Monday, November 8, 2010

Eventing: Galway Downs: CCI3*: Brannigan Victorious At Galway Downs International Three-Day Event

Galway Downs Press Release:

Temecula, Calif., Nov. 7, 2010 — Jennie Brannigan and Nina
Gardner’s Cambalda made their plane trip to the West Coast
worthwhile today, by winning the inaugural CCI3* at the
Galway Downs International Three-Day Event on their
dressage score of 46.0. The reward for their effort was a $7,000

Cambalda, an Irish Sport Horse gelding, overcame a
miscommunication at fence 4 in the show jumping today, before
making a spectacular effort to leave the rails up. The clean
round—finishing exactly on the optimum time—gave them the
victory over Alexandra Slusher on Last Call (49.2) and James
Alliston on Jumbo’s Jake (55.8).

“I’m in shock right now,” said an ecstatic Brannigan, 23. “I
always struggle with keeping him in front of my leg, and the
mistake at fence 4 was my fault. He’s only 8, and I can’t
imagine what he’ll be like next year, because of how much he’s
improved this year. He’s won four FEI events this year. He
proved he’s a good horse.”

Brannigan also thinks the Galway Downs has proved itself
too. “Galway Downs is just as good—or better—as any place
else,” said Brannigan. “I think this three-star is going to show
that eventing is not all about the East Coast. I think the West
Coast deserves more credit than it gets.”

Slusher moved into top contention after Tamra Smith
didn’t present second-placed Corner Street at this morning’s
final horse inspection. Slusher and Last Call put in a lovely
double-clear round to take home the red ribbon and a check for

“I’ve got a good vibe going with this place,” said Slusher,
23. “I have a lot of confidence here, and I needed this to be my
last event of the year. I couldn’t have asked for my year to end
any better.

“To finish in the 40s in a three-star—I couldn’t have
dreamed this week could go so smoothly,” she added.
Alliston, who lives in Castro Valley, Calif., but represents
Great Britain, and Jumbo’s Jake moved up steadily all weekend,
and added only 1 time fault to their score today, to take third.
The bay Irish Sporthorse is owned by Alliston’s girlfriend, India

“This is my biggest result for sure. I’m stoked,” said a
happy Alliston, 26. “It was really exciting to finish clean
yesterday on both horses.” He also finished seventh on Parker

Slusher’s great weekend continued when she and Juicy
Couture won the CCI2*. They dropped one rail in today’s show
jumping, but they had it in hand and finished on a score of 53.2.
“It’s really special to me to win on her, because she’s been
the most difficult horse to ride,” she said. “It’s been such a long
process, and it all came together this weekend.”

Jolie Wentworth and GoodKnight continued their upward
mobility by jumping clean today to finish second in the CCI2*,
on their dressage score of 58.1.

“I thought it was a very difficult course,” said Wentworth,
29, of the show jumping. “There wasn’t much let up; it was
boom, boom, boom. I think I really had an advantage because I
had a clean round on my one-star horse, so I knew what to

GoodKnight is a recent purchase for Wentworth, who said
that one of the main reasons for purchasing him was his clean
jumping technique and history of clean rounds. She had hoped
to ride him in the CCI3*, but they lacked one of the necessary
qualifiers. “I would have really liked to have ridden in the
three-star,” she said. “I’ve been coming to Galway Downs since
it started and I was a young rider, so nothing would have made
me happier than to do the three-star. But now I’ll have to do it
next year.”

Amber Levine and Nantucket Red (58.2) lowered one rail
to drop behind Wentworth by just .1. They had a an awkward
moment in the triple combination, and then lowered the jump
that followed it as Levine struggled to regain her reins and

“He jumped in [to the triple] great, and then he thought
too much about it—he thought he needed [to add a stride] to
jump it well,” she said with a laugh.

Still, she was thrilled to finish third in their first start at the
CCI2* level. “It will probably hit me on the ride home,” she
said. “He was plenty fit. He looked great this morning, and he
felt great this afternoon. Now I hope to do the three-star next

Show jumping caused only minor shuffling in the CCI1*
standings. Overnight leader Lindsay Connors and Balingowan
Pizazz lowered one rail to drop to second (49.6), while a clean
round vaulted Maxance McManamy and Project Runway (47.5)
to the top of the leaderboard.

“This weekend was such a big learning curve for him,”
said, McManamy, 18, of her pinto Trakehner. “He’s grown up
quite a bit. He’s only 6, and he really proved himself to me this
weekend and felt like a big horse. I felt a little nervous today,
because he’s my baby. My goal was to finish on his dressage
score, and he did that.“I love everything about Galway Downs,” 
she continued. “It’s my favorite event. It’s just such a fantastic experience
every time I come here.”

Connors, 27, had set the modest goal of “just staying on,”
and was not disappointed to finish in the runner-up slot.
Fresh off her team silver medal at the 2010 Alltech FEI
World Equestrian Games, Hawley Bennett-Awad moved up
steadily to claim third with Five O’Clock Somewhere, finishing
on their dressage score of 53.7. Bennett-Awad also had a hand
in Slusher and Brannigan’s successes. They are both former
students of hers, the first to compete at the advanced level, and
she found both of Slusher’s horses and Brannigan’s former
advanced mount Cooper.

“To me this is huge. These are my first two advanced
students, and I’m so proud of them,” Bennett-Awad said with
tears in her eyes. “Having this event here has now changed the
game for the West Coast. Now we don’t have to spend $10,000
to go to Fair Hill [Md.], and all the young riders come here and
see that they have a chance, that riding in a three-star is doable.
I think we are all very, very lucky to have the three-star here at
Galway Downs.”

The Galway Downs CCI3* offered $21,000 in prize money.
All told, the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event
offered $33,000 in prize money and more than $50,000 in total

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment