Saturday July 9th saw the marine layer lift over Huntington Beach Equestrian Center to reveal the latest incarnation of Linda Allen's concept franchised by Ms. Julie Golden and fully realized with the assistance of one of Southern California's busiest course designers, Scott Starnes. The 1.30M track met every one of Linda's priorities by being a legitimate AA Quality course while remaining inviting to the greenish horse or rider. The advantage in the simplicity of this H.S. model is so obvious one wonders why it hasn't been done before.
The idea of dealing with only one ring and course in descending heights allows both riders and trainers to breathe and not just walk, ride, and run to the next arena.
Every detail was secured by Julie Golden, including jumps leased from Blenhein Equisports, a carded jumper judge, a first aid tent, and a local charity that provided snacks and beverages.
The fiercest competition of the day happened in the closing hours with large ponies battling it out over .75 and .70 M. And that is the idea: To make this sport an inclusive one that has a hand reaching "up" while the other is reaching "down" to guide the ones that follow.
For more information on the remaining Benchmark Rallys on the calender at both Huntington Beach Equestrian Center or el Sueno, go to The Benchmark Program website at www.thebenchmarkprogram.com.
If you would like to host a Benchmark Rally of your own, please see the The Benchmark Program Forms page for more details.