May 19, 2018

$15,000 Preliminary Challenge Celebrates 10 Years at The Spring Event at Woodside

By Woodside Horse Trials - Press Release
2017 Preliminary Challenge winners Rebecca Braitling and Mallory Hogan. Shelby Allen Photo.

The Woodside Preliminary Challenge is set to highlight the Event at Woodside, held May 25-28, 2018 for a 10th consecutive year. This highly-anticipated event, presented by Equine Insurance of California, CWD, Devoucoux, Professionals’ Choice, CARMA, and CANTER, invites the best Preliminary level horses and riders to go head to head for their chance at $15,000 in prize money.

Hosted at the beautiful Horse Park at Woodside, the Preliminary Challenge is the only event of its kind, offering a world class competitive environment tailored for horses and riders who have not competed above the Preliminary level.

“Woodside gives you an opportunity to feel the pressure and excitement you’d find at big International shows, while also competing for big prizes,” said Mallory Hogan, winner of the 2017 Preliminary Challenge rider division. “The electric atmosphere of the Preliminary Challenge was a big part of my preparation before my trip to the Young Riders Championship. We’re so lucky to have Woodside provide this kind of showcase at the level!”

The forty-four Preliminary Challenge combinations earn their first marks of the weekend in the dressage phase, which begins Friday, May 25, at 8:00 a.m. in the Grand Prix Arena. The competition heats up Saturday, May 26, with the heart-pumping cross country phase where riders are up against Ian Stark’s testing track.

Spectators are welcome and encouraged! A car fee of $10 guarantees parking and an event program as well as access to the entire horse park.

The Challenge culminates on Saturday night with the nail-biting show jumping finale in the Grand Prix Arena. Priority seating in the new heated ringside tent are available with the purchase of a Gala Dinner ticket. Reservations ensure that fans, family and friends won’t miss a second of the action, and once our champions are crowned enjoy drinks, dinner and dancing. Dinner tickets are available for $60 per person or $550 for a table of 10. The Gala Dinner sells out every year, so don’t wait, reserve your tickets today.

“I think the format we’ve created for the Woodside Preliminary Challenge — the evening show jumping competition with the awards right afterward and the catered dinner — has become something truly special over the last nine years, ” said event organizer Robert Kellerhouse. “The Preliminary Challenge has become a competition that the riders aim for every year, and it’s become an event that people in the Woodside area and people riding in the other divisions at Woodside look forward to watching every year.”

The Preliminary Challenge offers two divisions: The Horse, which is open to riders of any level of experience with horses who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above; The Rider division is open to all horses with riders who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above.

New this year, College students are invited to Woodside’s first Intercollegiate Challenge! The competition will include teams of four riders of any level. The three best final scores will count towards the cumulative team result. To account for differences in level difficulty, each rider’s score is multiplied by a coefficient appropriate for their level. To learn more about the USEA Intercollegiate Program, visit the show office to sign up for the Intercollegiate Challenge. Scramble teams will be created if entries warrant.

The Event at Woodside is excited to welcome CWD, Devoucoux, Equine Insurance of California, CANTER, CARMA and Professional’s Choice as the 2018 Presenting Sponsors of the Spring Event.

Sunsprite Warmbloods returns as a Gold Medal Sponsor.

Silver Medal Sponsors are: SmartPak and Voltaire Design.

Bronze Medal Sponsors are: Auburn Laboratories, Inc., Geranium, Ride On Video, and Triple Crown Nutrition.

Eventing Training Online is a Friend Level Sponsor.

To learn more about The Event at Woodside, please visit

To purchase tickets for the Gala Dinner, please visit

To learn more about eventing, please visit the U.S. Eventing Association’s website at

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Apply Now for the 2021 Worth the Trust Scholarship

In 2000 and with the support of Joan Iversen Goswell, the Worth the Trust Scholarships were established to provide financial assistance to amateurs to pursue their education in eventing. The funds from the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarship may be used for training opportunities such as clinics, working student positions, and private or group instruction, or to learn from an official, course designer, technical delegate, judge, veterinarian, or organizer.

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