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Inaugural Preliminary Challenge Awaits Riders At Woodside
Woodside, CA, USA

With $30,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs, riders from up and down the West Coast are aiming their horses for the inaugural Preliminary Challenge, at the Event At Woodside on May 22-24.

The Woodside organizers are offering two divisions for the Preliminary Challenge: the Horse section is open to riders of any level on horses that have never competed at the intermediate level or above; the Rider section is open to all horses with riders who have never competed at the intermediate level or above. Horses and riders must achieve their two qualifying results at the preliminary level as a pair, not individually.

Each section will have a purse of $7,500, plus another $7,500 in prizes donated by sponsors. The winner of the Horse section will receive a Custom Saddlery dressage saddle, and the winner of the Rider section will receive a CWD Sellier Eventing Saddle. The winner of each section will also receive a $500 CWD Gift Pack.

The Preliminary Challenge competition will begin on Friday with dressage, evaluated by a panel of two judges. Cross-country will take place on Saturday morning, and the show jumping finale will take place over a specially designed course on Saturday evening, in reverse order of standing.

Prior to the climax of the Challenge, the intermediate and advanced divisions will compete over the spectator-friendly Woodside cross-country course in mid-afternoon, just before the horses placed 11th and below in the Preliminary Challenge contest show jumping. And then the top 10 in the two sections will start show jumping shortly after 6 p.m., following opening ceremonies that will include a parade of the nearby Los Altos Hounds.

A gala party to celebrate the evening will take place 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. Tickets are $40 per person and $20 for riders entered in other Woodside divisions. Riders competing in the Preliminary Challenge will be invited to attend. Tables for 10 people are available for $400.

"Saturday will be an unbelievable end to what I hope will be a great competition," said Organizer Robert Kellerhouse. "In just the afternoon and evening, equestrian enthusiasts from the Bay Area will get to see top-level cross-country action, see the conclusion of the Preliminary Challenge, and then get to enjoy a great party and a great dinner."

Competition in the other divisions, from beginner novice to advanced, will climax on Sunday. Almost 400 horses will be in action during the weekend.

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