Riders Give Back Prize Money to Pacific Coast CDI Organizers to Support California Shows

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Jennifer Hoffman riding Finesse at inaugural Pacific Coast CDI3*. © 2020 TerriMiller.com

Mar. 27, 2020


Several riders returned to organizers prize money earned at the inaugural Pacific Coast CDI3* in Temecula, California that provided free beer and pizza instead of offering exclusive VIP treatment to a few. The prize money will go toward the next international event to be staged at Temecula in the fall.

The event that was one of the last CDIs in the world before the coronavirus pandemic wreacked havoc on the international show schedule actually did a little better than break even, according to Barbara Biernet, a transplant from Dortmund, Germany living to Encinitas, California and the driving force for the event the first week of March.

As a retailer of equestrian clothing and products, Barbara has seen first hand the California circuit of long-standing shows with occasional new ventures promising world class competitions, prize money and facilities. In recent years, a goal has been to match the 12-week Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida that offers an average of about $100,000 for each of its seven weeks of CDIs attracting riders from around the world and thousands of spectators for “Friday Night Under the Lights” freestyles.

In what was designated an Olympic year with most top California riders in Wellington, Barbara’s initial plan was to create a boutique CDI. Over the months organizing the event it grew to include a national competition that was a requirement to receive sponsorship from Adequan, a horse supplement manufacturer that is a major supporter of equestrian events.

The show attracted 26 entries in the CDI and 95 in the national competition.

And to provide free beer to go with the free pizza she enlisted the support of the historic German brewer Warsteiner.

Axel Steiner, a retired 5* judge, and his artist-photographer wife, Terri Miller, accommodated the show secretary from the East Coast in their San Marcos home in the San Diego area. Others volunteered to help keep costs down, including Tiffany Silverman who competed in the CDI Small Tour and turned back her earnings.

Jennifer Hoffmann, who relocated back to California after a decade in Europe including , came up with the idea of giving back the prize money, that totaled a few thousands dollars.

She won the Prix St. Georges and Intermediate 1 on Rondoro Noblesse and the Grand Prix and Special on Finesse, earning close to a total of $1,000 that would have covered a good slice of her show costs.

“I felt that I wanted to do something to show my appreciation and how thankful I was to the makers of this CDI… They stepped up when we riders needed it the most and for that I am forever grateful. I will continue to help out in the future to do what I can moving forward and promoting continuously our shows in California.”

Nick Wagman had gone to Wellington for the first few weeks of the circuit but returned home ahead of the Temecula show to place second in the Grand Prix and third in the Special on Zenith said, “We declined prize money in order to help show management out with expenses. It was completely voluntary on the riders’ part. Just a sign of gratitude for stepping up and trying to get a new show series off the ground. The management is running the show completely transparently, so any and all money can be accounted for. We really want it to be a success.”

The Nov. 12-15 event plans to offer a World Cup qualifier as well as a CDI3* along with a lineup of youth divisions.

With the Olympics pushed into 2021, Temecula may be important for U.S. team selection–the procedures won’t be announced until dates are set for the Tokyo Games.