Temecula, CA, Oct. 23, 2014 — Buck Davidson, winner of the CCI3* at the 2013 Galway Downs International Three-Day Event, will journey from his base in Pennsylvania to defend his Galway Downs title, on Oct. 30-Nov. 2. In 2013, Davidson, of Riegelsville, PA., rode Petite Flower to victory. This time he’ll try to make it two in a row on Copper Beech, the horse with whom he won the Jersey Fresh CCI3* in May.
He won’t be the only East Coast rider making the trip to compete in the only CCI3* west of the Mississippi River. Boyd Martin, of Cochranville, PA, will be bringing Trading Aces, his mount at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Martin and Davidson were teammates at the World Games.
Joining them will be Will Coleman, of Charlottesville, VA, also a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. Coleman will be riding Obos O’Reilly.
This will be the fifth time Davidson has started at least one horse in the Galway Downs CCI3*. Davidson noted last year that course designer Ian Stark had “made the course a lot tougher than it’s ever been before,” and that he considers Galway Downs a challenging experience for his horses.
“It’s a great event. Everybody puts everything they have into this event,” said Davidson. “To be successful in the world, we have to come together as a country, and that’s one of the reasons I like to make the trip to Galway Downs every year.”
Davidson, Martin and Coleman will face a cadre of top West Coast riders looking to win the top prizes. Basco and Bonner Carpenter, winners of the Woodside CIC3* earlier this month, will be among the 20-horse starting field, along with Jolie Wentworth and GoodKnight, who finished second in the Galway Downs CCI3* in 2011 and 2013. Galway Downs will be Wentworth’s first CCI since giving birth to a baby girl in early September. And Gina Miles, the 2008 Olympic individual silver medalist, will start S.V.R. Ron.
The CCI3* is a member event of the 2014 PRO Tour.
The 27-horse field in the CCI2* includes Lauren Billys, of Sanger, CA. She’s entered Castle Larchfield Purdy winner of this month’s Woodside CIC2* and Ballingowan Ginger, winner of the Galway Downs CCI2* in 2012.
Challenging them will be two Canadians whose horses have previously performed well at Galway Downs: James Atkinson on Gustav, winners of the Galway Downs CIC2* in 2013, and Leah Breakey on Master Plan, second in the Galway Downs CIC2* in 2014. And Maryland-based international rider Marilyn Little has entered RF West Indie.
Amateur rider Ruth Bley, of Castro Valley, CA, is aiming for her own second consecutive victory in the CCI1*. She’ll be riding 2013 winner Rodrigue Du Granit and Silver stage, who finished sixth in 2013. Her main challengers are likely to be Frankie Thieriot on Chatwin, winners of this month’s Woodside CIC1*, and Tamra Smith on Sunsprite Syrius, winners of the CCI1* at Weatherford (Texas) in May.
Little is also flying two horses—RF Typecast and RF Scandalous—across the country for the CCI1*, bringing the number of starters in that division to 60.
Gina Miles and James Alliston, winners of the Galway Downs CCI3* in 2011 and 2012, are the most accomplished riders entered in the 45-horse Training Level Three-Day Event. Miles will ride RF Scotland Yard, and Alliston will ride Sunsprite Madeira.
Competition at Galway Downs will kick off on Wednesday with the dressage phase for the USEA West Coast Young Event Horse Championships for 4- and 5-year-olds. The YEH Championships will perform their jumping phase on Thursday, when the Training Level Three-Day Event and the CCI2* will also perform their dressage tests.
On Friday, the Training Level Three-Day Event will tackle the challenges of the cross-country course, while the CCI1* and CCI3* perform their dressage tests.
Saturday is cross-country day for all three CCI divisions, and the day will conclude with show jumping for the Training Level Three-Day Event.
The CCI divisions wrap up the weekend on Sunday with show jumping.
CWD, Devoucoux, Equine Insurance of California and the PRO Tour are the Presenting Sponsors of the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event.
The Gold Medal Sponsors are: California HorseTrader, Equinox Equestrian Center, MD BarnMaster, Ian Stark Equestrian Centre, John Deere (the official tractor supplier for Galway Downs), Professional’s Choice and Sunsprite Warmbloods.
The Silver Medal Sponsors are: Charles Owen, Embassy Suites-Temecula, Holiday Inn Express, Majyk Equipe, SmartPak and Temecula Creek Inn.
The Bronze Medal Sponsors are: American Medical Response, American Horse Trials Foundation, Auburn Laboratories, Boulevard Magazine, California Riding Magazine, Finish Line Horse Products, Freedom RV Rentals, Geranium Street Flowers, Point Two Air Jackets, Ride On Video, San Luis Rey Equine Hospital, The Chronicle of the Horse, Triple Crown Nutrition and Voltaire Design.
The Friends of Galway Downs are: Copper Meadows, Eventing Training Online and Success Equestrian Pads.
San Dieguito Equine Group is the Patron Sponsor.
General admission for the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event is only $10 per day in advance, $15 at the gate, with children under 12 free when accompanied by a paying adult.
For more information on the Galway Downs International Horse Trials, visit www.galwaydowns.com or call 951-303-0405. To learn more about eventing, visit the U.S. Eventing Association’s website (www.useventing.com).