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.
The FEI has announced that the Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel has had to be euthanized after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course during Equestrian Eventing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 1, 2021.
In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .
The British team cemented their gold medal position at the Tokyo Olympics with three magnificent cross-country performances, all clear inside the time. Added to that, their first rider, Oliver Townend, holds pole position individually after the dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, picked up 11 penalties for triggering a frangible device.
The 2012 and 2016 individual Olympic champion, Germany’s Michael Jung, blazed into first place after dressage at the Tokyo 2020 Games with a superb test on Chipmunk.
Deservedly scoring 21.1 - a record for both rider and his country at an Olympics, according to EquiRatings - it was a joy to watch. From the first extended trot, the pair looked secure, positive, and harmonious. The test was as accurate and as well-delivered as that of long-time leaders Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class (GBR), but with more expression and ease. Jung and the Contendro 13-year-old demonstrated all this specially-written, short Olympic test asks for and each movement flowed into the next.