The first competitors of the 2017 Galway Downs International Three-Day Event kicked off the competition Thursday in the dressage arenas. Both the CCI* and Training Three-Day divisions completed the first phase with Erin Kellerhouse and Jordan Linstedt leading at day’s end.
Erin Kellerhouse’s afternoon was certainly not going to plan when her own Woodford Reserve sent her flying out of the tack in warmup, but undeterred, she kicked on to set herself in the leading CCI* position on a score of 41.
“It felt really good because I think he should win every time because he’s amazing, but we’ve just had little stupid mistakes here and there. I was really happy that it all came together, and it was just funny that I got bucked off right before it,” Kellerhouse joked, saying the 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse needed to get it out of his system.
“When I got back on he felt good. He went in there and he was great. He was right with me. It was like he needed to do that. As soon as I got back on his back felt soft. He just needed to buck I guess!” she grinned.
Following in second is James Alliston and Kendra Boyer’s Pandora. The 6-year-old Swedish Warmblood earned a score of 41.6 in her CCI* debut.
“She’s got an interesting story because I rode her dad and then I rode her mother a little bit. These were one of my very first clients when I moved to California. I’ve sort of known her since she was a foal,” Alliston explained. “I remember as a baby she was quite excited to be there in general, but now she’s sort of relaxed to it. She did her first Preliminary at the end of last year, and it’s all been very nice. She’s only little, but she’s got a cool jump, a big jump and she’s fast and she’s got a big stride for a little horse.”
Lauren Burnell’s Santana II stands in third place with Rebecca Braitling in the tack. The duo posted a personal best of 43.7. “She was a little bit fresh yesterday, and she isn’t normally fresh, so I was a little shocked and I wasn’t sure what to expect today,” Braitling commented. “I pulled her out this morning, and she was fresh at the jog, but she did a lovely test."
“Just feeling how rideable she was in the ring, so I usually go in there expecting that, but I was a little nervous that wasn’t going to be the case,” she continued. “There’s a little bit of atmosphere in this ring for sure and it’s cold - freezing for California really.”
Also earning their first marks of the weekend were Training Three-Day competitors with Jordan Linstedt leading aboard Janine Jaro’s Staccato.
“I wanted him to finish off the year just really confident going into next year. He’s been a little bit of a tricky one to produce as far as just spooky and kind of quirky, but a really really talented, phenomenal athlete. I’m really excited about his future, but I want him to be confident going up the levels taking my time with him,” she explained. The 8-year-old Hannoverian boasts a score of 27.1 in his second Training Three-Day.
Ruth Bley and her own Frankfurt placed themselves in second place. The only other pair to earn sub-30 marks, the 8-year-old Hanoverian holds 29.8 penalty points going into Friday’s endurance phase.
Third place belongs to 13-year-old Meg Pellegrini and her own Ganymede. “This is my third Training Three-Day. She’s been really good to me, and I’m super happy with her lately. We’ve been doing a lot of Training levels and she’s really been pulling off the best work that she can,” Pellegrini smiled. The two earned a 30.4 from the judges.
“I though my test was probably the best ones I’ve ever ridden on her. Our best was our stretchy trot - we’ve always had an issue with that, but I thought that this time it was way better than it’s ever been.”
Part of the United States Eventing Association’s Classic Series, a Training Three-Day gives today’s riders a chance to experience the origins of the sport. These riders will take on eventing in its traditional format, continuing with a four-phase endurance day on Friday, November 3. Phase A will begin at 2:00 p.m.
International competition continues tomorrow with CCI2* dressage at 8:20 a.m. and CCI3* dressage at 10:20 a.m.
Cross-country will be held on Saturday, starting at 9:30 a.m. with the CCI2*. The CCI3* will begin at 10:20 a.m. followed by the CCI* at 12:25 p.m. The Training Three-Day competition concludes Saturday afternoon at 3:45 p.m. with a thrilling show jumping finale.
Show jumping for the CCI divisions will be held in Sycamore Field starting with the one-star division at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday. The classes will run in reverse order of standing to guarantee a thrilling finish.
For entries, ride times, and scoring, click here.
Galway Downs is thrilled to welcome musical sensations LeAnn Rimes and Matt Ellis for a concert on Sunday evening following the conclusion of show jumping. General admission and Patron’s Passes offer access to the performance. Lee Koch will also perform for competitors and spectators on Saturday night following the conclusion of cross-country.
Spectators are welcomed and encouraged! Visitors can get a first-hand view of the sport while also enjoying a trade fair stocked with local vendors. Enjoy lunch from one of our many award winning food trucks offering everything from tacos to mediterranean cuisine. General admission tickets are $15 for Thursday and Friday, $19 for Saturday and $29 for Sunday which includes access to LeAnn Rimes. Click here to purchase tickets.
To learn more about Galway Downs, please visit our website, www.galwaydowns.net.