Consistency proved to be key at the Woodside Spring Classic (April 30-May 3) as several riders demonstrated during the two weeks of USEF A rated shows. Julia Nagler was probably one of the most consistent performers after winning both the USEF Hunt Seat and the USEF Talent Search each of the two weeks. “Julia has been riding with me for the last five years,” said Benson Carroll who trains the talented junior rider. “She has a great style and she knows her horse really well,” said Carroll of Nagler’s success. “I’ve seen a lot of growth in Julia recently, and I enjoy working with her. She has ice in her veins and keeps her cool and focuses.” Carroll enjoys the hunter/jumper shows at Woodside. “I love the main hunter ring. It is such a great place for the hunters, and love all the space to work your horses. Every time I come here I see improvements. Woodside is the ‘Showpark’ of Northern California.”
Like Nagler, Buddy Brown was consistent in the jumpers aboard Nola 4, claiming second in the $7,500 Woodside Jumper Classic both weeks. “She is a sensitive mare and wants to please,” said Brown of the big, bay mare. “I think she is a good horse trying to work her way out. We’ve built a nice relationship and we trust one another. I have a good feeling about next year with her.” Although rain visited the Woodside Spring Classic over the weekend, the footing held up and the show went on. A confident group of jumper riders rode in the $7,500 Woodside Jumper Classic and seven horses jumped clear over Michael Roy Curtis’ course that included the open water and the grob. Brown and three of his students all geared up for the rain. “The footing was messy, but it wasn’t dangerous,” said Brown as he and his three students all jumped clear.
Kristen Hardin, ever the fierce competitor, threw the gauntlet down in the jump off. Aboard her own entry, Platinum’s Pedro, Hardin took the inside turn to the grob and made a tight rollback to the final vertical, thus setting the standard for anyone else to beat. Lucie Wharton qualified both her horses for the jump off, and NZ Socialite, the greener of her two horses got stuck in the turn to the grob, so Wharton elected to circle and the pair finished seventh. With Bandit she jumped a clear jump off and finished fourth. Brown challenged Hardin by also taking the inside turn to the grob, but he chose a slightly wider track from Hardin’s very daring rollback to the final vertical. “Second two weeks in a row is pretty good,” laughed the veteran grand prix rider.
Beverly Jovais’ Chestnut Hills’ horses and riders also had a winning week. Kathryn Taylor’s Kingsford clinched the First Year Green Hunter Championship after winning three of the classes, and stablemate Olympic (Grace McLaughlin) finished as reserve champion. McLaughlin took up the reins over the weekend and won both the NorCal 3'0" and Taylor Harris medal classes. Grace Lukach, who also rides with Jovais, won the Pickwick Medal, finished second in the Talent Search, and third in the WCE.
Gry McFarlane, another trainer who attends many of the Woodside shows also had a good week with her students and horses. Perhaps the highlight was when her son, Ian, won the Onondarka medal class aboard Simone Coxe’s Fortuna. The young McFarlane has been showing in the jumpers, but he made his debut in the equitation ring with great acclaim and won the prestigious Onondarka for twelve and under riders. “Maybe we’ll see him in the medal finals,” mused his mother, Gry. Morgan Caplane, Sara Pulchawski, and Katherine Civian all rode in various jumper classes and had a great time throughout the week. “Every time we come to the Woodside Horse Park show there are major facility improvements,” said Gry McFarlane, who operates her Windfall Farm. “The footing in the new, larger Jumper 2 stood up to the weather, and the new food concession is terrific. This is getting to be a great place to show in Northern California.”
Improvements continue at the Horse Park at Woodside via a collaborative effort between the Horse Park and Langer Equestrian Group. Sweet Shop is the new, popular food concession at the facility and they were received with great enthusiasm. The Bay View Club continues to improve and is proving popular with trainers and competitors. Jake’s Place, Carousel Saddlery, and Equitex are all sponsors of the seven hunter/jumper shows at Woodside.
Next on the schedule is the three week Woodside Summer Circuit, beginning with the Woodside Circuit Opener (June 17-21), followed by the Bay Area Festival (June 24-28), and concluding with the Golden Gate Classic (July 1-5). For more information, visit the LEG website or contact Linda McRae via email.
To read highlights from the Woodside Spring Preview, please click here.
This Woodside News Section is supported by Norden Equine Worldwide... insurance that goes the distance. Visit them at http://www.nordenequine.com
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/woodside-spring-classic-05-09.html">2009 Woodside Spring Classic</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com