After a long delay, the international eventing season roars back to life on the West Coast with the Twin Rivers Fall International, September 17-20 in Coastal Central California's Paso Robles.
The region's many upper level riders are excited to get back in the hunt for FEI qualifying scores and pairs of all levels are hot to strut their stuff. The competition will also host Advanced through Intro and USEA Future Event Horse and USEA Young Event Horse levels.
Having undergone intensified upgrades before what would have been the inaugural Spring International CCI4*-L in April, the Baxter family's beautiful 500-acre venue is readier than ever to welcome competitors from far and wide.
Before COVID-19 shut the country down in early March, exhibitors at the Twin Rivers Winter Horse Trials in late February glimpsed some of those upgrades. Highlights include new Advanced to Preliminary courses designed by Hugh Lochore and brought to life by the Baxters' earth-moving miracles. There's the Quarry, the Flyover, Jeff's Hot Tub, and the Palm Tree and Twin Ponds water complexes, plus other new adventures spread over varied terrain. New frangible table fences, compliments of the USEA Foundation grants for this purpose, are another addition.
Lochore, of Great Britain, is also designing the Advanced to Preliminary tracks for September while Adri Doyle of Texas is handling the Intro through Training routes. Jose Nava of California is on design duty in the show jumping arena surrounded by picturesque vineyards in the heart of Central California wine country.
The September International offer qualifiers for the USEA Future Event Horse West Coast Championships and The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse West Coast Championships. This special showcase for young horses will be hosted by Twin Rivers on October 23-24. An unrated one-day event is slated for Sunday, October 25, and a new, rated Horse Trials is pending approval on November 13-15.
New Ways To Shine
The smooth running of Twin Rivers' Summer Horse Trials in July demonstrated the dedication of all involved to complying with the new normal of wearing facemasks while unmounted, maintaining social distancing, and other safety measures.
Twin Rivers is owned by the Baxter family and operated with the attitude that all exhibitors, organizers, officials, and volunteers are part of that family. In "normal" times, the attitude manifests at the friendly Twin Rivers bar and gathering area in the middle of the property. In these not-so-normal times, it manifests as extreme care toward keeping everyone safe, happy, and able to continue pursuing their passion for equestrian sports.
"Our staff, officials, exhibitors, and volunteers all have the same priority," says organizer Connie Baxter. "We want to enjoy our horses, our friends, and our sport and do everything possible to keep everybody safe. It is a pleasure to welcome all back to our property and to have them join in our efforts to host world class equestrian competition."
In March, the Twin Rivers team earned high praise from visiting Erik Duvander, U.S. Eventing Performance Director. "Every time I come to Twin Rivers, I'm noticing the amount of work. They are constantly upping the game here." That has continued during the coronavirus lull in competition, benefitting all West Coast exhibitors.
Although USEF and local COVID-prevention safety protocols bar spectators from attending, Ride On Video will live stream throughout the weekend. Livestream sponsorships are available for coverage that will be widely seen by those interested in how horse/riders pairs out West are performing after the long break.
As part of the Twin Rivers Ranch season, The Fall International is made possible by generous sponsors: presenting sponsors include Professional's Choice, manufacturers of sports medicine boots for equine athletes; Auburn Labs, manufacturers of the adaptogenic APF Formula for horses, people, and dogs; Ride On Video, horse trials videographer; and Get Away RV Rentals, the Central Coast's preferred RV rental service thanks to its personalized care, service, and high quality fleet.
For additional sponsorship opportunities, contact Christina Gray of Gray Area Events at [email protected].
Volunteers Get Front Row Seats!
Volunteers are critical to the Fall International's success and the experience is a great entrée to the sport, even for those without prior experience. Hours equal credit toward schooling at Twin Rivers or Horse Trials entries, and inclusion in year-end volunteer raffle and prize pack drawings.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
Jeffrey Lesitsky was always intrigued by horses, but growing up Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he didn’t have much access to them. “My only experience was what I saw on television,” he said. “I saw pictures of Secretariat when he won the Triple Crown, but I was only 10 years old and I didn't really understand what was going on. Secretariat was a beautiful horse and I wanted to learn more about them – later I learned Secretariat and I have the same birthday, but I'm seven years his senior!”
Lynn Klisavage got her start teaching riding lessons on Barber’s Point Naval Air Base on O’ahu, Hawaii in the 1960s. When she was in her early 20s, she and her family relocated to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and it was there that Klisavage became the Director of the Air Force Academy Stables.
In 2008, the USEA Young Event Horse Program (YEH) had 20 competitions on the YEH calendar, 36 horses who qualified to compete in the championships, and 15 horses who competed in the 2008 USEA YEH Championships held in Wayne, Illinois at Lamplight Equestrian Center.