Oakhurst Farm in Ashton, ON, has added a Three-Day Long Format Event clinic and competition to their 2017 competition calendar, to be held August 17-20, 2017. This is the only long format three-day event offered for the grassroots levels of eventing in eastern Canada.
Oakhurst Farm owners Ruth Allum and Mark Nelson, have been holding competitions for over 20 years, attracting competitors from all over Ontario, Quebec, and the northeastern United States. “The sport of eventing has evolved over the past decades from traditional long-format three-day competitions to a shorter one-day horse trials competition,” explained Ruth, who is also a member of the Equestrian Canada Eventing Committee. “The only time eventing competitors will be presented the opportunity to compete in the long-format traditional competition is at the international levels of the sport – making it much more difficult for Canadian riders to prepare for international competition. We are running a traditional long-format clinic and competition at the local and provincial levels of the sport to allow our grassroots competitors to learn at an appropriate level how to compete on an international stage.”
The biggest difference from the popular short-format events is the inclusion a full “endurance day.” This begins with roads and tracks (where competitors ride over a set distance at a slower, measured pace to warm up for the speed portion); the steeplechase (ridden at a fast gallop over obstacles); then another slower roads and tracks to cool down before presentation to a veterinarian to ensure the horse is fit enough to proceed to the final cross-country portion. Riders will learn how to condition their horses and help prevent eliminations and injuries when they ride at higher levels.
Mark Nelson, the current Ontario Equestrian Federation president who was on the organizing committee of the eventing portion of the 2015 Pan Am Games, added, “We are excited to embrace this opportunity and have already heard from provincial programs that are helping support teams to compete at this event. We have assembled a team to develop a trade fair, competitors’ and coaches’ areas, find clinicians and generate sponsorship and prize collections which will ensure that all of our competitors come away with an outstanding learning and competitive experience. We have been securing clinicians who work with our own national team and are working to make this competition both an educational and competitive highlight to the eventing competitors’ season.” The Oakhurst Three-Day Long Format clinic and competition will feature coach and competitor gatherings between phases to allow access to clinicians and officials, educational sessions, course walks and practice sessions.
For more information, a schedule, and competitor details, visit here.