It was exceedingly tight at the top of the CCI1* here at Galway Downs, with single rails on Marc Donovan’s course dropping riders several places and the win coming down to one unfortunate rail down in the treble.
Tamie Smith and Fleeceworks Royal gave us all a start when they rubbed a vertical flanked by giant wine bottles (I checked, there was no wine in them) hard, but somehow the poles stayed in tact and Tamie jumped clear to take home the win.
Fleeceworks Royal is a 6-year-old Holsteiner mare with loads of talent owned by Judy McSwain, and she’s definitely shown her promise with several top finishes in her short FEI career. She most recently won the Prelim Horse Championships at AECs and I’m sure we’ve seen only a glimpse of future talent here.
It was an equally impressive weekend for 16-year-old Megan Traynham and Lord Lombardi, who led following cross country but dropped the second element of the triple combination (that was coming down or at least getting some hard rubs all day) to finish on a final score of 41.7 for second place.
Megan and Lord Lombardi completed their second CCI1* together and are hoping to go to Young Riders next year — if this weekend has been any clue, this will definitely be a team to watch on the Young Rider team!
Alexandra Tett and Quiproquo Des Vatys were able to move from fourth into third thanks to a double clear round, ending their weekend on a 43.0. This pair completed the CCI1* at Rebecca Farm earlier this year and attain their highest FEI placing to date this weekend.
In fourth place are Hilary Niemann and Undercover, who lowered one tricky rail in an otherwise lovely looking round for a final score of 45.6. Hilary has produced this horse from the lower levels and completes her first CCI1* with him this weekend — without a doubt an achievement to be very proud of.
And finally in fifth place are Buck Davidson and Jennifer Taxay Kelly’s RF Outlandish. Fun fact: This is a catch ride for Buck, who just rode the horse for the first time earlier this week. RF Outlandish, a 7-year-old Oldenburg mare, really tried her heart out this weekend and jumped a beautiful double clear for a three day score of 45.8.
Many thanks to Vanessa Hughes of Lady Photographic for stepping in to assist me with photos as my shots of Tamie were not coming out ok. Life saver!
We’re preparing to kick off the CCI2* here in just about 30 minutes, so be sure to tune in to the live stream and stay tuned for much more straight from California!