The ever-popular Preliminary Challenge at Woodside is set to commence this weekend, and 57 pairs across two divisions (Rider and Horse) will compete for $15,000 in prize money and an additional $15,000 in prizes. This is the seventh running of this event, which has attracted professionals and amateurs alike since its inception.
The Preliminary Challenge will run dressage on Friday, cross country Saturday morning, and will conclude with show jumping in the atmospheric Grand Prix Arena on Saturday evening. A heated ringside tent will offer a Gala Dinner for fans, friends, and family, and tickets to the tent — which have sold out each year — are available here. Reserved seating and dinner is $60 per person or $550 for a table of 10. Proceeds from the Gala Dinner will benefit construction of the cross-country course at the Horse Park at Woodside.
“I think the format we’ve created for the Woodside Preliminary Challenge – the evening show jumping competition with the awards right afterward and the catered dinner – has become something truly special over the last six years, ” said event organizer Robert Kellerhouse in a recent press release. “The Preliminary Challenge has become a competition that the riders aim for every year, and it’s become an event that people in the Woodside area and people riding in the other divisions at Woodside look forward to watching every year.”
Riders will have a chance to take a crack at new course designer Ian Stark’s creation on Saturday, which is an exciting development for this event. The course promises to be challenging yet fair, and we are looking forward to seeing how it rides over the weekend.
As far as qualifications are concerned, competing horses in the Horse division may not have competed above Intermediate from 2008-2015, while the riders may be of any experience level. For the Rider division, the riders may not have competed above Intermediate between 2008 and 2015. In other to achieve qualification for the Preliminary Challenge, horses and riders must have also earned two qualifying scores as a pair at Prelim.
CWD, Devoucoux, Equine Insurance of California and Professional’s Choice are the Presenting Sponsors of the 2015 Event At Woodside. Sunsprite Warmbloods is the Gold Medal Sponsor.
The Silver Medal Sponsors are: JRD Saddles, SmartPak and Voltaire Design.
The Bronze Medal Sponsors are: Auburn Laboratories Inc., Elk Grove Milling, Finish Line Horse Products, Geranium Street Floral, Ice Horse, the Professional Riders Organization, Ride On Video, and Shires Equestrian Products.
Friend Sponsors are: American Medical Response, California Retirement Management Account – funding aftercare for OTTBs, Eventing Training Online, Revitavet Therapeutic Systems, Steinbeck Country Equine Clinic and Triple Crown Nutrition.
Tickets for cross country day ($10/person) as well as Saturday evening’s Gala Dinner can be found here. We’ll be bringing you recaps from the Preliminary Challenge all weekend, so stay tuned for much more from Woodside.