For Immediate Release

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Alliston Earns CIC3* Win at Woodside International Horse Trials

Woodside, CA, Oct. 7, 2017 – James Alliston and Happenstance had a textbook weekend at the Woodside International Horse Trials winning the CIC3* division from start to finish.

James Alliston and Happenstance. Photo by Marcus Green Outdoor Photography.

James Alliston and Happenstance. Photo by Marcus Greene Outdoor Photography.

The San Ramon, CA duo carried a nine point lead into today’s cross country phase, but they didn’t need it. He and the 11-year-old Holsteiner had the fastest round of the division, adding just two time penalties to their dressage score (45.1) for a final result of 47.1.

“I didn’t have much of a warm up because I slipped and fell off of the other horse, and it was quite a quick turnover, so luckily on the cross country he doesn’t take much warming up,” Alliston said. “We went out there and he was great. He felt really really good. I thought it was a hard course. He’s a big, sort of scopey, rangy horse and I thought it was quite twisty in and out the trees for a horse like him, but he handled it really well.”

This is the pair’s second CIC3* competition together, and the budding partnership is blooming as they head to their season-ender at Galway Downs International Horse Trials next month.

“It was nice because that’s the hard part about the sport, stringing all the three phases together at one show, and I felt like we did that this weekend. It feels really good. Hopefully we can replicate that performance at Galway,” he beamed.

Helen Bouscaren, San Ramon, CA, finished the weekend in second place with her own Ben. The 13-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred came in seven seconds over optimum time to end the weekend on a score of 57.2.

“He was really relaxed which is the main thing for him. He’s always really fast, but it’s whether or not I can keep him relaxed and jumping in a nice shape. If he’s a bit tight, he jumps like a deer sometimes. Today, he jumped really nice and soft and he felt great,” Bouscaren commented.

She commends Alliston’s coaching as the key to Ben’s success over fences. “He’s really transformed both Ben and me with the riding and his jumping because Ben never looked very special as a young horse,” she admitted. “James actually told me to sell him. I tried, but no one would buy him. I’m glad I didn’t sell him. As he didn’t sell, James had to teach me how to ride him instead which worked out well.”

Bunnie Sexton, Santa Ynez, CA, and her own Rise Against claimed third place in this three-star division.

The 18-year-old Thoroughbred picked up eight time penalties, which Sexton attributes to an unplanned detour between fences four and five. “He pretty much jumped me out of the tack on 4abc, so I landed off the path because I was told in the start box they were slipping, so I made that huge turn through the grass that cost me a lot of time,” Sexton said. “I was disappointed in myself that I wasn’t on it, and didn’t make that turn, but I felt really good about how I rode the combinations. I feel like I’m finally determined not to bail on myself. Just because he’s 18 doesn’t mean we’re washed up.”

The CIC3* class was a qualifier for the prestigious Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series. Riders who earned qualifying scores (finish on a numerical score with no more than 20 penalties on cross country) will be invited to compete in the Gold Cup Final at the 2018 USEA Eventing Championships to be held in Parker, CO.

The Fric Frac Berance Heart Award, which recognizes a horse in the CIC3* who best demonstrates talent, passion and excitement for the sport, was given to Julie Anne Boyer’s High Decorum.

Helen Bouscaren and Ben. Photo by Marcus Green Outdoor Photography.

Helen Bouscaren and Ben. Photo by Marcus Greene Outdoor Photography.

Quick cross country riding earned Helen Bouscaren the win in the CIC2* division today with her own Ebay. She and the 8-year-old Oldenburg were second after show jumping and a double clear trip across country pushed them to the top of the leaderboard.

Overnight leaders Rebecca Braitling, Paso Robles, CA, and Counterpoint dropped to second after adding 3.6 time penalties to an otherwise faultless round. Lauren Burnell’s 10-year-old Holsteiner closes the weekend on a score of 52.5.

Lauren LoPiccolo, Auburn, CA, and her own Diego leapt from fifth to third after accumulating just two time penalties on today’s cross country. The 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood originally tied for first on a score of 48.9 but lowered two fences in yesterday’s show jumping. After cross country, they end on a result of 58.9.

Julie Flettner and Ping Pong. Photo by Marcus Green Outdoor Photography.

Julie Flettner and Ping Pong. Photo by Marcus Greene Outdoor Photography.

Finishing first felt familiar for CIC* victor Julie Flettner, Petaluma, CA, who won this same event last year with her own Ping Pong. The 17-year-old Hanoverian lead from wire-to-wire, only adding 5.2 time penalties to their dressage score for a final result of 44.2.

“She really likes Woodside,” Flettner quipped. She was great as she usually is,” Flettner said proudly. “She was a little spooky in the water, which is normal for her. She had some time off earlier this year. This is just our second show back, so I was very rusty and probably wasting time in front of the jumps more than I needed. She was a very good girl despite me.”

Erin Kellerhouse, Temecula, CA, and her own Woodford Reserve stayed in striking distance of the leaders, but settled for second after a faultless cross country trip which had the pair end the weekend on 46 points.

Third place went to Amber Levine, Petaluma, CA, and her own Cinzano. Only one rail in yesterday’s show jumping marred this combination’s weekend and they complete with a score of 46.7.

Click here for results. 

The Event at Woodside is excited to welcome CWD, Devoucoux, Equine Insurance, the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series and Majyk Equipe as 2017 Presenting Sponsors.

Sunsprite Warmbloods is a Gold Medal Sponsor.

Silver Medal Sponsors are: JRD Saddles, SmartPak, Voltaire Design and Professional’s Choice.

Bronze Medal Sponsors are: Auburn Laboratories, Inc. (APF), Geranium Floral, Ride On Video, Shires Equestrian Products and Triple Crown Nutrition.

Eventing Training Online is a Friend Sponsor.

To learn more about The Event at Woodside, please visit,

To learn more about The Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series, please visit, To learn more about the USEA Young Event Horse Series, please visit

For media inquiries, please contact the Press Officer: Shelby Allen,, 770-530-4937.


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