The Galway Downs International is a festival of firsts this year.
It’s the first time Land Rover Mission Viejo joins the impressive sponsorship roster, extending the brand’s proud international equestrian alignment in the West.
It’s the first time the MARS Bromont Rising U-25 Program stages a West coast edition of its big boost to talented young riders. The first time a 2022 World Championships Team Silver medalist will be in the competition field and the VIP tent for festive purposes. And the first time contenders will face a new coffin complex on Galway Downs’ ever-evolving cross-country course.
This season finale for eventing in the West runs Nov. 2-6 in Southern California’s Temecula Valley Wine Country. Top competitors from throughout the region are on their way. Among all these firsts are favorite familiars.
“I’ve now travelled all over the world competing, but Galway Downs holds a special place for me,” notes Tamie Smith, the above-mentioned Pratoni team silver medalist.
“Competing here helped launch my own career and that of many of my top horses. Under Robert Kellerhouse and his team, the venue has become first class in every aspect of preparing and showcasing our horses. Mai Baum’s and my contribution to Team USA’s World Championships silver medal this year has its roots right here.”
With her most seasoned equine partners on holiday, Tamie will compete in the 2* and 3* and will be feted during a Friday night soiree celebrating Team USA’s remarkable return to the international championships podium.
Organizer Robert Kellerhouse and his Kellerhouse Presents team are dedicated to supporting and celebrating horses and riders competing at every level of the sport. The immediate and growing popularity of Galway Downs’ Challenge divisions illustrates their gift for giving exhibitors what they want.
This year, the Challenge is offered in four divisions: Preliminary/Modified joins the agenda of Modified/Training, Training/Novice and Novice/Beginner Novice Challenges.
These ground-breaking divisions offer a stepping-stone for those moving up the levels. Along with excellent footing, fences and course designs, the Challenges provide the same level of celebratory acknowledgement as that given to the international divisions.
The Challenges culminate on Sunday with show jumping in the amped atmosphere of Galway’s beautiful Grand Prix Arena. Fans filling the surrounding VIP Pavilion, grandstands and shaded berm cheer as loudly as they do on Saturday for the international finalés.
The International divisions include three Long formats, the 2*, 3* and the Re/MAX 4*-Long.
Entries are solid in all divisions with competitors coming from throughout the Northwest and Arizona to contend with Area VI’s deep roster of talented horses and riders.
Land Rover Joins the Roster
Land Rover has a long history with equestrian sport and Land Rover Mission Viejo’s Steven Rudkin believes it’s high time to enhance that the West. His daughter Adelaide is a talented Modified division competitor and the Rudkins have first-hand experience with Galway Downs and its many amenities for horses and riders.
“Robert Kellerhouse has done a great job with this venue and we think it’s a great fit for us,” says Steve. Land Rover and Land Rover Mission Viejo’s commitment to equestrian sport extends the brand’s values-based alignment nationally and internationally. “A desire to go above and beyond is required to succeed in the equestrian space,” Steve relays. “Land Rover’s commitment to this sport includes sponsorship of world class competition and the engineering of refined and capable vehicles, which enable the equestrian community to make more of their world.”
Look for some of those vehicles on site over the five-day competition.
MARS Bromont Rising U25 Program
$2500 scholarships begin the benefits awarded to participants in this unique young rider development program founded in 2019. Coaching, course walks, ride reviews and educational talks round out this program in its West Coast debut.
Bringing the MARS Bromont Rising Stars out West was the idea of long-time industry supporter and committee member Dr. Mark Hart of Oregon, explains the program’s director Peter Gray. “We want this to be available for all talented young riders, and Robert Kellerhouse is so enthusiastic about hosting it. Galway is the destination event of the fall calendar, and it culminates the season, so it’s exactly the kind of competition we want to be involved with.”
German Olympian Bettina Hoy will coach participants in all phases, and the Centerline Workshop will help young riders get a jump on ringsmanship, horse presentation and attracting owners and sponsors.
Sponsors and volunteers make every aspect of the Galway Downs International possible.
Galway Downs and its exhibitors gratefully acknowledge the support of the following supporters. Most will be on site throughout the competition to meet, mingle and share their commitments to excellent sport, sportsmanship and horsemanship.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of eventing competition. Help is needed in a variety of positions, from event prep on Wednesday to cross-country finish line timers for the Horse Trials on Sunday. Many roles require zero prior experience and all provide the reward and fun of contributing to something special. Most include a free front-row seat to various phases of this always exciting competition.
The all-inclusive VIP Experience in the Pavilion next to the Grand Prix Arena is a terrific way to enjoy the show. Enjoy a full breakfast bar, filet mignon lunch buffet, refreshments, beer and wine and unlimited live feed coverage of all the events.