One visit to Galway Downs is all it took to have Dallas, Texas-based professional Rebecca Brown chomping at the bit to return. After finishing 4th in the CCI4*-L with Dassett Choice and being part of the Adequan USEF Futures Team Challenge in 2020, Rebecca is heading back for the Eventing Championships at Galway Downs, November 1-5.
She brings two of her own horses, her relatively new Trust Pommex Z for the USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championships and Fernhill Quite Frankly for the Preliminary Challenge. And her student, Camryn Chung, will carry an Area V flag for the USEF Eventing Young Rider National Championships’ CCI2*-L and has a younger horse in the open 1*.
Rebecca has visited the region more recently in her role as USEA Emerging Athletes U21 coach on the West Coast, but she’s itching to be back as a competitor. Before coming to Galway in 2020, she admits to having had an “uneducated view” of the California eventing scene.
“I thought it would be softer than the East Coast. I was wrong!”
Good Experience Assured
“The courses were spectacular, Robert [Kellerhouse] runs an amazing event, and I really enjoyed my time there. Plus, it’s sunny! I loved it.”
When deciding how to close out the 2023 season, Rebecca debated between Galway Downs or TerraNova, in Sarasota, FL. Surprisingly, they’re only a few hours different in travel time from Texas.
“A big part of my decision is that I just know that I, and especially my horse, are going to have a good experience.”
Rebecca and Trust Pommex Z started their partnership in June. He has some CCI3*-S mileage, and Rebecca felt the 2*-L would be a great next step in getting to know each other. It will help with qualifications, too. The fact that it’s a National Championships was certainly a factor, she says, “but it is more important to me in the long run that ‘Troy’ get exposed to a lot of great things.”
She’s excited that her Preliminary Challenge outing with Quite Frankly will be part of the Area VI Championships. In an unprecedented move, the regional championship is open to contenders from outside areas. “He doesn’t need to do a 2*-L this fall, but I was looking for harder courses at the Preliminary Level so the Challenge is perfect. Galway Downs offers so many options. It’s perfect for pursuing different goals.”
Road Trip Ready
Rebecca purchased Troy after making the difficult decision to sell her 4* horse, Dassett Choice, who she imported as a 4-year-old. “I have terrific owners, but I mostly support myself when it comes to financial aspects. I had the opportunity to sell him to a good friend, Sherry Pound, and the outcome was that I was able to buy Troy.”
She hopes he’ll be the horse with whom she’ll return to the USEF Developing Rider roster. “He has all the attributes. He’s a great jumper and mover. He has a good brain and he seems super brave. We’ve only had two competitions together, but they were successful and I’m excited to see how things go at Galway.”
The 24-hour drive from Dallas will be well worth the trip, Rebecca says with confidence. “Being from Texas, we always have to drive long distances to get to most shows. It’s easier when you know you are showing up at a quality show. It makes the drive so worth it.”
Organizer Robert Kellerhouse sets a welcoming tone from the outset. “He sent me a personal message thanking me for our entries. It’s a simple thing, but so nice.” That’s icing on the cake of Galway’s many physical and organizational attributes, Rebecca says. “These are the events we want to support.”
Rebecca continues her mother Becky Brown’s ongoing legacy as a horsewoman and coach who launched many careers and lives with horses. “She operated the School of Horsemanship for over 40 years, and lots of kids who rode there went on to compete at high levels and/or become trainers themselves.”
Rebecca didn’t intend to make a career with horses. “I went to college to get a finance degree and had every intention of being a wealthy amateur,” she says, but she graduated in 2009 to an economy in the dumps. Her mom was teaching 150 students at the time and suggested Rebecca come help temporarily. “It turned out to be something I was incredibly passionate about,” she reflects.
The finance degree wasn’t wasted. “What I learned has been hugely helpful in my developing a business successful enough that it can help me support my own horses. I’m lucky enough to have some support with my horse owning syndicate, but the reality is that I still bear a huge amount of personal financial responsibility.” Both her parents are self-employed and that helped Rebecca develop business skills from an early age. “Having the industry experience as a trainer’s kid helped, too.”
Rebecca’s business, RB Riding in Dallas, trains 25 clients competing at all levels. From schooling shows and the Starter level up to the 3*, and including amateurs and juniors. She’s long supported the Area V Young Riders and stands ready to support their Championships coach, Dom Schramm, as needed at Galway Downs. As a member of Area V’s 2005 North American Youth Championships gold medal team, Rebecca is well prepared for the role.
Welcome back, Rebecca!