It was a thrilling final day of competition for the 2017 Preliminary Challenge, presented this year by CWD, Devoucoux, Equine Insurance of California, CANTER, CARMA, and Professional’s Choice. It began with cross country and concluded with a show jumping finale in front of a sold out crowd as both divisions battled it out for their piece of the $15,000 purse. Ultimately it was Mallory Hogan and Rebecca Braitling who came out on top.
Mallory Hogan rode her own Clarissa Purisima to victory in the Preliminary Challenge Rider Division. Sitting in second after earning a 31.4 in dressage, Hogan and the 9-year-old Holsteiner mare (Limmerick I x Briza) eagerly navigated Ian Stark’s cross country course this morning, picking up only 3.4 time penalties.
“She was really bold. I went out there knowing the time was going to be a little harder to make, so I rode everything in a forward rhythm and let her do her job. She loves cross country, that’s one of our strongest phases, so I just let her do her thing out there,” Hogan commented.
Taking the lead after cross country meant the pressure was on for Hogan and “Clarissa,” but the 17-year-old showed experience beyond her years when she delivered a double clear show jumping round.
“After cross country when I saw that I moved up I knew the atmosphere was going to be a lot and I didn’t know how she was going to handle it, but she went in there today and she was really mature and grown up about it,” Hogan beamed. “I can’t believe it. It feels like everything has come together. We have been working really hard on her dressage and her show jumping too this season. Getting that double clear round felt like it finally came together in the right time and the right place.”
Claire Poch earned second place with her own Kirschblüte 3, an 8-year-old Trakehner mare (Hirtentaz x Kantate X). Adding just 0.4 time penalties moved the pair from ninth to second after cross country, and a final score of 36.9 after two pesky show jumping time penalties was enough to end in second.
Katelyn Grubich and her own Kaptain Jak added 3.6 cross country time penalties to their dressage score (33.5), and a double clear show jumping round sealed the deal on third. The 15-year-old Thoroughbred (B. Hoedown x Keyeaster) also won the Preliminary Challenge OTTB High Point Award, sponsored by CANTER and CARMA, as the highest-placed off-track Thoroughbred.
The horse division produced a nail-biting finale as cross country-leaders Erin Kellerhouse and Woodford Reserve picked up a single show jumping time penalty which ultimately gave the win to Rebecca Braitling and Santana II.
“It was kind of surprising actually because Erin and James are usually not very easy to beat, so I was happy to go in and just have a clear round,” said Braitling who is competing Lauren Burnell’s Santana II for the very first time this weekend.
The 7-year-old Oldenburg set out confidently on cross country this morning adding 1.6 time penalties, and a faultless show jump round sealed the deal on a finishing result of 27. “We had a few green moments early on cross country, so I had to tone it down a little and not worry about the time as much and find a rhythm, but then she show jumped really really well this afternoon,” Braitling said.
Braitling will continue to compete the mare while Burnell is pregnant this summer and their FEI debut is quickly approaching. “We’re going to head to the one-star in Montana. I’m excited because Mallory [Hogan, winner of the Preliminary Championship Rider division] is headed there hopefully for the Area VI Young Riders. I’m actually coaching the Area VI Young Riders this year, so it’s fun having one of the girls here with me too.”
Despite a costly time penalty, Erin Kellerhouse and Woodford Reserve still finished the weekend reserve champions. The 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse was the first horse to complete this morning’s cross country course, adding 1.6 time penalties. The final show jumping penalty puts them on a three-phase score of 27.
David Adamo wraps up the top three of this year’s horse division with Christiana Rosenblatt’s Junit. The 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood (Toulon x Wokina) was fourth after dressage on a mark of 27.8, and following the trend in this top three, picked up 1.6 time penalties on cross country. A final clear show jumping round secured their top three finish.
The Preliminary Challenge is the only show of its kind, offering a $15,000 purse and over $15,000 in prize money across the two divisions. In addition to cash, both winners will also take home a custom saddle, Hogan a Devoucoux and Braitling a JRD.
The Event at Woodside is excited to welcome CWD, Devoucoux, Equine Insurance of California, CANTER, CARMA and Professional’s Choice as the 2017 Presenting Sponsors of the Spring Event.
Maserati/Ferrari Silicon Valley, Mattioli Automotive group and Sunsprite Warmbloods are the Gold Medal Sponsors.
Silver Medal Sponsors are: JRD Saddles, Majyk Equipe, SmartPak and Voltaire Design.
Bronze Medal Sponsors are: Auburn Laboratories, Inc., Geranium, Ride On Video, Shires Equestrian Products, Tipperary Equestrian and Triple Crown Nutrition.
Friend Sponsors include American Medical Response and Eventing Training Online.
To learn more about The Event at Woodside, please visit www.woodsideeventing.com
We all work hard to get our horses shiny and clean for competition day, but it can sometimes take a bit of extra elbow grease to get those grey or white horses looking their best. Rachael Livermore, head groom for Sharon White at Last Frontier Farm, shares some of the tricks she uses to get Sharon's horses looking spick and span - and it starts with everyday care!
This is it! The weekend we've all been waiting for is finally here - the return to competition has arrived! After nearly three months of suspended competitions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the country and the world, riders are shining up their boots and preparing to trot down the centerline. While our "new normal" will certainly look different than things did before the pandemic, these new regulations are in place for all our safety.
The return to competition upon us! This week on the show Nicole Brown is joined by Sinead Halpin Maynard to talk about how you can make sure you and your horse are prepared to get back to competing.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).