Dec 26, 2019

USEA Events A-Z: Twin Rivers Horse Trials

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
The iconic mission jump on the cross-country course at Twin Rivers. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California (Area VI) hosts four events yearly offering a multitude of levels. In March, Twin Rivers offers Intro through Advanced levels. In April, they host their spring CCI offering CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L, CCI4*-L, CCI3*-S, CCI4*-S, Beginner Novice through Advanced, and FEH and YEH classes. At their summer horse trials in July, they offer Intro through Advanced and FEH and YEH classes. Finally, at their fall event in September, they offer CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, CCI4*-S, Intro through Advanced, and FEH and YEH classes.

In 2001, the Baxter family purchased 500 acres of land outside of Paso Robles, California, with the dream of hosting a three-day event. “We dreamed of putting on three-day events because that is what I did as well as my daughter, Andrea,” said Connie Baxter, owner of Twin Rivers Ranch, organizer of the Twin Rivers Horse Trials, and mother to five-star eventer Andrea Baxter. “We had our first event in January of 2004. We had to work very hard to clean up all the trash left here from previous years. Then there was a huge earthquake in Paso Robles in December of 2003, which had us scrambling because our first event was to happen in a month!”

Andrea Baxter competing at Twin Rivers. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

That first event in January of 2004 offered Novice through Intermediate levels and hosted 164 riders. That same year they also hosted a spring event in March and a fall event in October. The following year they moved the winter event to March, the spring event to April and the fall event to September, dates that they hold to this day. The added the Advanced level in October of 2004 and the Beginner Novice level the following March. In 2007 Twin Rivers began hosting USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) classes.

In April of 2006, Twin Rivers offered their first international divisions, adding a long format CCI2* and CCI*. The spring event continued to host international divisions moving forward. In 2008, Twin Rivers added a CIC2* and a CIC* to their offering at their fall event and their first CIC3* a year later in the fall of 2009. The spring event first ran a CIC3* in 2010 and has continued to do so ever since. In 2020, Twin Rivers will host their first CCI4*-L at their spring event, making it one of just three competitions of its kind on the west coast and six in the United States.

The summer event, which now runs in July, started out as a YEH and USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) competition in 2009. It expanded to offer a combined test in 2013 and graduated to a full-fledged summer event in 2018.

USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Baxter was quick to point out that putting on an event at Twin Rivers has been a huge undertaking, one she could not have achieved without help from her family. “My husband, Jeff Baxter, has a grading and paving business which requires lots of big equipment. We needed lots of trucks, tractors, trailers, and hard labor to clean these 500 acres up and prepare for horse shows!”

“We were lucky to have Bert Wood and staff to build and prepare the new cross-country tracks,” she continued. “We were also lucky to have the expert help of Christina Gray to get the essential office work done. Last but not least, we have ourselves and our daughter, Andrea Baxter, to thank for all of our hard labor and making this happen! It has truly been a family affair.”

The expansive farm has always been family owned and operated, something Baxter believes sets Twin Rivers apart from other events. Plus, they are constantly making improvements and upgrades to the cross-country courses and other facilities to keep things fresh for competitors. “It is hard to list all of [the upgrades] but just a few are a large 150 x 300 covered arena; lots of large outdoor arenas with excellent footing; upgraded permanent barns; a central and very popular outside bar; a nice, comfortable office – all centrally situated for competitors to enjoy.”

The outdoor bar is a popular gathering place at Twin Rivers. Photo courtesy of Connie Baxter.

Hugh Lochore took over designing the upper level cross-country courses at Twin Rivers from James Atkinson last September while Marc Grandia designs the cross-country courses for Preliminary down to the Intro level.

Baxter pointed out that there’s more than just horses to see in Paso Robles. “Paso Robles has become a very popular tourist town with lots of wineries. People love to come here and visit!”

Twin Rivers is surrounded by wineries. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

“Not only that, but they look forward to seeing what we will have new. We try our hardest to make this a special place to come to and ride!”

The USEA is profiling the history behind all USEA recognized events in the USEA Events A­-Z series.

Apr 13, 2024 Profile

Now On Course: AEC Dreaming After a 30-Year Hiatus with Kelly O'Brien

Kelly O’Brien has her eye on a prize. “Pretty much the rest of this season will be targeted towards getting fired up for the AEC,” says O’Brien, 54. She and B E Never Say Never, a 19-year-old Dutch Warmblood, have qualified for the 2024 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds already, thanks to decisively winning all three of their 2024 outings thus far.

Apr 12, 2024 USEA Foundation

Applications for The Event at Rebecca Farm Travel Grant Due June 1

The Event at Rebecca Farm (Kalispell, Montana) is renowned amongst members of the eventing community for its exceptional competition venue, genuine hospitality, and stunning backdrops. The Broussard Family Charitable Foundation and USEA Foundation are excited to share that travel grants to this iconic venue are returning once again for 2024 to assist riders traveling to Montana to compete in the CCI3* and CCI4* divisions at this year’s competition which takes place July 17-21.

Apr 12, 2024 Resources

Heads Up Competitors! Important Information Surrounding Entry Form and Liability Waiver Requirements for USEA/USEF Eventing Competitions

When aiming to compete in a United States Eventing Association (USEA) recognized competition (national competition or international competition), licensed or endorsed by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), understanding and fulfilling the specific requirements for entry forms and liability waivers is crucial.

Apr 12, 2024 Emerging Athletes U21

USEA Names Athletes for 2024 EA21 Regional Programs

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the athletes selected for the 2024 USEA Emerging Athlete U21 Program (EA21). USEA Young Rider program members aged 21 and under are eligible for the program. The purpose of the USEA EA21 Program is to identify and provide consistent quality instruction to the next generation of elite event riders.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA

Official Horse Boot of the USEA