California eventer Tamie Smith had a big victory on home turf at the 2020 Galway Downs International on Halloween weekend, winning the USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship with Elliot-V, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Smith’s student, Luisa Southworth.
Smith took over the ride on Elliot-V when Southworth left for college, and he’s become an exceptional horse at the Intermediate level.
“We did our first Intermediate here last fall,” said Smith. “I did my second Intermediate at the CCI3*-S at Woodside three weeks ago to get him qualified for this weekend. He was great there and then he was just super here this weekend.”
Smith and Elliot-V took a narrow early lead with a 29.8 in dressage, putting them just barely ahead of Asia Vedder and Isi, who scored a 29.9. But Smith held her lead with a double clear cross-country and just 0.4 time faults in show jumping.
For 2020, Clayton Fredericks took over the task of designing the cross-country course at Galway, and it suited Elliot-V well.
“It was an awesome, super galloping course,” said Smith. “A little bit twisty here and there, but it was great. Clayton and [course builder] Bert Wood did a great job on the design. I was first out, so we weren’t sure how the time was going to be, but that horse has such a ginormous gallop stride that it was great.”
Vedder and Isi, her own 10-year-old Thoroughbred/Holsteiner gelding, maintained their second-place standing through all three phases, with only 1.2 time penalties from cross-country day and 4 jumping and 0.4 time penalties in show jumping.
Andrea Baxter and her 10-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred gelding, Laguna Seca, rounded out the top three in the USEF CCI3*-L National Championship, finishing fifth overall in the division with a score of 44.0.
The National Young Riders Championship for the John H. Fritz Trophy is awarded to the highest placed U.S. citizen in the USEF National Young Rider Eventing Championships, which is open to riders ages 16 through 21. For 2020, Charlotte Babbitt took home the John H. Fritz Trophy with her own Dutch Warmblood gelding, 2 A.M. Sophie Click was Reserve Champion with her own and Amy Click’s 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Quidproquo.
This year’s event marked the first time that the USEF CCI3* National Championship has been held on the West Coast, and after a challenging 2020 season marked by event cancellations and unexpected changes, a successful event was a welcome occurrence.
“Galway Downs really pulled out all the stops to make it an amazing National Championship,” said Smith. “We’re grateful that they really stepped up to the plate. I can see the competition growing into a great event. It was really fun because it’s my hometown and it’s the West Coast, and I really wanted it to run the way it did for the east coasters coming out here to show that we have great events out here. It was super to have the support.”
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.