Riders Continue Supporting the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event
RELEASE: September 16, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By John Strassburger and Heather Bailey
The 11th Annual Galway Downs International Three-Day Event will end the 2009 West Coast eventing season with three levels of three-day event competition, October 30-November 1. The Southern California Equestrian Center, on Los Corralitos Road, just east of Temecula, will once again host the event.
As always, the CCI**—contested by riders from the United States, Canada, Mexico and other countries—will be the competition’s exciting centerpiece. After exhibiting their training and their gaits in Friday’s exacting dressage phase, on Saturday the horses will tackle the three-mile cross-country course of more than 30 jumps designed by British Olympian Ian Stark. Then on Sunday riders will try to place their horses perfectly to each of the demanding show jumps in front of a throng of spectators.
Less experienced horses will try to establish their international credentials in the CCI*, with less rigorous dressage and jumping tests. The long-format CCI* will feature the USEF Western Junior/Young Rider National CCI* Team Championship.
Finally, horses and riders whose eventing careers are just beginning will gain valuable experience in the training level three-day event.
But the story of the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event in November, and of the Galway Downs International Horse Trials in March, is one of more than just competition. It’s a story of cooperation, a story of a community of horse people coming together to accomplish a goal.
When organizer Robert Kellerhouse established the two events in 1999, he recalled, “I must have had 50 people ask me how they could help, and since then almost everyone has kicked in, in one way or another,” he said.
Kellerhouse has gotten everyone he could to play a role in the events.
The most enduring aspect was that nearly a dozen California trainers donated their time to give clinics at the Southern California Equestrian Center, with every dollar of the participants’ entry fees helping to support the events. Kellerhouse said that about 60 riders showed up in January 1999 to take lessons and to school the cross-country course.
In 2000 Kellerhouse enlisted Ian Stark, the three-time Olympic medalist from Great Britain, to teach the two-day clinic. “He became sort of the teacher of the teachers, and by 2007 he’d become an international course designer, so I was able to hire him to design our cross-country courses, too,” said Kellerhouse.
For the last several years, about 130 riders have come to the Galway Downs fundraiser clinic each January, making it a significant source of the event’s yearly revenue. “Almost every single trainer along the West Coast has helped make Galway Downs work, in one way or another, and these clinics are just the most noticeable way,” said Kellerhouse.
“Honestly, every year it surprises me how far people are willing to come to ride in this event. It’s very motivating to think that people are putting their horses in their trailers and coming down here. It never gets old.”
More than a dozen generous sponsors provide prize money, prizes and other support to the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event. Those sponsors include: American Wood Fibers, Auburn Laboratories, Inc., Custom Saddlery, CWD Saddlery, Doug Hannum Equine Therapy, Equine Insurance of California, Mushroom-Matrix, Riding’s Publications, Inc., SmartPak Equine, Sonoma Saddle Shop, Succeed Digestive Conditioning Program, and Toklat Originals.
General admission for the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event is $5 in advance, $8 at the gate. VIP tickets—which include seating in the ringside tent, lunch and a full selection of beverages—are also available for $55 per day in advance. For advance reservations, go to www.galwaydowns.com
For more information on the Galway Downs International Three-Day Ev