Temecula, Calif- In the CCI2*, the time also proved challenging to make and shuffled the overall standings. Overnight leader Tamra Smith (Murrieta, CA) had no problem with The Chatwin Group's Chatwin, who required an extra two laps after the finish to pull him up. "He was amazing," Smith said. "Nothing backed him off, and he is so fit, he was still pulling me at the end!"
Marilyn Little (Frederick, MD) and the attractive Hanoverian gelding RF Overdressed turned in another one of the three double clear rounds to maintain their second place standing on 42.7. Moving up to the top three was Jonathon Holling (Ocala, FL) and the Kildalton Group LLC's Kildalton Cooley, adding 5.2 time penalties to finish on 55.6.
Holling was meant to be the trailblazer on the 2-star course, but an excited Kildalton Cooley spooked and reared on the way to the start area, losing his balance and unseating Holling, whose protective air vest was deployed. Tamra Smith was nearby and loaned her vest to Holling so that he could start just one ride later.
"I had to take it a little steadier in the beginning because he was so unsettled at the start," said Holling. "He came away smarter and more confident, so I think I made the right decision even if it cost me some time."
Megan Traynham (Arbuckle, CA) overcame the distraction of an unbuckled rein and stayed focused to move up to first place on her own Lord Lombardi in the large and competitive CCI1* division. "I just had to steer with one rein, I didn't know what would happen. He saw the fence and locked on and jumped it fine," a relieved Traynham said. "As we were galloping off, I had to gather my rein from the ground before he stepped on it."
Judith McSwain's Fleeceworks Royal moved up to second place with 40.8 penalties after Tamra Smith's other ride, division leader Lagos Star had an unfortunate run out. Hilary Niemann and her own Undercover advanced to third with 41.6 penalties.
For more information on the Galway Downs International Event, visit www.galwaydowns.net