A small but mighty contingent of CCI3* horses tackled Ian Stark’s long and winding track at Galway Downs in Temecula, Ca. yesterday. The course had several new questions added this year and definitely sorted out the best from the rest in terms of fitness and preparedness.
Your new leader in the CCI3* is Amber Levine and Carry On, who re-routed back to their home state after a bumpy ride at Fair Hill International last month. Thanks to a tidy double clear round, Amber will carry a score of 48.8 into tomorrow’s show jumping. This isn’t quite enough breathing room to have a rail in hand, but Carry On is typically a good show jumper and should put in a good effort tomorrow.
Jordan Linstedt and RevitaVet Capato owned one of the smoothest rides of the day. Even at the final water, the last big combination before heading back to the training track to finish, this pair still looked sharp and had some gas left in the tank. Jordan and Capato are contesting their first CCI since completing their second CCI4* together earlier this year in Kentucky. These two definitely seem to be getting stronger and stronger as time goes on, and they’ll be a force to be reckoned with for some time, we predict. Jordan heads into tomorrow on a two-day score of 51.8 after coming home two seconds over optimum time.
Ellen Doughty-Hume and Sir Oberon made the trek all the way from Texas to run Galway this fall, and their travel efforts were rewarded with a spectacular double clear run that moved them up a spot from fourth into third on a score of 56.1. I caught up with Ellen yesterday morning, and she seemed quietly confident about what Ian had up his sleeves for cross country. Well placed confidence, indeed, and another pair that seems to get even better with each run.
The CCI3* course rode fairly well for the majority of the division, with just two riders encountering problems on course. Gina Economou and Calidore were sadly eliminated on refusals about midway through the course and Andrea Baxter picked up a 20 at fence 16, a corner combination. Overnight leaders Bonner Carpenter and Basco eased their way home, picking up 21.6 time to drop into sixth place.
Mary Burke and Prince William looked great all the way around and came home double clear to fourth overnight, but Mary announced this morning that Prince William sustained an injury noted after the completion of cross country. Thankfully he is expected to make a full recovery with a few months of rehabilitation.
Looking to the CCI2*, Great Britain’s James Alliston and Thomascourt Cooley, owned by Sophie Hulme, hold onto the two-day lead after adding 2.8 time penalties to their score for a total of 47.3. This is Thomascourt Cooley’s debut at the CCI2* level and it’s been a solid one so far.
Heather Morris and Charlie Tango, another re-route from Fair Hill, are holding down second place following cross country after a spectacular clear round with 2.4 time added. James Alliston and his second ride, Revitavet Elijah, will take third place into tomorrow’s show jumping after securing one of only three double clear rounds in this division.
Angela Bowles and Alyssa Phillips’ Oskar retained their lead in a huge CCI* division. They timed their cross country just right, coming in one second over time and just managing to stay ahead of second place Maya Black and Mowgli. A single rail separates the top six and scores overall are tightly packed in the 47-horse field.
The Training Three-Day divisions concluded yesterday, with the initial leaders after dressage in both divisions winning without any added penalties over the many phases of a long-format event. Megan Noelle Wilson and Classic’s Mojah finished on 26.0 to top a field of 21 starters in division A. In division B, Megan Compton and Five O’Clock Somewhere stayed cool under pressure and show jumped double clear to finish on 31.0, a fraction of a point ahead of Kaylawna Smith and Happy Hour, who won the tie for second against her own mother, Tamie Smith and Graceland’s Liebling.
The final horse inspection will begin at 8:15 a.m. PST tomorrow, followed by CCI1* show jumping at 10:00, CCI2* at 12:30 and the grand CCI3* finale at 1:45 p.m. Come on out and enjoy the spectacular show that organizer Robert Kellerhouse has put on for us this weekend. It’s truly been a great weekend of all things eventing, and I can’t say enough about how well organized and thought out this event has been. Hats off to you, Robert!