Frankie Thieriot-Stutes and Chatwin began their defense of the Galway Downs International Horse Trials title with a win in Thursday evening’s CCI4*-S. Their effortless-looking test put them on a 28.8 score going into the weekend. Emilee Libby and Jakobi stand second on a 32.9 and Tamie Smith and Wembley post third with a 33.1.
Thrilled with the super strong turn-out for the international divisions, organizer Robert Kellerhouse got the four-star riders' okay to stage their dressage early, on a clear, breezy late afternoon in Southern California’s Temecula and it was a neat warm-up to that night’s exhibitor’s party.
A new, big inflatable Devoucoux entry gate for the international ring, flags flapping and lots of spectators made some of the horses as excited as their people were about this first CCI4*-S on the West Coast under the FEI’s new starring system.
Judges Andrew Bennie of New Zealand and Tim Downes of Great Britain officiated a seven-pair four-star field. James Alliston and Pandora, the champs of their last Galway Downs outing in November, finished fourth, followed by Sabrina Glazer and Rembrandt of Canada; Andrea Baxter and Indy 500; and Young Rider Mallory Hogan and Clarissa Purisima. They will synch up with the three-star and two-star riders on Saturday, with show jumping in the afternoon, then finish with cross-country on Sunday. Thirty-pair turn-outs in the three-star and two-star divisions is a great start to the season, says Kellerhouse, and the horse trials divisions are loaded with up-coming talent, too.
Ride On Video is live-streaming all of the international divisions Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, live coverage includes the all cross-country for the international divisions plus Open Intermediate and Advanced on www.rideonvideo.net. Live scoring can be found at www.evententries.com.
It’s exciting to see so many enjoying all the improvements that have been implemented at Galway Downs over the last few years. In becoming a mecca for top equestrian sport in all disciplines, Galway Downs, under Kellerhouse’s direction has harnessed the good work, goodwill, and generous support of many key players in the sport. Nilforushan Equisport Events, along with Footing Solutions USA, have brought fantastic footing through their sponsorship of the Grand Prix Arena and warm-up ring, and a new jumper ring and cross-country warm-up area. Becoming host of the entire six-week Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival is an additional source of upgrades, as is the ongoing hosting of equestrian competitions almost every weekend of the year.
Many of the most recent improvements are things “that you won’t notice until you notice,” said Kellerhouse. In the process of adding infrastructure that will expand the venue’s capacity to host bigger events, major upgrades to the power and water systems, RV facilities and permanent and portable stabling have been underway all winter.
Following yesterday’s downpour, the temperatures for the final jog this morning were brisk but the CCI5*-L horses remained professional for the last horse inspection leading into show jumping later today. Of the 35 pairs set to move forward with the final phase of competition, only 34 presented to judges Angela Tucker (GBR), Martin Plewa (GER), and Mark Weissbecker after Lisa Marie Fergusson opted not to bring forward her own 15-year-old Welsh/Thoroughbred gelding (Brynarian Brennin x Dream Contessa) Honor Me.
After a jam-packed week, the final day of competition at the Maryland 5 Star is upon us. Riders have shown off their style in the horse inspection, danced their way down the centerline in dressage, and contested some serious obstacles in cross-country up until this point. Now it's time to demonstrate the fitness and accuracy that each horse possesses in the final phase: show jumping.
It was a great day of cross-country riding at the Maryland 5 Star. There were 35 horses who crossed the finish and 11 of those finished double clear. With British, French, New Zealand, Canadian, and American riders coming through the finish flags – it was a true world class competition. The USEA was at the finish to see what the riders thought of the very first Maryland 5 Star cross-country track designed by Ian Stark.
Weren’t able to spend your morning glued to the livestream of the 2021 Maryland 5 Star cross-country? Couldn’t be there in person to trek up the hills? We have you covered with a play-by-play of what happened on Ian Stark’s cross-country course which gave both the designer and the riders many sleepless nights, but ended up riding quite well for the majority of the field.