“The Woodside International Horse Trials brings out the best in competition at all levels,” says organizer Robert Kellerhouse as he and his team make final preparations for the October 4-6 Woodside International Horse Trials. The location is a West Coast favorite: The Horse Park at Woodside in the San Francisco Peninsula area’s Woodside. New stabling, beautifully-footed arenas, and a continually-upgraded, Ian Stark-designed cross-country track are among the features that attract repeat contenders and newcomers alike to the 272-acre venue.
This year’s CCI4*-S field includes some exciting match-ups: fan faves James Alliston and Pandora will go up against James’ business partner and fiancée, Helen Bouscaren and Ebay. Amber Levine will vie for the CCI4*-S title on two horses: Carry On and Cinzano; and 2019 Team Pan Am Games gold medalist Tamie Smith will bring a new star up to this division in En Vogue.
Along with $2,400 in top prize money, the winning rider’s name will be engraved on the Founder’s Trophy. The four-star horse displaying the most heart on Woodside’s always challenging cross-country course will be honored with the Fric Frac Berence Heart Award, which comes with a $500 check and an embroidered cooler from Professional's Choice. This tradition began in 2011, in honor of “Fric,” Frankie Thieriot Stutes’ now-retired star who excelled despite being blind in one eye and coming back from injuries that would have sent lesser steeds to permanent pasture.
Competition from four-star to the Intro division fills six rings of dressage all day on Friday. The international divisions will also stadium jump on Friday afternoon in the Grand Prix arena where that night’s festive exhibitor party takes place ringside. On Saturday, these divisions conclude with cross-country and a popular awards dinner that night.
Highlights for exhibitors and fans abound. Patrons Tent tickets include the Friday and Saturday night dinners and a VIP tent on the cross-country course, with snacks and soft drinks and a splash-close view of international riders navigating the North Water Complex. Get general information and patrons tent tickets at www.woodsideeventing.com.
Good food and horsey shopping opportunities are available all weekend in the Horse Park’s Pavillion area. Look for lots of great gear, information, and horse and rider support from major event sponsors Devoucoux, Parker Equine Insurance, and Auburn Labs.
Volunteers are encouraged and can trade hours for points on US Eventing Association’s Volunteer Incentive Program and towards future Woodside entries or cool Woodside wear. Volunteer at www.eventingvolunteers.com/events/1023/signup.
“We look forward to hosting the 400 of you coming to our Woodside year-end event,” Kellerhouse concludes. “Best of success to you all.”
The 21 members of the USEA Board of Governors represent all the different factions of the U.S. eventing community, including professional riders, adult amateurs, owners, organizers, officials, veterinarians, and more. There is a president, one representative for each of the 10 USEA Areas, and the remaining 10 represent the demographics of the sport.
Sired by Zabalu and out of Croftlea Firequeen (by the well-known Irish Sport Horse sire Kingcroft Wicklow), the New Zealand Thoroughbred Flintstar was bred by Raewyn Price at Croftlea Stud in North Canterbury, New Zealand and born in 2000.
The USEA is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Steve Blauner, a valued USET Foundation trustee and longtime owner for U.S. Eventing Team High Performance Athletes Boyd Martin and Doug Payne.
To all of the enthusiastic equestrians out there, five-star eventer Sara Gumbiner says, “dream even bigger.” Aboard her longtime partner Polaris (Brandenburg’s Windstar x North River Lady), Gumbiner has transitioned from daring young rider to bold international competitor. Fueled by hard work, a great support system, and a knack for ending up exactly where she should, Gumbiner went from competing in her first recognized event to her first Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5* in just eight years.