Known for bourbon, bluegrass, and big racehorses, Kentucky is also known for the Kentucky Horse Park. The renowned park has attracted eventing legends to eventing rookies and everyone in between. On October 17-21, the Kentucky Horse Park hosted their last eventing competition of the season: the Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day Event & Team Challenge. By offering a Preliminary Three-Day (P3D) and a Training Thee-Day (T3D), competitors get to relive steeplechase on the same show grounds of where it all started.
“I believe that the additional phases are great physically and mentally for a less experienced horse,” Arden Wildasin, winner of the Preliminary Three-Day, cited as one of the benefits of a USEA Classic Series event. Wildasin, a rider who has taken multiple horses through the levels of eventing, brought three horses to the Hagyard Midsouth Event, two in the CCI* and one in the P3D. Riding HelloHello, an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Wildasin decided to enter him in the P3D for “several reasons” with one reason being preparation for a CCI event. “He is now done for the season and our goal for next year is a CCI*.”
All smiles for Arden Wildasin and HelloHello, winners of the Hagyard Midsouth Preliminary Three-Day. Photo courtesy of Arden Wildasin.
“HelloHello (Dreamer) has been with me for two years. He is a very workmanlike horse and we have practiced diligently to improve the mechanics of his jumping and dressage while remaining relaxed,” described Wildasin of her winning partner. In order to have a successful four-phase endurance day, Wildasin shared her preparation routine for Dreamer. “Dreamer’s prep for the P3D was no different from the normal program that I use with all my horses. [I prefer] gymnastics, consistent jumping, flat work routines and relaxed trail rides.”
Already having done Hagyard Midsouth’s Training Three-Day in 2017 with Dreamer, Wildasin is an advocate for the Classic Series events. “I really encourage riders who haven’t completed at Hagyard to seriously consider doing so. The cross-country and show jump course designs are superb and the show organizers are beyond helpful. It’s always a great weekend - regardless of the results.”
Kiersten Miller and Pierre in the Hagyard Midsouth Training Three-Day awards. Photo courtesy of Kiersten Miller.
“It was such an amazing experience,” emphasized Kiersten Miller, winner of Hagyard Midsouth’s Training Three-Day. Riding Pierre, a 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Miller finished on her impressive dressage score of a 23.7. Blue seems to be their favorite color, as they’ve won the past four events together, along with the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award at Cobblestone Farms.
On the right path for a new challenge, Miller has her sights set on Preliminary. “I’m hoping in the near future that Pierre and I move up to Preliminary!” Although her success with Pierre hasn’t always been easy, Miller admitted that, “It wasn’t until this past spring that all the pieces slowly started to come together. Everything started to flow more, and good rides became more and more frequent.”
With the Training Three-Day being at the end of the season, Miller was confident she had a fit horse ready to tackle endurance day. “To prep for the Three-Day I didn’t do anything too excessive. I knew Pierre was fit and ready to go given it’s the end of the season so I just continued with my normal schedule which is a trot set once a week, flatting four times a week, and then a jump school.”
“My favorite part of the Classic Series Three-Day event was by far endurance day, but specifically steeplechase,” reflected Miller.
Congratulations to both Kiersten Miller and Arden Wildasin on their wins in a USEA Classic Series Event!
About the USEA Classic Series
The USEA Classic Series keeps the spirit of the classic long format three-day events alive for Beginner Novice through the Preliminary levels. Competitors can experience the rush of endurance day, including roads and tracks, steeplechase, the vet box, and cross country, as well as participate in formal veterinary inspections and educational activities with experts on the ins and outs of competing in a long format three-day event.
Riders who compete in a USEA Classic Series event during the year will have the chance to win a variety of prizes at the events and will also be entered in a drawing held at the USEA Year End Award Ceremony for a year’s supply of SmartPak supplements and a custom fitted Stackhouse and Ellis saddle. Click here to learn more about the USEA Classic Series.