Brown and Carter Claim Divisions of Woodside Preliminary Challenge
RELEASE: May 27, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Del Mar Eventing
– Matt Brown punctuated a memorable weekend at the Woodside Horse Trials by winning the Horse division of the Preliminary Challenge on Che Landscape (32.4) and finishing fourth on Happenstance (36.0), while Kiera Carter rode Corinthoz to first place (32.0) in the Rider division.
Professional’s Choice and Equine Insurance of California were the Presenting Sponsors of the Woodside Preliminary Challenge.
The Preliminary Challenge reached an exciting climax in the electrified atmosphere of the Horse Park At Woodside’s Grand Prix Ring on Saturday night, May 25. A crowd of more than 1,000 people cheered loudly as the top 10 horses in both divisions jumped in the evening light. About 400 fans enjoyed the gala dinner in the ringside heated tent, while the rest pulled up their chairs and enjoyed their own libations around the beautiful ring.
The two winning riders each earned $2,500 for their performances. In addition, Brown, of Petaluma, Calif., took home a JRD saddle, and Carter, of Santa Catalina, Calif., took home a Devoucoux saddle.
With a faultless show jumping round, Brown, 37, edged ahead of his student Julie Flettner on Ping Pong, winners in 2012 of the Rider division of the Preliminary Challenge. Flettner decided this year to contest the Horse division. She and Ping Pong looked ready to win again as they held a narrow lead after cross-country, but they knocked down one fence midway through the course to drop to second.
“We both had mixed feelings about competing against each other. And I definitely had mixed feelings when she dropped the rail tonight, because I was very sad for her. Julie and Ping Pong are a fabulous team,’ said Brown. “So I was a little bit disappointed for her, but I was thrilled with Squishy, as we call Che Landscape. He’s been figuring it all out, and he loved going in there with all the people cheering for him.”
Che Landscape is a 9-year-old, Argentine-bred warmblood gelding. Owner Chelsea Clyde-Brockway is in graduate school, and Brown has been riding him for a little more than a year. “He’s such a fun horse,” said Brown, who on Sunday also rode to the top of the open intermediate division on Super Socks BCF (30.8) and the open preliminary division on BCF Belicoso (24.2).
Barbara Crabo and Eveready won the advanced division (33.8).
“I’m just very lucky to have a lot of good horses to ride,” said Brown, who, with his wife, Cecily, runs the East-West Training Stables in Petaluma.
Carter, 15, also moved up to victory amidst the excitement of the evening show jumping. She and Corinthoz, a 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, had been standing second after the morning’s cross-country phase, but their faultless show jumping round put the pressure on leaders Tristan Hooks and Learning To Fly. They lowered one rail to drop to second place.
Carter said that she didn’t feel any pressure as she rode into the Grand Prix Ring, even though it was only their fourth start at the preliminary level.
“I honestly came into the show jumping thinking my horse owed me nothing,” she said. “He gave me the best cross-country round I’ve ever been given by a horse. So I went in without any expectations, and he didn’t pay any attention to the crowd and gave me another amazing ride of my life. It’s been an amazing weekend.”
Carter bought Corinthoz as a 3-year-old, with the money she earned by selling her 9-hand pony, and they’ve grown up together.
“I came to Woodside a couple of years ago and saw the Preliminary Challenge, and it’s been a goal with this horse to get to prelim and come here—and I ended up winning it the first time! This was probably my best eventing experience ever,” Carter said.
Brown, who’s ridden several horses in the Preliminary Challenge since it’s beginning in 2009, considers it a highlight of the competition year.
“The way that [organizer] Robert Kellerhouse has done this is great for the preliminary level horses. It’s a good opportunity to get our up-and-coming horses into a little bit of atmosphere that will help them for the future. And for the riders who aren’t necessarily going to go compete advanced or internationally, it’s great to have all the people here and feel like they’re behind you, instead of just doing it on your own.
“You can really feel it when you’re out there. I love the opportunity to be able to do this,” added Brown.
The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program and RanJan Racing also presented a $1,000 award to the top-placing Thoroughbred in the Woodside Preliminary Challenge. The winner was Helium Risin’, who finished 10th in the Rider division with Kelsey Devoille of Kirkland, Wash.
The additional generous sponsors of the Woodside Horse Trials include: Gold Medal—Devoucoux Biarritz-France; Silver Medal—JRD Saddlery, Voltaire Design, CWD; Bronze Medal—American Medical Response, Auburn Laboratories, Geranium Street Floral, Point Two Air Jackets, Professional Riders Organization, Ride On Video, SmartPak, and Sunsprite Warmbloods.