What You Need To Know: The 2017 ASPCA Maclay Final

Nov 3, 2017 - 12:55 PM

The ASPCA Maclay Final kicks off at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena in Lexington, Ky.

Round 1 has 177 riders on the order of go and the schedule estimates that it will conclude at 12:45 p.m., on Saturday. The flat phases (there are usually three sections called back for the flat phase) are scheduled for 1:00 p.m., on Sunday, Nov. 5. The second round of jumping will run immediately after that.

Ralph Caristo and Bernie Traurig will be judging the Maclay, and they also designed the course.

The Chronicle’s Ann Glavan and Molly Sorge will be ringside blogging—find their round-by-round commentary on each ride here. 

Other useful links and information:


The course that Caristo and Traurig have set starts out with an oxer set out of the corner opposite the in-gate at the end of the ring. There is a dotted line, so this is a challenge right away for riders to get their horses in front of their leg right off the bat.

They then ride up the long side to a vertical in a forward five strides, then settle in for a quiet seven strides to an airy white oxer set in the far corner of the ring. This line is a

They then turn out of the end of the ring to a line across the diagonal of narrow vertical to one-stride to narrow vertical, with four strides between the verticals and the combination.

They then swing around the in-gate end of the ring and ride a wingless, airy triple bar set right in front of the in-gate. In a bending five strides they approach a vertical-vertical-oxer triple bar of one stride to two up the long side. A bending six strides leads to an oxer set along the short side, then they roll back to a green wall vertical.

They bend in nine strides down the ring to a red vertical, then spin around by the in-gate and come across the diagonal to a long gallop to a red oxer as the last jump.

The course has no real gimmicks or traps, and the fences are all pretty straightforward. But it’s obvious that the judges are looking for riders with very subtle control of their horses’ pace and stride and riders who pay close attention to track.


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