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Equitation Riders Shine at Woodside Fall Finale

Woodside, CA. Equitation was the main theme at the Woodside Fall Finale (Sept. 28-28), the final show of the seven show series at the Horse Park at Woodside. The show featured medal finals and equitation championships. The California Professional Horsemen’s Association has two of their medals, the CPHA Child/Adult Finals North and the CPHA Horsemanship Finals North at the Woodside Fall Finale.

Morgan Finegan (Kelly VanVleck, trainer) of Sacramento took the lead in the CPHA Child/Adult Medal Finals North and never looked back. On her own Captain Jack, a 10 year old Hannoverian gelding, Finegan commented on her experience, “The last line in the second round was the hardest for me, because I was so nervous. But before I went in, my trainer had told me that no matter what happened I’d done really well already.” Finegan proved that her first round win was no fluke by posting an 84 in the second round. “I was so excited to win, and just to ride with everyone in the class,” said Finegan of her victory.

Shaw’s Saddlery (http://www.shawssaddlery.com ) helps sponsor the Woodside Equitation Championships by providing gift certificates to the top junior, amateur, and pony riders. Riders qualify for these championships based on their finishes in various medal classes throughout the year. The Woodside Equitation Championships have steadily grown and become quite competitive.

Amateur rider Jennifer Parker (Sacramento, CA) rode a borrowed horse to win the Woodside Amateur Equitation Championship with first and second round scores of 84 and 81, respectively. The second round included a tight roll back to an oxer to a halt, followed by a half turn on the forehand, and a canter transition to a single oxer. “I was thrilled of course to win the class, especially on a horse I’d ridden only once before. I was very proud of myself and especially grateful to Land’s Boy’s owner, Danielle Claeyssens, who lent him to me,” commented Parker. “Definitely the turn on the haunches was the hardest part of the course, and I’d like to thank my trainers, Lenny Marconi and Joey Pedroni, who coached me in the class.”

Mackenzie Drazan took home bragging rights and prizes sponsored by Shaw’s Saddlery when she topped a class of 12 to win the Woodside Junior Equitation Championship. Drazan, who also placed first in the Onodarka Medal class, trains with Jennifer Davis of John Bragg’s Bridgeport Farms in Woodside.

Lindsay Ramar was the one to beat in the big jumper classes at the final show of the season. Not only did she and Puma capture the $1,000 Welcome Stake, but they came back to win the $7,500 Woodside Jumper Classic. Not content with her dual wins, Ramar also rode her NTEC Dance and Jump to the red ribbon in the $7,500 class.

Jumper riders have enjoyed many upgrades at the Horse Park at Woodside this year including a new water jump, a grob, and a bank. In addition, the berm viewing area adjacent to the jumper ring has been expanded.

In a jump-off that saw one rider go faster than the previous in the $1,500 Junior-Amateur/Owner Jumper Classic, Peggy Munkdale put the pedal to the metal and flew around Jamie Alder’s course aboard her Toetsie to take the win.

Exhibitors at all the hunter/jumper shows at Woodside this year enjoyed various facility improvements and new amenities. Landscaping and permanent benches around the Grand Prix Arena were added this year, as well as an imposing bronze horse statue near the entry to the Horse Park, and bright new signage across the facility. That and the introduction of the Bay View Club, a VIP area overlooking the hunter rings contributed to an overall enhancement in aesthetics of the show grounds.

Finally, the Woodside Fall Finale saw a race to the finish line for the trip to Maui, awarded to the professional who accrues the most points in the Woodside Trainer Incentive Program (see http://leghorseshows.com/special.php for program details). Jeni Davis, Beverly Jovais, and Jan Pearce traded off the lead throughout the four day show. In the end, Jan Pearce is Maui-bound, and the top five trainers all receive cash prizes from Langer Equestrian Group. (Results: http://leghorseshows.com/special.php)

Woodside’s 2009 show series begins next April. Of note is the fact that the Woodside Summer Circuit will start a week early next year. As the first show, the Woodside Circuit Opener, will coincide with Stanford’s graduation, exhibitors are encouraged to book hotel rooms this fall.

For complete 2008 results and the 2009 show schedule, visit http://www.langershows.com.


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