Excitement is building around the addition of a CCI4*-Long division to the Twin Rivers Spring International Three Day Event. The competition takes place April 9-12 at the Baxter family’s Twin Rivers Ranch in Coastal Central California’s Paso Robles.
Anticipation skips into lightspeed as prize money in the new division jumps to $5,000 and news arrives that the winning horse will be honored with the new McKinlaigh Cup. The beautiful trophy will be presented by Thom Schulz in honor of his lovely late wife Laura Coats. Schulz and Coats owned McKinlaigh, the Irish Sporthorse who won the 2008 Olympic individual silver. McKinlaigh was developed and lived out his retired life at the couple’s Rainbow Ranch in nearby Creston. The handsome, bold horse passed away at 26 this past January.
Schulz and Coats were impactful supporters of eventing, Pony Club and other equestrian activities in the Central Coast area. The presentation of the McKinlaigh Cup at the Spring International connects that generous tradition to today’s top sport.
The Spring International drew an unprecedented field of 500-plus horses last year and may exceed that this year. Long format divisions at the 2*, 3* and 4* level run alongside Short format competition at 3* and 4*, plus Horse Trials levels Beginner Novice through Advanced.
Entries are open until March 24. The organizers are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will take all precautions necessary for the safety of horses and riders. Watch for updates as the date nears.
Hugh Lochore’s ideas as the new designer of Twin Rivers’ upper level cross-country courses will be in full effect. Riders at March’s Winter Horse Trials got a peek at ”The Flyover” bridge and tunnel, expansions to the “the Quarry,” and myriad new adventures throughout a course covering the property’s expansive and varied terrain.
Surprises await spectators, too. On Friday, April 10, Paso Robles’ famous wine region will showcase its finest during a ringside tasting while CCI Short format show jumpers fly through their second phase of competition. An expanded Vendor Village offers food, drink, shopping and fun all weekend.
Spectating is free, as always.
The Spring International is one of only six competitions in the United States to offer the CCI4*-L division. This rigorous test of the horse and rider partnership, guts, stamina and skill is an important proving ground and preparation for international contenders.
“They are constantly upping the game here,” said USEF Eventing Performance Director Erik Duvander of Twin Rivers Ranch during a March visit. He described it as one of a few venues that is shifting the sport’s geographic balance in the United States. “In the past it was often said that you need to go East to make it, but it’s really important that riders be able to make it out here.”
Twin Rivers Ranch began when the Baxter family saw 500 acres of dormant farmland and envisioned it as the perfect stage for international equestrian competition. With the Spring International, those visions materialize to the benefit of equestrians and fans throughout the West Coast. Remarkably, Twin Rivers’ growth and national prominence has not come at the expense of the welcoming, family vibe that has distinguished it from the get-go.
Sponsors & Volunteers
The Spring International is made possible by generous sponsors: Presenting sponsors include Professional’s Choice, manufacturers of sports medicine boots for equine athletes; and Auburn Labs, manufacturers of the adaptogenic APF Formula for horses, people and dogs. Supporting sponsors include Riding Warehouse, the horse gear and apparel supplier; and Best Western PLUS Black Oak, which offers exclusive discounts for exhibitors.
For sponsorship opportunities, contact Christina Gray of Gray Area Events at Christina@grayareaevents.com.
Volunteers are critical to the Spring International’s success and offer a great entrée to the sport, even for those without prior experience.
The Spring International anchors an exciting year of competition at Twin Rivers Ranch. The big event is preceded by an April 4-5 Fundraising Combined Test that helps fund year-round facility enhancements. The 2020 season finalé is another prestigious calendar addition: The Future Event Horse and Dutta Corp. Young Event Horse West Coast Championships.
Twin Rivers 2020 Show Schedule
April 4-5: Fundraiser Combined Test
May 31: Schooling Horse Trials
July 2-5: Schooling, Derbies and Horse Trials
Aug. 7-9: CDS dressage show
Sept. 17-20: Horse Trials
Oct. 23-24: Future Event Horse & Dutta Corp. Young Event Horse West Coast Championships
Oct. 25: Halloween Horse Trials
For information on entering, spectating or volunteering at Twin Rivers competitions, visit www.twinrivershorsepark.com and follow “Twin Rivers Ranch, Equestrian Events” on Facebook.