May 19, 2017

Popular Preliminary Challenge Returns for a Ninth Year at The Spring Event at Woodside

By Woodside Horse Trials - Press Release
2016 Preliminary Rider Champions RedRox Jazzman and Delaney Vaden. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

Woodside, CA, May 17, 2017 - The much anticipated Preliminary Challenge returns to the Spring Event at Woodside, May 26-28, for the ninth consecutive year. This competition is a staple on the calendar of west coast riders, and this year’s event boasts a $15,000 purse and $15,000 worth of prizes split between the two divisions. 

This Preliminary Challenge, which is presented this year by CWD, Devoucoux, Equine Insurance of California, CANTER, CARMA, and Professional’s Choice, is the only show of its kind, offering a unique challenge to horses and riders who have not competed above the Preliminary level.

The action kicks off on Friday morning in the dressage arena where competitors earn their first scores of the weekend. Then on Saturday morning, they experience the heart of eventing, the cross-country phase, as both divisions tackle Ian Stark’s challenging course over natural obstacles. 

The event culminates Saturday evening in the impressive Grand Prix Arena, where these Preliminary pairs will carefully navigate Marc Donovan’s tricky show jumping track. The top ten will complete this final phase in reverse order of standing, leading to a very exciting finale!

Fans, friends and family can get a front row seat to the Woodside Preliminary Challenge's exciting conclusion from a ringside tent while enjoying dinner, drinks and dancing following the awards ceremony. 

James Alliston and Thomascour Cooley, winners of the 2016 Preliminary Challenge Horse Division. Photo by Sherry Stewart.

The Gala Dinner remains undeniably popular for competitors, spectators, and eventing enthusiasts alike, selling out for the past eight years. Reserved seating is available to ensure an up-close look at the competition. Tickets for dinner are available for $60 per person or $550 for a table of 10. To reserve tickets, go to

In addition to the Preliminary Challenge, The Spring Event at Woodside also boasts Beginner Novice through Advanced divisions. Spectators can watch Advanced and Intermediate pairs soar over impressive cross country fences on Saturday for a charge of $10 per car, which includes parking and a program. 

The Woodside Preliminary Challenge offers two divisions: the Horse division is open to riders of any level of experience on horses that have not competed at the Intermediate level or above from 2009 to 2017; the Rider division is open to all horses with riders who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above from 2009 to 2017. Horses and riders must achieve two qualifying results at the Preliminary level as a pair in order to compete.

The top pair in each Preliminary Challenge division will be awarded a custom-made saddle. The winner of the Horse division will go home with a JRD Saddle, and the winner of the Rider division will win a Devoucoux saddle. 

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. 

For tickets or to learn more about The Event at Woodside, please visit. 

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

For press credentials, please contact the press officer. 

Media inquiries contact Shelby Allen 

[email protected] / 770-530-4937 

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