FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Amanda S. Diefenderfer
Park Director & Show Manager
Paso Robles Horse Park Management Holds First USEF A-Rated Show
Competitors were treated to premium competition and wine country-inspired fun
PASO ROBLES, CA (April 23, 2019) – The Paso Robles Horse Park management team was proud to hold its first United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) A-Rated show this past week, April 17-21. The Paso Park Welcome Classic offered more than $100,000 in prize money including a $50,000 Grand Prix and a $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
The Park first opened its gates in 2015; this year marks an exciting time as they venture into a full schedule featuring four schooling shows, three weeks of USEF B-Rated shows, and four weeks of Classic Series A and B-Rated, including this past week. With state-of-the-art facilities, including the German Geo Textile (GGT) infused sand arena footing and the meticulously maintained competition turf field, the Park treats riders and horses to an elite horse show experience paired with the wine country charm of Paso Robles.
“Without a doubt, Paso hit a home run with Saturday’s Grand Prix,” said Hillary Ridland, a competitor and trainer. “More importantly, the relaxed and friendly atmosphere was enjoyed by all! It was a welcome change of pace to experience a more laid-back schedule that was both people and horse-friendly – the way our favorite shows used to be.” Ridland rode two horses in the Grand Prix, coming in sixth place and 12th place.
The Paso Park Welcome Classic special events kicked off on Thursday with the 1.40m Open Welcome Stakes. Rising to the top of a competitive field of 19, Lindsay Archer upon Enita took home the first-place honors with a fast, double-clean effort. On Friday morning, the Park hosted the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby with first place awarded to Carol Wright riding Chicago, owned by Alice Marks and trained by Elizabeth Kilham. Adding to the morning fun, competitors and spectators enjoyed a full breakfast complete with a mimosa bar.
The culmination of the excitement took place on Saturday, April 20, with the $50,000 Jill Weaver Memorial Grand Prix presented by Asunción Valley Farm. A total of 24 horse and rider teams navigated the series of jumps and efforts designed by world-class course designer, Michel Vaillancourt. At the completion of the first round, six riders qualified for the thrilling “jump-off” finale. The jump-off kept spectators on the edge of their seats. As a true display of the partnership between expert riders and the athleticism of their horses, the event was a magnificent top-level class held in Paso Robles.
The Grand Prix first place was awarded to Carol Wright on Conejito, with a flawless jump-off round and the only team to go double clean. Second place went to Molly Talla riding Gallantino and third place to Olympic competitor Guy Thomas riding Jonkheer Z. “I’m so happy to be back showing at the Paso Robles Horse Park,” said Carol Wright. “The horses are so happy in the big stalls, the footing and courses are first-rate, and the atmosphere is peaceful yet competitive.”
Horse enthusiasts and the local community are invited to join the activity at the Paso Robles Horse Park this week for the Paso Park Spring Classic beginning Wednesday, April 24. Saturday, April 27, at 5 p.m. will feature the Spring Classic Grand Prix, sponsored by Riding Warehouse. “We are so happy to bring the sport of show jumping to the Central Coast, and specifically to have the USEF-Rated shows this year,” said Linda Starkman, Owner of the Paso Robles Horse Park. “My vision to showcase this sport to the Central Coast has come to life, and we are thrilled to offer our love of the sport to even more competitors and the local community.”
The Paso Robles Horse Park is a premier equestrian competition facility, located on the California Central Coast in picturesque Paso Robles, California. The Park Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunity within the community to support relevance of the horse in today’s world and its unique ability to enhance education, health, and quality of life, particularly for the handicapped and underprivileged. Through events at the Park and work advanced by the Paso Robles Horse Park Foundation, they strive to support the local community and promote programming that makes equestrian sports accessible to all. To learn more about the Paso Robles Horse Park Foundation and stay up to date with upcoming events, please visit www.pasorobleshorsepark.com or visit at 3801 Hughes Parkway in Paso Robles.