What’s On Tap: Previewing This Weekend’s 4*-S Competition at Galway Downs, Pompadour, TerraNova, Thorseby

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Photo by Alex Jeffery.

It’s a hefty weekend of 4* competition coming our way with four CCI4*-S events running around the world. With most eyes on Paris and spring 5* destinations, these 4* competitions are a handy peek at the hopefuls, developing new riders and horses, and the tracks they’re all choosing en route to their various goals. Stay tuned for our Monday edition of The Weekend Update, which will recap all of the action from these key events.

We’ll get started on the West coast in southern California, where Galway Downs’ international season is primed and ready for take-off. The 4*-S attracted 10 entries this weekend, including the first glimpse we’ll see of last year’s Kentucky 5* winner, Mai Baum, with Tamie Smith piloting. Tamie has spent her most recent off-seasons in California instead of traveling East, taking advantage of popular winter venues like Thermal and Del Mar to hone her skills in the bookend phases of her sport. Mai Baum is joined by stablemates Kynan and Elliot V; both “Lexus” and Kynan are aiming at the Lexington 4*-S that runs in conjunction with the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event at the end of April.

Tamie is joined by Australia’s Bec Braitling and Caravaggio II, who got the opportunity to represent Australia overseas in 2023, as well as Taren Hoffos and Master Class, Katherine Robinson and Teki to the Limit, Emilee Libby and Toska, and many other regulars on the California/Area 6 scene. Click here to view the full entry list, and don’t forget Galway could still use a few volunteers for this weekend so you can find a spot to sign up for here. You can also catch the live stream for Galway Downs on Horse & Country / Ride On Video here.

Galway Downs International H.T. (Temecula, CA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer][Scoring] [Tickets] [Live Stream]

Karim Laghouag and Triton Fontaine. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

In France, we’ll see a hefty 43-strong field tackling the 4*-S as the French contingent set their sights on a strong performance on home soil later this summer during the Olympics. The field includes top-flight riders such as Olympians Karim Florent Laghouag and Triton Fontaine, Nicolas Touzaint and Absolut Gold HDC, Astier Nicolas and Dirty Old Town, Gireg le Coz and Aisprit de la Loge, and many more familiar names. We’ve also got one U.S. representative in the 4* field in Hallie Coon and Cute Girl. You can take a look at the full list of entries here.

Grand National Pomadour (France): [Website] [Timing & Scoring]

Our on-the-ground coverage this week will come to you from the Thoresby Eventing Spring Carnival in the UK, which has stamped itself as one of the top prep events for spring 5* season for the British and Britain-based riders. While the weather in the UK has been anything but ideal for eventing prep, prompting the abandonment of several events leading up to this point, it looks to be all systems go for a jam-packed weekend that will provide an excellent preview of where each pair is at as the big destinations loom.

Hear from course designer Capt. Mark Phillips as Thorseby draws closer:

The Thoresby entry list reads like a telephone book of top eventers; we can expect to see Tokyo gold medalists Laura Collett (bringing her two upcoming 5* first-timers Hester and Bling as well as her Olympic and Badminton/Pau-winning partner London 52), reigning world champion Yasmin Ingham (entered with both Rehy DJ and Banzai du Loir, both of whom are equally viable Paris potentials), Maryland 5 Star winners Austin O’Connor and Colorado Blue, Oliver Townend with the lovely Cooley Rosalent, Jonelle and Tim Price with a handful of horses each, including Grappa Nera and Vitali, and many more — you’ll want to take a look at the full list here. The U.S. is represented by Cosby Green and Grace Taylor, both of whom are aiming for Badminton this year.

Thoresby will be streamed live on Horse & Country this weekend — click here to bookmark the live stream page.

BEDE Events’ Thoresby Eventing Spring Carnival (UK) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

Joe Meyer and Harbin. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Back on this side of the pond, we’ve also got a star-studded entry list ready for action in Myakka City, FL at The Event at TerraNova. This event has roared onto the radar of American eventing with its spectacular infrastructure and sparkling new cross country course designed this year by Alec Lochore, taking the reins from Capt. Phillips.

This is another event on the riders’ radar as they prepare for a spring 5* or a spring 4*-L with a greener horse. The field includes the likes of British Olympian Leslie Law with Lady Chatterley, Canada’s Katie Malensek and Landjaeger, Joe Meyer with Harbin as well as Chilli Dawn, Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus, Caroline Pamukcu with King’s Especiale, HSH Double Sixteen, and HSH Tolan King, Alyssa Phillips and Oskar, Badminton-bound Jessica Phoenix and Wabbit, Karl Slezak and Hot Bobo, Monica Spencer and Artist, and plenty more that could take a competitive placing this weekend.

This event will also be live streamed on Horse & Country, and you can bookmark this page to follow along all weekend.

The Event at TerraNova (Myakka City, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

Mia Farley and Phelps. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Last but certainly not least, though Bouckaert Equestrian is not running a 4* this weekend, they do host an annual Advanced/Intermediate division that features the 5* dressage and 5*-spec show jumping and a healthy prize pot for any 5*-bound pairs who want some extra polish ahead of the next couple of months. The A/I division offers $25,000 in prize money, and stepping up to the plate for a chunk of it are riders such as Buck Davidson (Sorocaima), Mary Bess Davis (Imperio Magic), Mia Farley (Phelps), and Shannon Lilley (Eindhoven Garette and Ideal HX). You can view the full entry list here.

Bouckaert Equestrian H.T. (Fairburn, GA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

Stay tuned for much more coverage and updates coming your way throughout the weekend! Go Eventing.

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