Cross country day at Galway Downs was Next Level (see what I did there?) as the upper levels tackled Ian Stark’s challenge to decide the winners of the FEI divisions. Frankie Thieriot Stutes successfully completed a wire to wire win in the CIC3* aboard Chatwin, securing their first win at the Advanced level.
It was a tough week for Frankie, who received news that Eric Brandenburg, a member of The Chatwin Group, had passed away, but she was determined to make the best of it in remembrance. “It’s definitely been tough to keep it together, but it makes everything really special. Without (Eric) I wouldn’t have Chatwin,” Frankie said.
“I thought Chatwin was really good. He got a little bit strong, but he was really good through the combinations. If anything there were some gallop fences we could improve. It was a typical big Ian course, but I was able to make up some time toward the end.”
Frankie and Chatwin finished on their dressage score of 42.1 over second placed Heather Morris and Charlie Tango, who also finished with no penalties added to their original score of 46.3. Also remaining in the top three is Mackenna Shea and Landioso.
Ian’s course caused a few problems scattered about, overall presenting a healthy challenge for this point in the season to give the combinations a good springboard into the remainder of the season.
Looking to the CIC2*, Tamie Smith and Sunsprite Syrius also clinched a wire to wire win on their dressage score of 47.2. Syrius, who is nine this year, is stepping up to the two-star level this weekend, so a win on the first outing is a big check mark for this talented horse owned by Sunsprite Warmbloods.
Tamie also took home the win in the CIC1*, where we’d like to issue a big welcome back to the Ahearn family’s Mai Baum, making his first start since his win at Fair Hill International in 2015. “Lexus” scored a 32.3 in the dressage to take a handy lead and added one rail to his score before going on to an easy breezy double clear cross country round. Look for more on the return of the Black Stallion here on EN to come later!
The Horse Trial divisions will finish competition tomorrow, so there’s still more to come from Galway Downs. I will also be updating this post with current photos. Go eventing!