Monday, November 8, 2010

Eventing: Galway Downs: CCI 1* Classic Format: Groesbeck Stays On Top at Galway Downs International Three-Day Event

Galway Downs Press Release:

Temecula, Calif., Nov. 7, 2010 — Katherine Groesbeck had the
enviable—and stress-inducing—position of standing first and
second with her two horses in the classic-format CC1* before
today’s show jumping phase. Her dressage scores and clean
cross-country rounds had given her a considerable lead, and
although her horses swapped places, they still carried her to the
blue and red ribbons.

The two full brothers are a family affair—bred by her
mother Teresa, started by her father Jim, and competed in a
variety of disciplines, including pure dressage and endurance.
The Anglo-Arabs found the final phase challenging, with Oz
Proof of Purchase (58.2) lowering three rails, while Oz The Tin
Man (51.2) dropped one, giving him the victory over his over
his brother. “I get pretty nervous in the show jumping, which I’m sure
carries over to the horses,” Groesbeck said.

Although Anglo-Arabs are not the most common breed in
eventing, Groesbeck thinks the pedigree gives her some strong
advantages. “Obviously, it helps with the endurance, and they
are just gritty,” she said.

Groesbeck, 21, is in her fourth year at UCLA, studying
linguistics and anthropology. “What a great day,” she said with a smile.
“It’s a great way to end a great year.”

Lauren LoPiccolo, a professional trainer from Auburn,
Calif., moved up steadily all weekend to finish third aboard
former racehorse Venado (63.6). The pair have been together for
three years, and they’ve been competing at preliminary level
since last fall. “I’ve been working toward this all season,” she
said. “I feel like doing it gave me and my horse confidence to
run down to big fences. Steeplechase helped me to let him go
and do his job.”

Show jumping also altered the final standings of the
training three-day, division A, when overnight leader Bravo
lowered one fence and then had a nappy moment, to garner 4
time faults and drop to fourth. Moving in to their place was
Erin Kellerhouse, of Temecula, Calif., and Roxabelle (26.8), who
jumped double-clear round to move up from second.

Kellerhouse has had the 7-year-old mare in training since she
was 3. “I thought it would be good for her education,” said
Kellerhouse, 33. “She’s a little bit of a lazy horse so I thought it
would be good for her, and it worked."

“I was a little nervous about remembering where all the
gates [on A and C] were, even though I live here,” she finished
with a laugh. Husband Robert Kellerhouse is the event’s
organizer and the manager of the Southern California
Equestrian Center.

Tory Smith, of Camarillo, Calif., and Bantry Bay V (29.0)
finished second with an equally clean round. Smith and Bantry
Bay were the 2008 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Advanced
champions, but in the fall of 2008 Bantry Bay was injured, and
2008 Smith, 23, graduated from UCLA and joined the working
world. “[Working my horses] is harder than it was when I was in
school,” she said ruefully.

Time constraints and her horse’s return from injury led
Smith to choose the training three-day event as a way to build
his confidence and fitness. “We’ve definitely got our mojo
back,” said Smith. Still, “it was a bittersweet weekend, because I
would have loved to have ridden in the three-star.”

Third went to Andrea Baxter, of Paso Robles, Calif., and
the handsome gray Fuerst Nino R (33.8). Baxter had not
competed in a classic-format event since 2001, but she thought it
would be a good fit for “Nino,” who is making the transition
from the jumper ring. “After the steeplechase he was a whole
new horse—I didn’t know he had it in him,” she said. Baxter
was especially pleased to have the steeplechase school offered
as part of the Galway Downs training three-day event, as Nino
stopped at the first fence during the school.

In division B, the top three all put in perfectly clear rounds
to maintain their overnight placings. Sierra Mathias, of Castro
Valley, Calif., and Regal Exit finished on their winning dressage
score of 30.4.

“There was so much pressure,” said Mathias, 16. “The
warm-up did not go well, but my coach [Ann Byron] said just
go in and kick. I just had to figure out how much I needed to

“He usually does well,” she continued, “so I was hoping to
be first. I came to Galway Downs because of the training three-
day event. It’s such a great facility, and the footing is super. It’s
a really fun cross-country course, and the whole three-day
experience was great.”

Mathias hopes to move up to contest the classic-format
CCI* next year, although the gray Thoroughbred is for sale. “
Tristen Hooks, of San Louis Obispo, Calif., and Learning
To Fly were just inches behind in second with 30.7. Hooks, 48,
also competed in the 2009 training three-ay event, finishing
third. “It was such an amazing experience that I though I better
do it again this year,” she said. “It was better this time, because I
knew what to expect. I was a deer in the headlights last year.”
Zoe Winokur, of Calabasas, Calif., and Maletto V kept
their third place (32.3). Winokur is also a returning training
three-day competitor from 2009, but last year she missed a
cross-country jump and was eliminated. “This year I wanted to
get it right,” she said firmly. Winokur, 21, attends Moorpark College.

The winners of the classic-format CCI1* and the modern-
format CC1* received $1,000 in prize money, with second place
earning $750. The winner of training-level three-day division A
received a Revere Custom Dressage Saddle, and the winner of
division B. received a Revere Custom Jumping Saddle.
All told, the Galway Downs International Three-Day
Event will offer $33,000 in prize money and more than $50,000
in total prizes.

The generous presenting sponsorship of Professional’s
Choice equine products, Point Two Air Jackets USA, and the
Professional Riders Organization help make these prizes

Additional sponsors provide prize money, prizes and other support
to the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event. Those sponsors
include: Auburn Laboratories Inc., Big Horse Feed, CWD Saddlery, Doug
Hannum Equine Therapy, Equine Insurance of California, Revere
Saddlery, Riding’s Publications Inc., SmartPak Equine, and Sonoma
Saddle Shop.

For more information on the Galway Downs International Three-
Day Event, visit or call 951-303-0405.

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