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Long vs Short Format -- Team Challenge

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  • Long vs Short Format -- Team Challenge

    Was very surprised when I looked at the CCI* entries at Mid South Team Challenge. Possibly the only HT in the country that offers the choice of long vs short format; I count 13 long format entries and 28 short format. WTF?

  • #2
    If you'd never had the pleasure and joy of accomplishment that comes with completing a long-format, or if your young coach never has experienced that thrill, or if you just want to qualify for something else or are afraid your horse (or you) isn't fit enough or will get hurt at LF...well, you do the SF.

    There are so many reasons these days, so many different paths to take and none are wrong or right. I don't cast any aspersions on those who choose not to do LF...I'm just sorry that they might never have that particular wonderful and quite impossible to explain feeling that goes along with the LF.


    • #3
      I agree with 3Dazey, but it is very disappointing that there aren't more who a choosing the experience of the "classic format". I have been fortunate enough to have done a few "classic' three days and so has my oldest son. My youngest has done a half star and in his first 3 starts at Prelim with his new guy he has 3 qualifying scores with one event this season to go. He's hoping to be ready to do the VA "classic" three day next spring. Note I said 'ready' not 'qualified'. Yes they have to be qualified to be able to enter, but they have to be 'ready' to compete, they are two different things if you know what I mean

      He doesn't care if it qualifies him to do anything other than being a more well rounded horseman not to mention having a BLAST!!



      • #4
        Can't add anything 3Dazey and JFS haven't already said. I am lucky enough to have done 3 Training 3Days (including 2 in Canada before they were here in the US) and a 1* (although we didn't complete it). I can't say there is anything like it anywhere and I'd love to do another eventually.

        The numbers are disappointing, but if it's going to be offered, some people are going to make the decision to run the Short instead of the Long for whatever reason floats their boat (my former mare is entered in the WO format). AND, in trying to be optimistic, at least the bills for the LF are helping to be paid for by the SF (FEI judges and vets) and by the 30+ in the T3DE (steeplechase and R&T costs)... which means they can continue to offer it!
        "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

        "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike


        • Original Poster

          No argument with any of the posts. We've found steeplechase to be a very educational activity for our horses, to the point that we frequently do it ourselves as a training tool (outside of the show environment).

          But here's my point(s):
          1. There's been a tremendous noise about w/ and w/o steeplechase.
          2. This is one of the few side-x-side comparisons where the event customers "vote" with their entry dollars.
          3. This vote is clear - by a 2 x 1 majority, eventers at this show at this level of competition choose short over long format.

          I'm not taking a side (yet); I'm just trying to understand and internalize available evidence. In many venues, very small, vocal populations are drowning out the silent majorities - is this happening in the long vs short format debate?

          Because if I'm an organizer, and I look at this data (and I'm sure Mary will after the show), I'm going to cut my costs and eliminate offering the long format EXCEPT possibly at the well subscribed Training 3-day. Or perhaps I'm assuming too much even for the T3D?

          Could anyone else please provide additional data for single horse trials where both are offered?

          I'm still on the fence, but this preliminary evidence tells me the eventing community is NOT substantially in support of the long format. Flame suit on.


          • #6
            Well, it takes a lot more to prepare for a Training 3-day than it does for a Training level event. It took more conditioning to get ready for the half-star than for either of my other 2 prelim horses when they were doing Prelim.

            I can only presume (since I"ve not done it) that it takes MORE time to prep for a * than to run a regular Prelim. And since the W/O format is JUST a cross country course, albeit a beefed up one, you can do the w/o format more readily than you can the full *. The full format phase D is supposed to also be more subtantial than a regular horse trial. So if the "D" would be the same whether or not you did ABC, it sure stands to reason that ABC means you need a fitter horse. And maybe people don't want to do that?

            If someone has run both the with and the without at Prelim level, and will verify that a horse fit for the w/o version can run the WITH version then maybe I'll be quiet, but I can't see how the w/o can require the same level of fitness than the with.


            • #7
              Well, I for one would do another long format in a second, but lets face it... a short is an easier and less stressful qualifier. Not everyone competes at the * level for a thrill. It is a means to an end for a lot of people. Young riders especially who are looking for that all important qualifier, or pros who don't want their horses to need lots of down time after.

