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.
If your farm has the space to set up a cross-country schooling course, it can be to your advantage to have cross-country jumps available for schooling purposes. Safety should be the number one priority when designing and building cross-country jumps, and an expert should be consulted whenever possible.
By this time I am sure that you have received the news that the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC) has been canceled. I sincerely apologize for the difficulty this has caused everyone involved. I want to commend the USEA Board of Governors for making an extremely hard decision.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
The Whidbey Island Horse Trials take place in Oak Harbor, Washington (Area VII) in early July of each year and offer Beginner Novice through Advanced/Intermediate horse trials. The Whidbey Island Horse Trials lost their venue in 2019 but are working on finalizing a new venue for 2021.