Sandwiched between Los Angeles and San Diego is Temecula, California, home to one of the most popular venues for eventing on the west coast, the Galway Downs Equestrian Center. The 240-acre facility hosts one of the last Hylofit USEA Classic Series events of the season at the Galway Downs International Event and Horse Trials on November 1-4. Rebecca Braitling and Dassett Ricochet rested on their dressage score of 24.60 to secure the win in the Training Three-Day. Jordan Crabo on Black Gold earned second place, and Cecily Bonadio on Just Off Broadway rounded out the top three.
It was love at first sight when Braitling spotted Dassett Ricochet while horse shopping for her client, Victoria Klein, in the UK over this past summer. 'What a good-looking horse,' Braitling thought to herself as the Dassett Eventing team brought out the striking 6-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding. “He was trotting around, and I was super impressed. My client was like ‘I’m buying him!' I said maybe just have a sit first, turns out he was far too green for what she was looking for. I was secretly excited to climb on myself and have a try, and I loved him.”
By trusting Braitling’s professional opinion and years of experience riding at the upper levels of eventing in Australia, Europe, and both coasts of the United States, Lauren Burnell purchased Dassett Ricochet sight unseen. “I called Lauren Burnell and said, ‘I’ve found a horse I love, and I think you will too.’ It’s fun because we found my client, Victoria Klein, the horse of her dreams on that trip, but she also gets to take pride in the fact she was a part of it all. It worked out for all of us, Lauren imported [Dassett Ricochet] without ever having met him!” emphasized Braitling.
The minute Dassett Ricochet aka ‘Jimmy’ landed in the U.S., it was clear he would become a barn favorite with his puppy dog personality. “He’s so fun around the barn, very laidback but also highly motivated at times. He loves to talk to all the horses in the warmup when they go by, it’s so funny.”
With hopes to be trotting down another jog strip next summer, Braitling shared, “I’d love to move him up to Preliminary in the spring and shoot for a summer one-star.”
From running steeplechase at the four-star level to teaching young horses about endurance at Training level, Braitling stressed the importance of the long format. “I grew up doing long format and even competed at the last long format held at the Adelaide CCI4*. [Dassett Ricochet] is a Swedish Warmblood so I felt it was important he learns about distance and endurance at an early age. I think it’s so valuable for a green horse to be developed with those same goals in mind.”
Amateurs, young riders, and professionals - the Hylofit USEA Classic Series is open to everyone that wants to relive the ‘thrill of the 'chase.’ Braitling explained, “I think it’s important the Training Three-Day isn’t just something amateurs or young riders are involved in, but remains so useful for professionals with up-and-coming horses to learn about the sport.”
About the Hylofit USEA Classic Series
The Hylofit USEA Classic Series keeps the spirit of the classic long format three-day events alive for Beginner Novice through the Preliminary levels. Competitors can experience the rush of endurance day, including roads and tracks, steeplechase, the vet box, and cross country, as well as participate in formal veterinary inspections and educational activities with experts on the ins and outs of competing in a long format three-day event.
Riders who compete in a Hylofit USEA Classic Series event during the year will have the chance to win a variety of prizes at the events and will also be entered in a drawing held at the USEA Year End Award Ceremony for a year’s supply of SmartPak supplements and a custom fitted Stackhouse and Ellis saddle. Click here to learn more about the Hylofit USEA Classic Series.
"No matter how old you are, be open to all disciplines, learn how to ride a dressage horse, a gaited horse, a show jumper. Go fox hunting and point-to-pointing and horse showing. You’ll learn from all of them and when you do decide which discipline you want to do, you’ll be better at it anyway.”
The University of Findlay’s Three-Day Eventing Team was established in 2013, the same year USEA voted and approved the USEA intercollegiate program. The UF team has over 30 members encompassing a variety of majors at the university. The team has access to two indoor arenas, a large outdoor arena, and 70 acres of on-site cross-country fences.
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.