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.
In 2000 and with the support of Joan Iversen Goswell, the Worth the Trust Scholarships were established to provide financial assistance to amateurs to pursue their education in eventing. The funds from the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarship may be used for training opportunities such as clinics, working student positions, and private or group instruction, or to learn from an official, course designer, technical delegate, judge, veterinarian, or organizer.
The spring eventing season in the Midwest is always a toss-up due to unpredictable weather. Will it rain, will it be sunny, or will it be a snowstorm? No one knows! Mid-America Combined Training Association’s (MACTA) first cross-country schooling of the season was cancelled in March due to extremely muddy footing conditions and by the time our April dates came around, COVID-19 was in full force and we were unable to host our cross-country schooling and schooling show.
The FEI has published its Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting organizers and national federations with the safe resumption of international equestrian events in line with national and local restrictions.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has approved additional modifications to the qualification period for the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. The AEC is scheduled to take place August 25-30, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, and the USEA is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and successful Championship, while also ensuring fair opportunities for all.