The Spring Event at Woodside Gets You Close to the Action
RELEASE: May 19, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Heather Bailey and John Strassburger
San Francisco Bay-area equestrian fans who can’t attend the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games this autumn will enjoy a special treat at the Spring Event At Woodside on May 28-30. Fans can sit or stand close by as the West Coast’s best event riders compete in dressage, cross-country and show jumping at the inviting Horse Park at Woodside.
All levels—from beginner novice to advanced—perform their dressage tests on Friday, and the 30-plus contestants in the featured $30,000 Preliminary Challenge will test their skills over the cross-country course on Saturday morning. The Preliminary Challenge riders will climax their competition over a special show jumping course on Saturday evening in the Bay Arena, which overlooks the southern end of San Francisco Bay.
The advanced and intermediate divisions tackle the cross-country course on Saturday afternoon and finish over their show jumping late Sunday morning.
Spectators can see every fence on designer Derek di Grazia’s panoramic cross-country course or sit just a few feet away from the jumps on the show jumping course. The Horse Park at Woodside is located minutes from I-280, south of San Francisco. Take the Sand Hill Road exit and head west for half a mile. Admission is a bargain at $10 per car.
The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are coming to the Kentucky Horse Park, in Lexington, KY, this September because of events that happened almost 40 years ago. In 1974 a young American event rider named Bruce Davidson won the Individual Gold medal, and led the U.S. team to the Gold medal too, at the World Three-Day Event Championships in England.
As a result, the United States won the right to host the next championships, in 1978, and for that purpose the Kentucky Horse and the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event were founded. The Kentucky Horse Park would become the most comprehensive competition venue in the United States and home to more than 30 national equestrian organizations, and the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event would become the most well-attended U.S. equestrian event, apart from Thoroughbred races like the Kentucky Derby.
This will be the first time the FEI World Equestrian Games have been held outside of Europe since their founding in 1990.
The founding of the Horse Park at Woodside in 1981 came about because several local eventers wanted to establish a permanent competition site in Northern California. The Horse Park at Woodside has since been a vital part of the Bay Area equestrian community, hosting three recognized events a year, along with numerous hunter/jumper shows, dressage shows, Pony Club clinics and competitions, carriage-driving competitions, and dog-agility training and competition.
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 the 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. Point Two Air Jackets and Equine Insurance of California are also sponsoring the $30,000 Preliminary Challenge.
Gina Miles, the Individual Silver medalist at the 2008 Olympics, will be riding two young horses in the horse division.
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. The dinner starts on Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m.
Proceeds from the Preliminary Challenge Gala Dinner benefit construction of the cross-country course at the Horse Park of Woodside. 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