Mar 25, 2021

Fast Facts: 2021 Galway Downs International Horse Trials

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
Sherry Stewart Photo.

Area VI’s first FEI event of the season will be held this weekend at the Galway Downs International Horse Trials in Temecula, California. In addition to horse trials divisions for Beginner Novice through Intermediate, the event will also offer CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI4*-S divisions.

The Field

Galway Downs received 358 entries, broken down into Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, Preliminary, and Intermediate horse trials and CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI4*-S FEI levels.
  • The CCI4*-S level began to be offered at the spring event at Galway Downs in 2003, one year after the event settled on the last weekend in March in 2002. For several of its early years, the CIC3* (now CCI4*-S) division was also a World Cup qualifier.
  • Two combinations have won the spring CCI4*-S division at Galway Downs twice. Le Samurai and Robyn Fisher won the CIC3* twice in 2004 and 2006 and McKinlaigh and Gina Miles won the CIC3* the first year it was offered in 2003 and then again in 2008.
  • The only pair that could possibly pull out a repeat win at Galway this year is Emilee Libby and Jakobi (Ustinov x Expression), her own and Linda Libby’s 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding. They won in 2019, the last year it was offered (having been canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19), adding just 1.2 time penalties to their dressage score to finish on 34.5.
  • Jakobi and Libby are also the only combination returning from the CCI4*-S in 2019. Ebay and Helen Alliston (née Bouscaren) competed in the CIC3* in 2018, placing fifth.
  • Helen and Ebay are fresh off and win in the Advanced division at Twin Rivers last month. It’s their second win of the 2021 season, having also won the Intermediate division at Fresno County Horse Park earlier in February. Will they pull out a third win this weekend?
The CCI4*-S field broken down by age.
  • Marc Grandia and Erin Kellerhouse, both of whom are entered in the CCI4*-S this weekend, have six rides apiece, tying them for busiest rider of the weekend. Kellerhouse has four rides at the Novice level and one at the Beginner Novice level, while Grandia has three rides at the Training level, one at the Beginner Novice level, and one in the CCI2*-S, in addition to their CCI4*-S rides.
  • All but two of the entries in the CCI4*-S this weekend were out three weeks ago in the Advanced division at Twin Rivers. How will this weekend’s leaderboard compare to that of the Advanced at Twin Rivers?
  • The Purdy Syndicate’s Irish Sport Horse gelding Castle Larchfield Purdy (Karistos x Hallo Purdy) is the oldest horse in the competition this weekend at 19 years old. Lauren Billys is aiming to travel with “Purdy” to represent Puerto Rico in the Olympics in Tokyo later this year.
  • Laguna Seca, an 11-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred gelding, is a relative rookie compared to the rest of the field – this will be his first CCI4*-S, piloted by his owner, Andrea Baxter.
  • Riders in the CCI4*-S this weekend are representing the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and Puerto Rico.
The CCI4*-S field broken down by breed.

The Facts

  • All CCI divisions will run over Thursday and Friday, with dressage and show jumping taking place on day one and cross-country completing the competition on day two.
  • Galway Downs’ Technical Delegate for the FEI divisions this weekend will be Mary Duenow (USA) assisted by Wendy Wergeles (USA).
  • The ground jury for all three FEI divisions will also be the same: Peter Gray (CAN), Helen Brettel (GBR), and Michelle Henry (USA).
  • Clayton Fredericks (AUS) will design the CCI4*-S and CCI3*-S cross-coujntry courses, while Bert Wood (USA) will design the CCI2*-S and Intermediate through Beginner Novice horse trials cross-country courses.
  • Marc Donovan (USA) is designing the show jumping tracks for all levels.
  • Ride On Video will be live streaming portions of the competition on their website. The live stream schedule is available here.
  • Galway Downs will be observing the USEF USEF COVID-19 Action Plan guidelines and procedures and no spectators will be allowed at the event. All those present on-site are asked to wear a mask at all times.
  • The CCI4*-S division is a qualifier for the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final that will take place at the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds in August.

Competition Schedule

Thursday, March 25

  • 8:00 a.m. – Dressage (CCI, Intermediate)
  • Show Jumping (CCI, Intermediate)

Friday, March 26

  • 8:00 a.m. – Dressage (Preliminary, Training, Novice, Beginner Novice)
  • 8:00 a.m. – Cross-Country (CCI, Intermediate)

Saturday, March 27

  • 8:00 a.m. – Show Jumping (Preliminary, Training)
  • 9:00 a.m. – Cross-Country (Novice, Beginner Novice)

Sunday, March 28

  • 8:00 a.m. – Cross-Country (Preliminary, Training)
  • 8:00 a.m. – Show Jumping (Novice, Beginner Novice)

Helpful Links

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Inaugural McKinlaigh Cup and Twin Rivers CCI4*-L Title Goes to Amber Levine and Cinzano

"Too plain" is not a description that fits today's wire-to-wire winner of the Twin Rivers Spring International's inaugural CCI4*-L. But that's what Amber Levine heard five years ago after importing the now 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Classe VDL x Walta) as a sales prospect. So, she kept him. His long-delayed debut at the CCI4*-L level proved the wisdom of that decision.

Apr 12, 2021 Competitions

USEA Podcast #281: Giddy Over Kentucky

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Apr 11, 2021 Competitions

Cinzano Keeps Twin Rivers CCI4*-L Top Spot Secure

At the second-to-last of 40 efforts, "I thought, 'This is actually happening,'" said Amber Levine of a faultless finish with Cellar Farm's Cinzano today to stay on their 31.5 lead going into show jumping tomorrow morning in the Twin Rivers Spring International CCI4*-L. The Jeffs Hot Tub Waves complex at 19 a/b was the awkward exception to a Hugh Lochore-designed course that otherwise "rode great" for the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Classe VDL x Walta) in his long-delayed debut at the level. An entirely new portion of the course around the racetrack featured a series of bright-white painted obstacles, but nothing distracted Cinzano's "tunnel vision for those flags." Levine expects a similar game attitude tomorrow and has a rail to spare.

Apr 10, 2021 Competitions

Cinzano Captures Inaugural Twin Rivers CCI4*-L Dressage Lead

Black stallion antics after the CCI4*-L jog inspection yesterday were not a preview of Cinzano's dressage test today. "When you are riding and working him, he's all into what you are doing," says Amber Levine, who owns the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Classe VDL x Walta) through her Cellar Farm. A 31.5 dressage test puts them atop a field of four, three of which, including Cinzano, are first-timers in the division in Paso Robles, California.

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