It’s go time at the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event in Temecula, Calif., with the Future and Young Event Horse West Coast Championships kicking off today and the other competitors getting settled in for what’s sure to be exciting week. EN is on the grounds and excited to bring you coverage from the West Coast! Here are 10 things we love about Galway Downs:
1. Food: This event is known for great eats thanks to the slew of food trucks that roll in for the event. This year, Chop Soo-ey will feature Asian fusion street food, while Ms. Patty Melt has burgers and sandwiches galore. Two For The Road will offer lobster rolls, crab cakes and other seafood fare, while Super Q boasts a variety of barbecue options. Hungry yet?
2. Music: Local folk musician Lee Koch will play the opening reception and dinner tonight, with Guilty Conscience slated to play the big party on Saturday. Other musicians lined up for cross country day include James Wells at the tower on course, Tim Walsh in the barn and Larry Thompson at the Beer Garden.
3. Halloween: The event usually falls on Halloween week, but this year will be even more fun with Halloween this Friday. We’ll likely see a lot of costumes at the first horse inspection on Thursday, and a Halloween party featuring a haunted house, haunted hayride, food vendors, bar, dancing, and costume and scream contest will be held Friday night. Click here for tickets.
4. Weather: What other event gives you a zero percent chance of rain with temperatures consistently in the 80-degree range, with a light breeze blowing to boot? Galway’s weather has to challenge Pau’s as the nicest of any major event on the fall calendar, and Chinch has some serious plans to get his tan on while he’s enjoying the sunshine on this side of the country.
5. Shopping: If the beautiful weather is perfect for watching the competition, it’s even more perfect for shopping at the trade fair. EN’s awesome sponsors MDBarnmaster, Professional’s Choice, SmartPak, Point Two and Success Equestrian are all supporters of the event, so keep an eye out for their products in the trade fair.
6. Wine: Temecula just happens to be one of the top wine destinations in the country and arguably the world, with the sun-kissed valley serving as a perfect location to grow grapes that make some unbelievably good wines. Coming to this event is a perfect excuse to spend a few days at some of the top wineries in the area, like South Coast, Weins and Wilson, all of which are just a few miles from the venue.
7. Competition: With riders like Buck Davidson and Boyd Martin coming west to challenge local big names like Gina Miles and Jolie Wentworth, the stage is set for a very exciting weekend. And we’re certainly not counting out exciting up-and-coming riders like Maya Black and Mackenna Shea. Check out our preview of all the CCI3* riders here.
8. Live Stream: Samantha Clark and Spencer Sturmey are traveling all the way from England to lead the commentary for PRO TV’s live stream. EN will also have a segment on the broadcast as we spotlight an exciting young rider whose name you’ll want to remember. Curious as to who we picked? You’ll have to tune in to find out at 5 p.m. EST Sunday.
9. YEH: The esteemed judging panel of William Micklem, Bea di Grazia and Cathy Tucker-Slaterbeck have traveled west to see how the best 4- and 5-year-olds on this side of the country stack up to those crowned Young Event Horse East Coast Champions at Fair Hill. There’s a grant to Le Lion d’Angers on the line for the 5-year-old with the top score between the two events.
10. Atmosphere: There’s just something more laid back about the eventing atmosphere on the West Coast. Between the tight-knit bond the West Coasters share to the way they always seem to be having a good time no matter what, it’s just fun to experience eventing in California. And EN will be bringing you every minute of the action. Stay tuned!