On the heels of a sold-out Spring Event at Woodside, organizer Robert Kellerhouse announces another competition innovation: The Modified Training Challenge. The “M-Training Challenge” is the centerpiece of The Summer Event at Woodside, August 9-11 at The Horse Park at Woodside.
Designed to offer new challenges in the dressage, cross-country, and show jumping phases for Training level horses and riders, the M-Training Challenge is modeled on the Preliminary Challenge. Like that 11-year-old institution on the pathway to international divisions, the M-Training Challenge will conclude with Saturday night show jumping followed by a ringside dinner after-party.
Run to the standards identified in the USEF Rules for Eventing as the “Modified-Training” division, the M-Training Challenge adds difficulty across the board without requiring the full step up to Preliminary.
Friday’s dressage will be conducted at Modified Test B, introducing leg yields, halt, and rein-back, 10-meter trot and 15-meter canter circles, and trot and canter lengthenings, with two judges to provide feedback. Cross-country will be built at Training level’s 1-meter height, but on a different track than the regular Training course and with more technical challenges and a faster pace of 470 meters per minute. Show jumping will be staged at the Modified division’s 1.05-meter height, with double and triple combinations upping the degree of difficulty.
Prizes for the M-Training Challenge are already sweet: a new saddle for the overall lowest score, and at least $2,500 cash in the horse and rider divisions. Kellerhouse anticipates that broad industry enthusiasm will enable additional prizes and welcomes founding sponsors who would like to align with this new event.
New Ideas from Veteran Organizer
The M-Training Challenge’s horse and rider divisions are designed for professionals’ younger horses and for riders looking to test themselves at a higher level. Many of these rider division candidates are amateurs and juniors who comprise the base of the pyramid upon which equestrian sport is built in the United States. Kellerhouse looks forward to celebrating their accomplishments.
Along with establishing the nationally-known Preliminary Challenge, the veteran event organizer began staging international eventing at Galway Downs in 1999. He brought the first CCI4*-L (formerly defined as a CCI3*) competition to the West Coast in 2010, and now has a long track record of top events at Galway Downs in Southern California’s Temecula and The Horse Park at Woodside in Northern California. By prioritizing footing, maximizing current technologies, and gathering and acting on customer feedback, Kellerhouse competitions have enabled many international contenders to prepare on the West Coast. After the Summer Event at Woodside comes the Woodside International Horse Trials CCI4*-S, Oct. 3-6, followed by the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event & Horse Trials CCI4*-L, Oct. 31-Nov. 3.
Kellerhouse also manages the Galway Downs equestrian venue. This 242-acre property in the Temecula Valley wine country in Southern California now hosts international dressage and eventing competition, national hunter/jumper tournaments, and a nearly year-round calendar of equestrian activity.
Falling shortly after The Event at Rebecca Farm in Montana, The Summer Event at Woodside is an ideal showcase for Intro to Intermediate exhibitors. The Event also hosts Future Event Horse 2-year-old, 3-year-old, and yearling tests.
Stabling, footing, and many other upgrades were thoroughly appreciated by the 450-plus pairs contesting last month’s Spring Event and improvements continue at the spacious, beautiful venue in one of California’s horsiest havens. In addition, the South Bay Area weather is usually cooperative. “It’s one of the few places where it’s not too hot to stage equestrian competition in August,” Kellerhouse notes of the wooded, 272-acre facility that is uniquely dedicated to year-round equestrian sport and lifestyle.
Entries for The Summer Event at Woodside open June 25 at www.evententries.com or at Xentry on www.useventing.com. Tickets to the M-Training Challenge dinner can also be purchased at www.evententries.com, where live scoring will be available during the event. Entries close July 23. For more information, visit www.woodsideeventing.com.
Whether you are a rider preparing for a move-up or a trainer looking to ensure your training program is well-rounded, the soon-to-be released USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is the go-to guide to assist you in navigating key decisions. Lucky enough, attendees of the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first people outside of the those involved in its creation to access this passion project that the ICP Committee has put two years of research and hard work into developing.
In 2021 Cynthia Smith recorded 536 hours and 59 minutes of volunteer time, setting the standard with the most amount of volunteer hours recorded in a single year since the creation of the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program in 2016. The record-breaking number of volunteer time earned Smith the 2021 USEA Volunteer of the Year title.
Tamie Smith’s year has been nothing short of action-packed as she packed up all 25 of her competition horses and made her way to the East Coast for the first part of the year before hopping on a jet to Tokyo where she served as the U.S. team reserve for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She then stayed overseas and competed abroad for a little while before returning home to the West Coast. While this year has been full of opportunities to show, her aspirations are bigger than just competition. The 2021 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year has been full steam ahead chasing goals in both her riding career as well as in her impact on the sport’s future.
Get to know each United States Eventing Association (USEA) Areas a little better in this new series, Meet the Areas! This month’s feature is USEA Area I which is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Founded in the 1960s, Area I was the birthplace of the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA) which was founded in 1959 and would later evolve into the USEA in 2001. In 2021 just under 800 members made up the membership count in Area I.