The Woodside International Horse Trials: A Milestone for Top Competitors

The Woodside International Horse Trials, on Oct. 4-6, is a vital event in the calendar each year for both West Coast eventers and horse enthusiasts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Organizer Robert Kellerhouse upgraded this horse trial—the third of the three he organizes each year at the Horse Park at Woodside, about 20 miles south of San Francisco—to international status in 2011. Woodside offers three international levels: the CIC3*, the CIC2* and the CIC1*.

Kellerhouse wanted to ensure that West Coast riders could use these international horse trials (CIC) to qualify for international three-day events (CCI), in particular the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event on Oct. 31-Nov. Nov. 3.

“The Federation Equestre Internationale requires horses and riders to achieve qualifying scores in international horse trials [CICs] like Woodside in order to compete in international three-day events [CCIs] like Galway Downs,” explained Woodside organizer Robert Kellerhouse. “ Since I also organize the Galway Downs CCI, I understand how vital it is to have these qualifiers available.

“Without the CIC classes at Woodside, many of our West Coast riders wouldn’t be able to continue up the competitive ladder,” added Kellerhouse.  

In 2011, after winning the Woodside CIC3*, James Alliston and Jumbo’s Jake went on to win the Galway Downs CCI3*, proving that a stellar performance at Woodside does lay the groundwork for success at Galway Downs. Alliston repeated that double on a different horse in 2012, winning the Woodside CIC3* and the Galway Downs CCI3* on Tivoli.

The Woodside International Horse Trials will begin early Friday morning, Oct. 4, with the elegance and precision of dressage. Then, starting at 2:00 p.m., the horses and their riders will tackle a demanding show jumping course set in the scenic and spectator-friendly Grand Prix Arena at the Woodside Horse Park.

The international horses will climax their performances on Saturday afternoon, when they’ll face the challenges of Derek di Grazia’s cross-country course in reverse order of their two-phase placing. In this format, spectators will know right away who the winners are, guaranteeing an exciting finish. The winners will receive their prizes at a special dinner on Saturday night, complete with music and more.

The Woodside International Horse Trials will continue on Sunday with both show jumping and cross-country for the approximately 300 horses competing in the national divisions.

“The Woodside International Horse Trials wouldn’t be nearly as successful as they are without our sponsors, many of whom have supported us faithfully for a number of years,” said Kellerhouse.

Professional’s Choice, Equine Insurance of California and Sunsprite Warmbloods are the Woodside presenting sponsors this year.

Devoucoux Biarritz-France is the Gold Medal Sponsor.

CWD Saddles, Voltaire Design and JRD Saddles are the Silver Medal Sponsors.

American Medical Response, Auburn Laboratories Inc., Geranium Street Floral, Point Two Air Jackets, Professional Riders Organization, Ride On Video and SmartPak Equine are the Bronze Medal Sponsors.

Patron's passes are available for the parties on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings: Reserved tables of 10 for all three evening functions are available for $600, or $300 per night for single evenings. Individual seats for all three evenings are $75, or $35 for one evening. Advanced reservations are required.

General admission is $10 per person, which includes parking and a show program. General admission tickets can be purchased at the gate or in advance.

Go to for tickets and full competition information.

To learn more about eventing, visit the U.S. Eventing Association’s website (www.useventing.com