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Billys Jumps To Lead At Woodside International Horse Trials

Woodside, Calif., Oct. 4, 2012— Lauren Billys, of Sanger, Calif., guided Ballingowan Ginger to a four-fault show jumping round to grab the lead (51.0) in the CIC3* at the Woodside International Horse Trials.

Debbie Rosen, of Calabasas, Calif., stands second on The Alchemyst (54.5), and Jolie Wentworth, of Crockett, Calif., stands third on Good Knight (58.2).

The Woodside International Horse Trials are the first event in the 2013/2014 season of the Adequan/USEA Gold Cup Series.

Billys, 25, and Ballingowan Ginger, 11, placed second in the morning’s dressage and will get the advantage of being the final starter on the cross-country course tomorrow. Rosen, 52, and The Alchemyst, 14, moved up from third in dressage with a four-fault round.

Dressage leaders Gina Miles and Chanel lowered four jumps to drop to sixth place.

“I thought the show jumping course was really tricky, and I was really nervous,” said Billys. The first fence was a triple bar jumped after a turn away from the in-gate, which Ballingowan Ginger, an Irish Sport Horse mare, cleared without faults. “I wanted to have a confident jump there and set her up for the rest of the course.”

Said Rosen, “’Al’ was super today, but I was a bit rusty.” Rosen explained that she was rusty because she didn’t compete at the advanced level for more than a year, while she was trying to sell The Alchemyst. But since no one has purchased the Canadian Sport Horse gelding, she’s started to compete him again.

“I decided to have do-over,” said Rosen. “It’s a rare opportunity for me. I had an extremely unique opportunity to watch

other people ride [at advanced] because I wasn’t riding at this level, so I got to see what other people are doing and try to sharpen my skills.”

The two leaders expect Derek di Grazia’s cross-country course to be an exacting challenge. “I think it’s pretty demanding technically—a lot of accuracy questions and a lot of combinations I’ll be thinking a lot about before tomorrow,” said Billys. “On most of the combinations, if you don’t jump the A element right, B and C could be a problem.“

She expects that time faults will be influential in deciding the competition. She’s worried about the time, because she said her GPS course-walk app showed that the route she chose on her first walk was 30 seconds slower than the optimum time.

“I have to figure that out, obviously!” said Billys. “She’s definitely fitter than she’s ever been, but she’s not that fast across the ground. So I want to get in a rhythm right from the start and stay there for the whole course.”

Matthew Brown, of Petaluma, Calif., is holding first and second places, on BCF Bellicoso (49.3) and Aida (49.9). Taren Atkinson, on Gustav, is third (50.5).

Brown, 37, rode BCF Bellicoso, 7, to the top in dressage, scoring 46.3, but then finished the show jumping with 3.0 time penalties. Aida placed third in dressage, but then jumped faultlessly to move up one place. Gustav dropped from second to third with 4 faults for lowering one jump.

Brown also stands second in the CIC1* on Happenstance (50.3). But Kristi Nunnink, on Market Street (40.8), will take a comfortable lead into tomorrow’s climactic cross-country phase.

On Saturday, spectators will enjoy the heart of the sport of eventing—the cross-country phase—as the previous day’s pairs tackle the cross-country course in reverse order of their two-phase standing. The CIC1* begins the action at 10:20 a.m., with the CIC2* starting at 12:40, and then the CIC3* providing the day’s climax from 1:50-2:50 p.m.

The CIC3* horses will vie for a chance at the Fric Frac Berence Heart Award trophy and $1,000 prize money presented to the horse

and rider with the best cross-country performance, as determined by a panel of judges.

All winners will be recognized Saturday evening at a special dinner celebration and awards ceremony, open to the public.

National competition will continue on Sunday, n though. The advanced, intermediate, preliminary and training divisions will show jump, starting at 8:30, while the novice and beginner novice horses will gallop around the cross-country course, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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, JRD Saddles and SmartPak Equine 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 are the Bronze Medal Sponsors.

They’re just some of the equine-product manufacturers and service providers that, in addition to supporting the event with prizes, are on site for riders and spectators to meet in the event trade fair.

Patron’s passes are still available for the awards party on Saturday evening. Advanced reservations are required.

General admission is $10 per person, including parking and a show program. General admission tickets can be purchased at the gate or in advance. Go to for ticket and full competition information.

To learn more about the Horse Park at Woodside or the Woodside Horse Trials, go to To learn more about eventing, visit the U.S. Eventing Association’s website ( For Press Credentials, please contact the press officers.