Jodie Stowell and Comet Rocket to the Win at the Indiana Eventing Association's Training Three-Day
RELEASE: June 15, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Anastasia Curwood
Jodie Stowell and Comet, a 13-year-old Appaloosa/Thoroughbred-cross whom she raised from a two-year-old, took home the top honors at the Indiana Eventing Association (IEA) Training Three-Day Event, June 3-6. Finishing on their dressage score of 35.9, the two put in two flawless jumping phases to take home the blue and a bevy of prizes in the most recent event in the SmartPak Equine/United States Eventing Association's (USEA) Classic Series.
The win at IEA was the second major milestone within one month for Stowell, who traveled from Murfreesboro, TN, to the Hoosier Horse Park in Edinburgh, IN. She graduated from the University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine on May 8. "Strangely," she said, "the best I have ever done [in eventing competition] has been while I was in vet school. It forced me to focus my riding time." Stowell qualified for last year's American Eventing Championships at Training level and recently moved Comet up to Preliminary, but has always wanted to do a Training Three-Day. "This was my first three-day ever," she explained, " and steeplechase was definitely the most fun."
Stowell moved up to first place in the show jumping phase, after overnight leader Chris Heydon and her Paint-cross mare, My Sweet Baboo, dropped the first rail of a two-stride combination. Stowell was pleased with her horse in the final phase, which she commended for its fair, but challenging questions. "I had to add a stride in a couple of lines where I needed to come more forward, but Comet is typically a careful jumper and he liked the footing," she recalled.
Second-placed Lauren Gallucci has wanted to do a Training three-day for several years, Galluci's mother Sheryl recalled. "She has done the AECs, but to her this was everything, her ultimate goal," she said. Victoria II, a 19-year-old Percheron-Thoroughbred, has competed under not just one but three members of the Gallucci family: Sheryl, Lauren, and Lauren's sister Jessica. "When we got her at age four, no one wanted to ride her," recalled Lauren. "Now she is our family horse."
Lauren was thrilled with the entire weekend. "It was a blast in all four phases of cross-country day," she said. "I also had probably my best test ever in the dressage, where I really appreciated the large arena." Sheryl Gallucci also praised training three-day organizer Lee Ann Zobbe, who worked with Lauren when she could not make it to Indiana in time for the first mandatory meeting.
Endurance day also won praise from competitors. The 10-minute box between phases C and D went like clockwork, and Jon Wells's cross-country course, which added several additional elements to the Training horse trials course for the Training Three-Day, rode well for all competitors. Chris Heydon, who added just .8 time penalties to maintain her lead from dressage day, enthused that she "couldn't be happier" with the course and her horse at the end of the day.
Winner of the Best Conditioned award was third-place finisher Shelby Strah of Rockford, Michigan with her Thoroughbred gelding Black Tie Affair. She also took home the Friends of Ferdinand Award for the highest-placed Thoroughbred in the competition.