An exciting weekend at Southern California’s Galway Downs International came to its conclusion on Saturday with new national champions emerging in the CCI4*-L and CCI2*-L levels along with the USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships presented by USEA for the CCI1*-Intro, CCI2*-L, and CCI3*-L levels.
USEF Eventing CCI1*-Intro Young Rider Championship presented by USEA
Finishing her weekend with a double-clear show jumping round, Scarlett Peinado (Aubrey, Texas) riding her 2010 Irish Sport Horse gelding Shadow Inspector (Tinaranas Inspector x Caragh Roller) took home the individual victory in the CCI1*-Intro championship for young riders.
“It feels amazing. I kind of still can’t believe it’s real,” said Peinado, who represented Area V as an individual competitor. “My horse definitely knew what was going on. He got in that arena and he was like, ‘Let’s go!’”
Peinado held a wire-to-wire lead in the young rider standings for the division and finished on her dressage score of 27.4. She said she felt some pressure coming into the final phase, but followed her coach’s advice to just ride as if she were schooling at home and was able to manage her nerves to finish on a high note.
“I was very nervous. I was so nervous, I walked in the arena trying to remember my course,” said Peinado. “Everything was happening all at once. But it went well, I managed the stress, and we got around clear and I’m very happy.”
The team from Area VII clinched team gold thanks to solid performances from Lizzie Hoff and HSH Best Kept Secret, Olivia Keye and Chromatic Flyer, Harper Padgett and Cooley Starship, and Caterina Ritson and This Lad is Gold. Both Padgett and Hoff made the podium individually, winning silver and bronze, respectively.
CCI1*-L Young Rider Individual Results
Gold: Scarlett Peinado and Shadow Inspector
Silver: Harper Padgett and Cooley Starship
Bronze: Lizzie Hoff and HSH Best Kept Secret
CCI1*-L Young Rider Team Results
Gold: Area VII
Silver: Area VI
USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship and USEF Eventing CCI2*-L Young Rider Championship presented by USEA
After an impressive dressage test and a fault-free cross-country phase, Area VII’s Hanni Sreenan (Hood River, Ore.) and Ebenholtz (Ehrentusch x Levantine), a 2007 Hanoverian gelding owned by Amy Haugen, turned in one of the few double-clear rounds in the CCI2*-L to win both the young rider championship and the USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship on a score of 28.8.
“To be honest, I came into the competition just wanting to get around,” said Sreenan. “It’s my first CCI2*-L, so I was super nervous and I did way better than expected. I’m super happy.
“He’s super funny. Very mouthy. Very gelding-like. I love him,” Sreenan said of her equine partner. “He’s the best. He’s taught me so much. He’s a super big confidence booster and that would not have been [possible] without Amy Haugen being alongside me and letting me have the ride.”
Sreenan wins the Richard Collins trophy for the CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship and the Harry T Peters trophy for the CCI2*-L Young Rider Championship.
The home team from Area VI secured the gold medal in the CCI2*-L division. The team was composed of Julia Beauchamp Crandon and MGH Capa Vilou, Lauren Crabtree and Excellence, Gabriella Ringer and Get Wild, and Sarah Ross and Fernhill Heart Throb.
USEF CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship Results
First: Hanni Sreenan and Ebenholtz
Second: Molly Duda and Carlingfords Hes a Clover
Third: James Alliston and Cora
CCI2*-L Young Rider Individual Results
Gold: Hanni Sreenan and Ebenholtz
Silver: Julia Beauchamp Crandon and MGH Capa Vilou
Bronze: Sarah Ross and Fernhill Heart Throb
CCI2*-L Young Rider Team Results
Gold: Area VI
Silver: Area VII
USEF Eventing CCI3*-L Young Riders Championship presented by USEA
Molly Duda (Menlo Park, Calif.) of Area VII and her own 2010 Oldenburg gelding Disco Traveler (Donatelli x Cadence) turned in two double-clear jumping rounds to finish on their dressage score of 33.5 and win the individual young rider gold and the John H Fritz trophy for the CCI3*-L.
“‘Disco’ was feeling so fresh and so good this morning,” said Duda. “At our last CCI3*-L, we could feel the fitness lacking a little bit on the final day, and I think we really made those improvements and it showed. He was jumping out of his skin today, and I was super proud of him.”
Coming into the final phase in the top spot for the young riders—and in the second-place standing overall for the division—put some pressure on Duda, but in a good way.
“There’s certainly a lot of pressure going in there towards the end, but I think I thrive under pressure,” said Duda. “I think it makes me locked in and I actually ride better when I feel like it really matters. I think my horses feel that, too, especially Disco. He loves to win. He loves to do well, and I think he gave it all he had today, and it was a great ride.”
CCI3*-L Young Rider Individual Results
Gold: Molly Duda and Disco Traveler
Silver: Elsa Warble and FE Unlimited
USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship
Liz Halliday (Lexington, Ky.) held the top spot on the CCI4*-L through all three phases with Cooley Nutcracker (Toland R x Ballyshan Cleopatra), a 2014 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Nutcracker Syndicate (Deborah Halliday, Renee Lane, Ocala Horse Properties, and the rider). They held a comfortable lead heading into the show jumping phase and turned in a double-clear round to secure the national championship, winning the Guy V Henry trophy and the USET Gladstone Cup.
“I really wanted him to jump a good class and a clear round,” said Halliday. “My goal was to make the time without chasing him for it as well. That’s just something I’ve been working on with him, and he’s such a beautiful, classy horse. He felt very fresh today, which was amazing. He was pretty sharp today in this atmosphere, but he’s an amazing horse and I have a great partnership with him now.
“It’s awesome. It’s amazing, it’s really fun with the AECs and now this,” Halliday said of her national championship win. “It’s exciting for the owners, too, to come here and watch their young horse do this. It’s a wonderful way to finish the season, and I’m very excited for next year.”
USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship Results
First: Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker
Second: Tommy Greengard and Joshuay MBF
Third: Emilee Libby and Toska