              It's less work, there, before and after.


              • #8

                At least it is better that VA when there was only 5 of us for the LF, it is all about your goals and where you want to go! I think that it is great that there are 13 in the LF! Those that are wanting to move up the ladder the FEI only reconogizes the CCI* SF the LF is not a qualifier for anything. The LF format needs to be a goal for what it teaches you and your horse, it had been a 30 year goal of mine thru different horses, jobs, getting married and finally getting the job done this year and I can hardly wait to go and do it again next year!! I dont have any goals of going any higher up the levels so this is it.

                I think a way to get it back to being a goal is adding prize money!!! Look at how the hunter derbies have gotton so much attention and money, why can we show case the up and coming riders and horses, doing their FIRST LF preliminay three day!!!

                Make any mistakes going forward!


                • Original Poster

                  Is a CCI* a required qualifier? Don't think so; definitely not required for a **.


                  • #10
                    Speaking as one of the 13 LF riders, I can only report that this has been a specific goal for me. I have done a CCI* w/o this past May, in CO. For that, my horse was about as fit as he is now...however, since it was in CO, I wanted to make sure that he was going to be able to handle the altitude. (And boy, did he handle it, it was me who was gasping at the end of XC.)

                    I think the point of making it a specific goal by adding prize money is not a bad idea...but I'm not sure that it is financially viable for many events. First they have the additional costs of a long format, and then prize money on top of that?

                    I think tle has a good point about Midsouth though, when she mentions the short format CCI* helping to pay costs for the FEI judges for LF and the T3D helping to pay costs for the steeplechase portion. That may be the best way to run such an event, however, the question would be whether most venues could handle that.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by secretariat View Post
                      Is a CCI* a required qualifier? Don't think so; definitely not required for a **.
                      Required? Probably not knowing the FEI's wisdom (*insert rolling eyes here*). But it CAN be used as a qualifier. That's why Susie and Frankie are running at all (a relatively late decision as well)... so all the pressure to get a qualifier for the CCI** won't be on them at the Red Hills CIC**. Something like that anyway. But she opted for no steeplechase (worried how the red mare will take it given her past issues).

                      I'd be really curious to do a poll of the CCI* riders and see why each chose to do each format.
                      "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

                      "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hilary View Post
                        And since the W/O format is JUST a cross country course, albeit a beefed up one, you can do the w/o format more readily than you can the full *.
                        Though I am no longer entered, I was prepping for this competition with the help of Jim Graham and there was absolutely no difference in the preparation and fitness requirements for the W/O format vs the full format. The W/O format is not JUST a regular prelim cross-country course, it is several minutes longer and the fitness requirements for the CCIs are significantly greater than for a standard prelim horse trials or a CIC.

                        When it comes down to picking between the short and long format CCI, riders and coaches are looking at personal goals, needed qualifiers, individual strengths and weaknesses of the partnership (will the horse benefit from the steeplechase experience to get him settled and focused and bold, or will it be detrimental by encouraging him to get flat), things like that. It is NOT a case of picking one format over the other because of conditioning and fitness requirements because those are the same.
                        Hindsight bad, foresight good.


                        • #13
                          Badger, is the XC for the short format different, though, than Phase D of the long format?

                          Or do they run the same?

                          I'm still not sure how even a 7 minute XC course is as taxing than ABC (especially if B is 4 -5 minutes) plus, say, a 5 minute phase D XC. I know I'm being a pedant but I want to understand how a regular XC course, by which I mean you leave the start box, jump 25 fences and then finish, can be as rigorous as riding for 30-45 minutes including steeplechase, and THEN leaving the start box and jumping 20 fences (to account for "beefed up-ness" of the CIC* course).

                          I get that everyone has their own goals and reasons for choosing one format over the other, but having done the half-star regular XC is almost boring! My new goal is the LF *. And I'll probably do anther Training 3-day before we get there.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hilary View Post
                            Badger, is the XC for the short format different, though, than Phase D of the long format?

                            Or do they run the same?
                            According to the course maps that they have posted on their website, the two CCI* courses (Phase D) are identical.