After navigating a course full of what its designer, Clayton Fredericks, described as "serious angles and in-your-face-fences," Erin Kellerhouse and Woodford Reserve maintained their wire-to-wire lead in winning the Galway Downs CCI4*-S on a 30.1. Helen Alliston and Ebay and Emilee Libby and Jakobi also crossed the finish line double clear to hold their second and third positions for a ladies' sweep of the division.
Mid-50s temperatures, wind, a little rain, and new arenas for dressage gave an early season opportunity to test equine energy management and focus during Galway Downs International dressage and show jumping today.
Ninety-five contenders in three Challenge divisions took center stage yesterday with show jumping in the Grand Prix Arena as the final phase, just as the Galway Downs International contenders had done the previous afternoon. The fences were a tad lower, but the excitement was still high as national riders enjoyed an unusual spotlight.
Boyd Martin had only competed once at Galway Downs, many years ago and, by his own account, "I did terrible." After clear show jumping rounds in the CCI4*-L today secured the win on the Syndicate owned 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Landos x Omega VI) Luke 140 and third on Long Island T, Martin has a far more favorable impression to replace that bad memory.
Clayton Fredericks' Galway Downs International cross-country did not change the top rung of the CCI4*-L, CCI3*,-L, or CCI2*-L leaderboards, but there is evidence of the course proving difficult in the standings below that and in riders' reports.
The first CCI4*-L of 2020 officially got underway this week at Galway Downs International in Temecula, California. It is Boyd Martin and Luke 140, who topped the 12-pair field with a 29.40 from FEI ground jury members Sandy Phillips, Wayne Quarles, and Valerie Vizcarando-Pride.
The Galway Downs International Event starts on Halloween Thursday and ends on time-change Sunday, so there’s likely even more excitement than usual to be had this weekend. So much so that organizer Robert Kellerhouse commissioned a one-minute promotional video to help spread the word.
As the October 15 entry closing date nears for the Galway Downs International Horse Trials, plans are ramping up to make it a season finalé to remember for contenders and fans alike.
Any hope eventers had of keeping Galway Downs as their own Shangri-La got blown away this past year. New, elite competitions let the international dressage community and national hunter/jumper exhibitors in on the fact that the venue in Southern California’s beautiful Temecula Valley Wine Country is an ideal place to excel in and enjoy top sport.
Emilee Libby very much wanted to protect the Galway Downs International Horse Trials CCI4*-S lead in what would be her biggest win with the 10-year-old Jakobi, and two major distractions didn’t stand in their way.