Preliminary Challenge Returns to the Event At Woodside
RELEASE: April 21, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By John Strassburger and Heather Bailey
Preliminary level riders have been waiting all year for the return of the Preliminary Challenge, the highlight of the Event At Woodside, just 25 minutes south of San Francisco, CA, May 28-30.
“Last year was a success beyond my wildest hopes, and we’re making it bigger and better this year,” said Organizer Robert Kellerhouse.
Some 33 horses squared off in the two divisions of last year’s inaugural Preliminary Challenge, with more than 700 fans cheering for them during Saturday evening’s show jumping finale. “I hope we’ll have even more horses and more fans this year,” said Kellerhouse.
Once again, the Preliminary Challenge offers $15,000 in prize money and an additional $15,000 in prizes. Point Two Air Jackets, Equine Insurance of California, CWD Saddles and JRD Saddles are the Preliminary Challenge sponsors.
“Horses and riders competing at this level rarely get the credit they deserve,” said Kellerhouse. “And we believe it’s time for them to have a showcase of their own.”
The Preliminary Challenge competition will begin on Friday with dressage, evaluated by a panel of two judges. The exciting cross-country phase will take place on Saturday morning, and on Saturday afternoon the advanced and intermediate divisions will take their turn at Derek di Grazia’s spectator-friendly cross-country course. The Preliminary Challenge will climax on Saturday evening over a special show jumping course set in the Bay Arena, with its panoramic view of the southern San Francisco Bay. The advanced and intermediate divisions will show jump on Sunday.
The top 10 horses in each Preliminary Challenge division will begin show jumping at 6:20 p.m. on Saturday, with awards to follow immediately.
The Preliminary Challenge offers two divisions: the Horse section is open to riders of any level of experience on horses that have not competed at the intermediate level or above in 2008, 2009 or 2010; the Rider section is open to all horses with riders who have not competed at the intermediate level or above in 2008, 2009 or 2010. Horses and riders must achieve required two qualifying results at the preliminary level as a pair, not individually.
The winner of the Horse section will receive a JRD dressage saddle, while the winner of the Rider section will receive a CWD jumping saddle.
The Preliminary Challenge Gala Dinner, held in the pavilion overlooking the Bay Arena, provides family, friends and fans with a special place to enjoy the competition’s exciting climax. Local wines, beer and soft drinks will be served while the horses are jumping, with a specially catered dinner following the awards ceremony. Last year the gala dinner was sold out, with some 300 people enjoying the food and hospitality.
Proceeds from the Preliminary Challenge Gala Dinner benefit construction of the cross-country course at the Horse Park of Woodside, located on Sand Hill Road, just west of I-280. Tickets are $55 per person or $450 for a table of 10.
To learn more about the Horse Park at Woodside or the Horse Trials At Woodside, go to www.horsepark.org
. To learn more about eventing, visit the U.S. Eventing Association’s website at www.useventing.com