Temecula, CA - A small but mighty field contested the Galway Downs International CCI3* this weekend with USEF Land Rover Competition Grant recipients Phillip Dutton and Mr. Candyman and Lauren Kieffer and Meadowbrook's Scarlett having stellar performances. The combinations finished in the top four with Dutton winning top honors with his other mount, Fernhill Fuguitve.
Dutton (West Grove, PA) earned finished first- and fourth-place finishes with Fernhill Fugitive and Mr. Candyman, respectively, to conclude a fantastic weekend at Galway Downs. With Fernhill Fugitve, Thomas Tierney and Ann Jones' 2005 Irish Sport Horse gelding, Dutton added nothing to the duo's dressage score of 43.4 to take home the win. His performance with his USEF Land Rover Competition Grant mount, Mr. Candyman, was equally impressive. Dutton and Ann Jones, Bridget Colman, and Caroline Moran's 2007 Holsteiner gelding had a respectable test in the horse's CCI3* debut to earn a score of 50.9. The pair had masterful double-clear cross-country and show jumping rounds to finish in fourth place on its dressage score.
"Fernhill Fugitive has had an incredible year and he just keeps getting better and better. For Mr. Candyman, this was a great experience. He is still a work in progress for me. This is the toughest event he's done and it was a great learning experience which is so important to his development and the grant helped make that possible," Dutton said.
Kieffer (Middleburg, VA) and Meadowbrook's Scarlett had an excellent showing at Galway Downs. It was the first competition for Marie Le Menestrel's 2007 Thoroughbred Cross mare since the Pan American Games, but the horse delivered. Kieffer and Meadowbrook's Scarlett had a lovely test to start the competition off with a dressage score of 45.0. They made light work of the tough cross-country track, collecting just eight-tenths of a time penalty. Kieffer and Meadowbrook's Scarlett had a single rail down for four faults in an otherwise smooth show jumping round to finish in third place on a score of 49.8.
"I'm really happy with her. She really tried in there; we just had an unlucky rail," Kieffer said. "She was great considering her last event was the Pan American Games. She stormed around [the cross-country course] yesterday. I'm grateful for the grant and the support of her owner, Marie Le Menestrel, that allowed me to have this great opportunity."
Finishing in second place between Dutton and Kieffer were Alexandra Knowles and Sound Prospect after they added nothing to their dressage score of 46.7.