Andrea Woodard and Her Students Enjoy Victories at World Equestrian Center Dressage IV
The USEF-rated national dressage show at World Equestrian Center – Ocala, held October 20-23, featured action at all levels, from Training Level up to Grand Prix, with GAIG/USDF Regional Championship qualifying opportunities. The Dressage IV show is one of 11 dressage competitions at WEC sponsored by Hampton Green Farm and Discover Dressage.
Wellington, Florida-based professional Andrea Woodard made the four-hour trip to Ocala with two horses to compete, along with a host of pupils and clients she trains. Her four rides garnered four wins, all with scores north of 72%. Two of those victories came at Grand Prix level courtesy of Ravenna, her own 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare. Woodard has owned the daughter of Sir Donnerhall I since she was a three-year-old, having bought her when she was working at Helgstrand Dressage in Denmark and while she was pregnant with her son.
“It was really inconvenient, but I fell for her and ended up with two babies,” explained Woodard, who was born in New York but grew up in Denmark. “When I moved to the U.S., I brought her over here. She’s always shown talent but not always been the easiest horse to get through the levels, so it’s taken a bit longer than I thought. This show was an important piece of the puzzle; it’s been a while since we’ve taken her out, and it was a good opportunity to see how she would handle a new venue so I can get better at knowing how to prepare her. Just because a horse can do 15 one-time changes doesn’t mean they’re ready; they need the strength and capacity to chain it all together, and in different places. That’s a whole different ballgame.”
Rather than riding for maximum marks, Woodard opted to cap Ravenna’s power and ride two steady, confidence-building tests.
“We did two good, solid tests,” said Woodard, who was competing at WEC – Ocala for the first time. “I worked hard on making her feel good and secure at the level and now I can build on that and improve things like bringing the poll higher or adding a little more bend. The goal for her is CDIs, but I don’t want to be greedy and jump into that too fast. I’ll probably do a couple more national shows, and maybe come up to WEC again. It was a great experience. A whole group of my clients went together, and everyone was super happy. The facility is great with good, big stalls. There’s nothing different we’d ask for.”