The annual Preliminary Challenge at Woodside Horse Trials in California’s bay area is a popular stop for West coast riders. Offering both a Horse and a Rider Challenge and $15,000 worth of prize money, Woodside attracts both amateurs and professionals eager to tackle the division that offers prize money and eternal bragging riders for its yearly champions.
This year, Tommy Greengard with Andrea Pfeiffer’s Leonardo Diterma captured the title in the Preliminary Horse Challenge, adding a few seconds of time in Sunday’s show jumping to finish on a 26.1. This was the third Preliminary event for Leonardo Diterma, a six-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Gullet HBC. Tommy’s an up-and-coming rider who’s built himself a solid string of horses; he also wins the Open Intermediate with his own Joshuay MBF, finished second in the Novice Horse with Simone van Ommeran’s Global Barouma, third with Rebecca Slater’s Cappachina in the Open Novice, and first in the Open Beginner Novice with Amanda Apesos’ Ben — we’ll call that a winning weekend!
Taking the win in the Prelim Rider Challenge is Grace Walker Alonzi with her own Frantz, finishing on a score of 33.5 with one rail added on Sunday. Grace comes from a dressage background, having worked in southern California for Marie Medosi as well as Steffen and Shannon Peters before moving on to work for Tamie Smith as her assistant rider. Frantz is an eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding originally sourced as a dressage horse while Grace was working for Exclusive Dressage Imports; Grace purchased the gelding by Farenheit in 2018 and began producing him as an event horse, making his eventing debut in 2020 and eventually stepping up to the Preliminary level last year.
Many thanks as always to Sherry Stewart for being our lens on the ground at Woodside this weekend — enjoy a gallery from the action and check out the full list of results here.