Entries for the Woodside International Horse Trials, October 4-6, are filling fast as the September 17 deadline nears. Contenders from Intro to CCI4*-S will converge in one of the West Coast’s horsiest havens, The Horse Park at Woodside, for top competition at a super venue and to socialize during Friday and Saturday ringside dinners at the Grand Prix Arena.
Stabling, footing, and many other upgrades continue at the 272-acre venue located just an hour south of San Francisco. New stabling overlooking the Grand Prix Arena has received rave reviews all year and the arena itself has been freshly fluffed with GGT™ footing for the Woodside International. Plus, there are new tweaks to the cross-country track for Preliminary and Training level contenders.
Friday’s schedule is full of dressage for all levels, with the international divisions showcased in the Grand Prix Arena. Friday night, some of the international divisions’ show jumping phases will unfurl in the same beautiful ring. All three phases of international competition wrap up with Saturday’s cross-country, and that night an awards dinner featuring Catering by Dana’s famously fabulous food will be staged at the Grand Prix Arena.
Out on the Ian Stark-designed cross-country track, front-row seating is available in a new VIP tent at the North Water Complex. Light snacks, coffee, and soft drinks will enhance the splash-close view as pairs navigate their way through the exciting mid-course challenge.
Tickets for Friday and Saturday night dinners and the cross-country VIP tent can be purchased in advance at www.woodsideeventing.com.
Amber Levine has seven horses entered and a slew of students from Chocolate Horse Farm contending the Woodside International. It’s close to her Chocolate Horse Farm base in Petaluma, and she and her clients have contested the fall circuit fixture for many years. Several factors keep it fresh, fruitful, and fun for all involved.
“The courses are great,” Levine says. “Since (organizer) Robert Kellerhouse took over, there have been some serious upgrades and changes to the courses.” Levine’s string includes two CCI4*-S horses and two in the Novice division, and the Woodside courses offer perfect tests for every point on that spectrum. “The lower level courses are very jumpable for the young horses,” Levine says. “At the upper levels, the courses are a great stepping stone if you are preparing for Kentucky or Fair Hill because they are real. They use the land well and are very good with jump placement."
“West Coast riders are finally being recognized for producing great horses and riders,” Levine continues. “What Robert is doing has been a big piece of that.”
Fun is always a priority on what Levine calls the “traveling circus” of the eventing scene. “Woodside and Robert do a great job of making everybody feel welcome and the parties are always fun.”
In less than a month, eventers will wrap up the year at the Sheraton Boston Hotel for the 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention on Dec. 12-15. Sixty years ago, the USCTA (now known as the USEA) was formed after a meeting that took place at the 1959 Pan American Games in Chicago. From 1959, the USEA has grown from a small 20-member organization to an organization with thousands of members across the country of all levels and ages. History will come to life at the 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention as the USEA will honor 60 years of the sport that we all know and love.
Start teaching your horse to jump by working over cavallettis first at the walk and then by trotting over them slowly. Then school him over a variety of small fences at the trot. Schooling over low fences will build the horse's confidence. Then do the same thing at a slow canter. Remember, never force your horse over high fences as he will lose his confidence.
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This year the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event forgot that it was set in sunny Florida - the 2019 event had a cold and drizzly backdrop for the 153 horses and riders who competed across four days.