New show stabling, new cross-country obstacles, and upgraded infrastructure. These are among the ways the Baxter family made the most of the COVID-caused downtime that waylaid some - but not all - of last year's ambitious plans for their Twin Rivers Ranch equestrian venue.
The inaugural Spring International CCI4*-L that was set for last April will now unfurl April 8-11, 2021, at the 500-acre property in central coastal California. Hosting an Adequan/USEF Youth Team Challenge concurrent with the Fall International September 23-26 is a new calendar addition.
Following up 2020's resounding success with the first joint staging of The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse and USEA Future Event Horse West Coast Championships is a major agenda highlight. Last fall, the Baxters wowed the eventing world by hosting these Championships concurrently and showcasing them as a stand-alone competition.
"The West Coast Championships were a great success in 2020, boasting record numbers across the FEH and YEH Championships," stated the U.S. Eventing Association. On October 29-30 of this year, Twin Rivers hopes to build on that debut by welcoming, challenging, and showcasing more young horses from throughout the Western United States.
"They set a real standard for what the Championships should be," confirmed Debbie Adams, who traveled from her East Coast base to judge the 2020 Championships with Peter Gray. "I was just blown away by what a good job they did."
Permanent Show Stabling
The first competition of the year is the Winter Horse Trials, February 26-28. Exhibitors will be the first to see the new, fully-covered permanent stabling with 36 12' x 12' stalls. Twin Rivers Ranch members get priority treatment for the new stabling. That's in addition to year-round unlimited access to all open facilities -- for two horses with the same owner. Members are exempt from non-member fees at all schooling shows, and family members and/or additional horses can be added to the Twin Rivers Ranch membership at a modest additional cost.
Membership fees help Twin Rivers with maintenance and upgrades that have helped the facility become one of the favorite venues in the Western United States. Ample space, varied terrain for cross-country, and carefully maintained dressage and show jumping arenas are among its assets. After coaching top contenders during the Winter Horse Trials last year, USEF Eventing High Performance Director Erik Duvander praised Twin Rivers' continual upgrades. He credited the venue as a key destination for horses and riders on the top sport path.
"They are a progressive bunch," adds Twin Rivers upper-level course designer Hugh Lochore of the Baxter family. Along with five-star eventer Andrea Baxter, organizer Connie Baxter has extensive eventing experience. Whirlwind Excavating owner Jeff Baxter happily applies his expertise and equipment to bringing Lochore's ideas to life. "The venue has interesting topography and it's a good canvas to play with," Lochore explains. "It's exciting when you put things on paper, then you have a team that is keen to get the bit between their teeth and make it happen."
Lochore will return to Twin Rivers in March to continue work on the upper-level tracks in advance of the Spring International.
Also new is Ride On Photo by Tayler as Twin Rivers' show photographer for the year. This is the talented Tayler Ravenscroft, a familiar face in the eventing world and daughter of Ride On Video's Bob and Debi Ravenscroft.
People accommodations have expanded, too. In addition to discounted rooms from sponsor Best Western Plus Black Oak and on-site RV rentals from Getaway RV Rentals, Twin Rivers has increased its total of full-power/water RV hook-ups to 37.
Having resumed show hosting in July of last year, the Twin Rivers team has mastered COVID-19 protocols to keep all exhibitors safe. Until further notice, spectators are not allowed.
Get Involved: Volunteer & Sponsor!
A generous volunteer incentive program continues through 2021. Full-day helpers receive $60 vouchers toward future competitions, half-day helpers earn $30 vouchers. Each shows' volunteers are entered into a drawing for prize packs filled with useful goodies from Twin Rivers sponsors. Hours are tracked through the year for entry into a year-end raffle. Prizes include a Twin Rivers entry, stabling, cross-country schooling voucher, and more.
Sponsors already on board for the year include Best Western Plus Black Oak, Getaway RV Rentals, and Auburn Labs, manufacturers of APF Pro Formula. Sponsorships are still available and more partnerships will be announced soon. (Contact Christina Gray at Gray Area Events for sponsorship opportunities at [email protected].)
Location: 8715 N. River Road, Paso Robles, CA. 93446; email: [email protected]
Ride Times: Available at www.twinrivershorsepark.com a few days before competition begins.
Show Photographer: Ride On Photo by Tayler
Video: Ride On Video
There were surprisingly few shakeups to the top of the leaderboards Friday at the MARS Bromont CCI, but the incredibly close scores leave no margin for error heading into Saturday’s exciting cross-country phase across all five levels.
Tomorrow, the first of five regional clinics for the USEA Emerging Athletes U21 (EA21) Program kicks off in the central region of the country in Benton, Louisiana, at Holly Hill Farm. Throughout the summer, the remaining clinics on the East and West Coast will follow. At each clinic, 12 hand-selected riders will participate in a two-day clinic led by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) coaches. The purpose of the EA21 program is to create a pipeline for potential team riders by identifying and developing young talent, improving horsemanship and riding skills, and training and improving skills and consistency. The intention is to provide young athletes with access to an added level of horsemanship and riding skills to further their training and skill development with greater consistency.
After the first day of competition, Canadian Olympian Colleen Loach and her horse FE Golden Eye lead an international field in the CCI4*-L division of the MARS Bromont CCI.