The Galway Downs International Event starts on Halloween Thursday and ends on time-change Sunday, so there’s likely even more excitement than usual to be had this weekend.
Three hundred horse/rider pairs from throughout the West will convene at the Galway Downs Equestrian Center’s beautiful 240 acres in the heart of Temecula Valley Wine Country. Fan friendly “Super Saturday” is set to draw big crowds with live music, local craft beers and beverages from Galway Spirits Distillery enjoyed in on-course oasis spots with great views of the cross country action.
Important qualifying scores are on the line in the CCI-L 4/3/2* divisions, with equally intense national level competition through Beginner Novice. The agenda includes the popular Training Three Day division, which preserves eventing’s origins by staging all of the discipline’s original endurance day phases: roads and track, steeplechase, more roads and track, and cross-country.
Interesting match-ups are already emerging, including several steeds tackling their first 4*-L challenge. The 3*-L division features mother-daughter, Tamie Smith and Kaylawna Smith-Cook, going head-to-head. Tamie has had a girl-on-fire sort of year, topping the team podium at the Pan Am Games, completing Boekelo as our top placed U.S. finisher, landing in the top 20 at Bramham, and clean sweeping multiple West Coast event scoreboards. Tamie’s daughter Kaylawna has also had a super year, most recently winning the CCI3*-S at Woodside earlier this month. Galway will be Kaylawna’s first CCI3*-L — have fun out there, both you ladies!
Also in the CCI3*-L are soon-to-be-newlyweds James Alliston and Helen Bouscaren. These training business and life partners will jump off their horses after Sunday’s show jumping then dash off to a special cross-country spot to tie the knot in front of their equestrian family.
FEI stabling is the newest of year-round facility upgrades. New cross country features and expert footing maintenance highlight a track that combines the international perspective of Canadian designer Jay Hambly with the local expertise of longtime Galway builder Bert Wood.
Thank you major sponsors for making this end-of-season event one to remember: Devoucoux, CWD, Parker Equine Insurance and California Horse Trader.