For some of the horse and human athletes contending the Galway Downs International Event starting Thursday, November 1, the road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics may start in Temecula.
Olympians of the past, present, and future will fly over immovable natural obstacles on the cross-country course that weaves throughout Galway Downs’ 242 beautifully-landscaped acres. They’ll show-off horse-human partnerships by executing precise patters in dressage court, then finish with clock-racing stadium jumping to determine the victor in this sport often described as “equestrian triathlon.”
Close to 100 competitors are set to vie for ribbons, prize money, and ranking points, with a strong field in the CCI2* division that is a stepping stone to the CCI3* level at which the Olympics are contested. The field includes James Alliston of Great Britain, winner of the 2017 Galway Downs International CCI3* and a many-time winners circle visitor over the years. (The Galway Downs International CCI3* will return in 2019.)
Growing and evolving alongside the city that surrounds it, the Galway Downs Equestrian Center is celebrating its 21st year of hosting international equestrian competition. Improvements to footing, fences, and other aspects critical to elite equine athletes and their riders parallel a transformation of the grounds into an elegant, family-oriented special event and entertainment venue.
Fans have a front-row seat for every phase of the exhilarating action, plus award-winning dining options, shopping opportunities, and access to the Temecula Jamboree Country Music Festival on Saturday, November 3. The pairing of equestrian sport with good food, family fun, and first-class entertainment is a hallmark of the entirely revamped Galway Downs property in the heart of Temecula wine and horse country.
Headlined by Jerrod Niemann and Cassadee Pope, the Jamboree begins at 12:30 p.m. with opening act Sabrina Lentini and continues on into the evening. VIP tickets for the Galway Downs International Event include admission to the Jamboree and tickets can also be purchased separately.
Competition begins Wednesday in the national Training Three-Day division, with schooling and horse inspections for all contenders. Part of the U.S. Eventing Association’s Classic Series, a “T3D” gives today’s riders a chance to experience the origins of the sport, including a four-phase endurance day which will test their weeks of fitness preparation.
Friday kicks off the contest with dressage for CCI, Preliminary, Training, Novice, and T3D. Saturday is jammed-packed with cross-country for CCI and T3D pairs, starting at 9:30 a.m. and set to the soundtrack of the Temecula Jamboree through the afternoon. An exhibitor’s party that evening will see riders, family members, owners, and grooms kick up their heels.
Sunday begins with a second horse inspection at 8 a.m. for CCI horses, cross-country for Training and Novice divisions, and show jumping finishes for T3D, Preliminary, and CCI starting at 9:30 a.m. on the Sycamore Grass Field. Tackling the course in reverse order of their standings after the first two phases, Sunday show jumpers guarantee excitement in their final chance for victories.
Daily general admission tickets are $15 on Thursday and Friday and $19 on Saturday and Sunday. Daily and all-event Patron’s Passes include seating in the elegant ringside VIP tents with meals and beverages to suit each day’s competition schedule. For tickets, visit www.GalwayDowns.net.
For live scoring, entries, and ride times, click on these links:
For more information about Galway Downs, please visit our website www.galwaydowns.net.
Bellamy, an Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding of unknown breeding, came to Tamra Smith’s farm in Southern California with his mane half-way down his neck and filled with burrs. Bellamy had been sitting in a field for a little over a year after unseating several riders in a row and Smith, known for being good with tricky horses, agreed to take him on.
Pan Am Games team gold medalist Tamra Smith and Mai Baum and five-star pairs Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 and Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin headline a strong Advanced field when Twin Rivers begins an exciting season of eventing competition this weekend.
The USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) and Young Event Horse (YEH) programs have around 30 qualifying competitions each, and youngsters around the country are about to begin their seasons aimed at Championships.