Galway Downs Ready for Fall International with Venue Updates, Upgrades

Beautiful new FEI Stabling barns at Galway Downs. Photo by Kim Miller.

Galway Downs, a popular spot on the Area VI calendar nestled in the heart of southern California’s wine country of Temecula, is looking primed and ready for the forthcoming fall International event happening Oct. 28 through Nov. 1.

The eventing operations at Galway, overseen by Robert Kellerhouse of Kellerhouse Presents, have undergone massive upgrades in recent years, spanning from upgraded footing to new arenas and upgraded temporary stabling. As we get closer to Galway Downs International, more facility features have been given a facelift, including the addition of more turf to replace much of the predominantly dirt cross country tracks.

The cross country course will also see a new designer’s touch, with the task switching from Eric Winter to Clayton Fredericks this year. Ian Stark also designed the CCI4*L track here when the level was designated as a CCI3*. Clayton recently sat down to share his thoughts on the new course and the facility itself:

Galway Downs interview with Clayton Fredericks

Check out our interview with Clayton Fredericks where he addresses the new CCI4*-L course, what it was like designing with the new grass, and the year-round maintenance plans Galway Downs now has in place for the FEI tracks. Stay tuned for a full course preview as we get closer to the event.

Posted by Galway Downs on Friday, September 18, 2020

“We’ve got a good variation throughout the course,” Clayton says in the interview. “What we’ve tried to do is create a really flowing track which incorporates the areas that you’ve got here…because they’re really the good places for building. But what I’ve tried to do is create different lines through there…and maybe make a new use of those traditional areas.”

The major change is, Clayton says, the decision to stick primarily with the same track going forward which will be managed by the eventing crew year round. This track will also feature the new grass, aiding the overall goal to have the horses see fewer changes of footing. In previous years, horses in the FEI divisions would often switch from dirt to grass or sand.

As for how Clayton would describe the course? “Challenging I think is the key word,” he says. “Challenging and flowing.”

The Galway Downs International Event has destination competitions for all levels!The October 28-November 1 event will…

Posted by Galway Downs on Saturday, September 5, 2020

We’ll also welcome the USEF Futures Team Challenge riders to Galway Downs for the CCI4*L and CCI3*L competitions. The Adequan USEF Futures Team Challenge is a new program established in 2019 to provide team experience and educational opportunities to newer or younger riders. This will be the first time the Futures Team Challenge will travel to the West coast.

Also new and exciting for National competitors is the addition of Modified-Training Challenge (M-TC), Training-Novice Challenge (T-NC), and Novice-BN Challenge (N-BNC) divisions. These Challenge events will be run over three days in the new Grand Prix arena at Galway to give riders the “real feel” of competing in a long format event. This idea was born after the announcement that the Training Three-Day would not be held this year.

Entries for the Galway Downs International Event and H.T. are now open and will close on October 13. For more information, visit the Galway Downs Omnibus listing here.