Peninsula residents need not travel to London to watch Olympic-style, three-day eventing equestrian competition when the fourth annual Woodside Preliminary Challenge returns to the Horse Park at Woodside at 3674 Sand Hill Road May 25-26. The event offers $15,000 in prize money, as well as an additional $15,000 in each of the two divisions. Over three dozen horses are expected to participate.
The Challenge will get underway on Friday morning, May 25, with dressage. The cross-country phase will commence on Saturday morning at 8:00 am, and the event will conclude Saturday evening with the show jumping competition which starts at 4:30 pm.
The dressage and show jumping events will be moving to the newly resurfaced Grand Prix arena. According to Tom Livermore, co-chair of the new footing project, “Donations made it possible for us to import 110 truckloads of sand and 116,000 pounds of German textile footing and mix them into three arenas on the property. The footing is especially good because it is cushiony. You can ride on it in the rain, and it doesn’t clump up in the horses’ hooves. In short, the horses, trainers and riders love it!”
Because Saturday afternoon will feature the advanced and intermediate divisions taking their turns over the cross-country course (pictured), spectators can spend the entire day watching the cross-country action for $10 per person, which includes parking and a program. And then fans, friends, and family can cheer for their favorites in the final phase of the contest, the show jumping, from a heated, ringside platform while enjoying a catered dinner.
Music and a silent auction are included in the heated arena seating. The evening party will start at 6:00 pm; check in at 5:15 pm. Tickets are $55 per person, or $475 for a table of 10 people. Tickets are available online.
Photo of horse and rider “working out” at Horse Park by Frances Freyberg