May 9, 2009

Few events are as anticipated by COWs as the Spring “Event at Woodside” hosted at the Horsepark. This year’s event, to beheld May 22-24, will be extra special with the inaugural Preliminary Challenge,a brand-new feature offering cash prizes.

The Preliminary Challenge will be contested in two divisions. The Horse division, open to all riders, will be open to any horse that has not competed above the one-star level; and the Rider division will be open to any rider who has not competed above the one-star level, on any qualified horse. To qualify, horse-rider combinations must have completed two preliminary events, achieving qualifying scores mandated by the U.S. Equestrian Federation, in 2008 or 2009.

The Preliminary Challenge will feature a special horse-trial format. Dressage will be held on Friday, with the tests evaluated by a panel of judges, just like in a three-day event. Cross-country will be held on Woodside’s rolling and viewer-friendly course, laid out by international course designer Derek di Grazia, on Saturday morning. Show jumping will be contested on Saturday evening, in Woodside’s redesigned Grand Prix Ring.

The event includes a gala party Saturday evening on the grass overlooking the Bay Arena. Appetizers and a cash bar will be offered during the competition, followed by dinner provided by Riverview Farms Catering of Santa Cruz and music after the awards ceremony.

To learn more about the Horse Park at Woodside or the Woodside Horse Trials, go here. To learn more about eventing, visit the United States Eventing Association’s website here.

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