom, who resides at her scenic Owl Hollow Farm in Floyd County, VA, with husband Steve, serves on the USEA Board of Governors, is Treasurer of Blue Ridge Eventing Association, served as chair of Area 2, is a Trustee of USEA Endowment Trust, a member of the USEA Executive Committee and USEA Admin and Finance Committee, and is also on the USEF Technical Committee. She’s served as coach of the UVA Equestrian Team, and was the 2001 USEA Senior Novice Rider of the Year. Her and her husband Steve were very involved in the Area 2 Young Rider program, and remain steadfast supporters of the USEA.
The SmartPak Equine USEA Training Level Three-day Series is made possible through the support of its many sponsors: Title Sponsor: SmartPak Equine; Presenting Sponsor: Stackhouse Saddles; Product Sponsor: ProChaps and Elite Sponsors: FITS, Nunn Finer.