The small but mighty Advanced division at the Spring Event at Woodside will tackle Ian Stark’s redesigned cross country course this afternoon, with the first horse leaving the startbox at 1:00 p.m. Pacific. James Alliston and Tivoli lead the division after dressage with a a 27.4, and the EN fortune teller has picked them to win.
“[The course] uses the whole perimeter of the property so it should be a really galloping, forward course,” James said in an interview on the Woodside International Horse Trials Facebook page. “It looks really big, obviously. It’s an Ian Stark course. It looks impressive but hopefully if you ride forward and boldly, the horses will go well.”
This is Ian’s first year designing at Woodside and he has opened the course up to utilize areas of the 272-acre Horse Park that have never been used before, including what James calls a “significant loop” through the woods. A new water complex, through which the Advanced competitors jump twice, has also been added at the bottom of a steep grade by the road.
The West Coast is no stranger to Ian’s courses as he also designs at Galway Downs and the Event at Rebecca Farm. Riders know they have to “ride it like they stole it” from start to finish, but horses and riders alike finish brimming with confidence.
Good luck to the competitors this afternoon. Check out the full course walk below, brought to you by the fabulous Ann Haller.