Temecula, Calif.- Tamra Smith (Murrieta, CA) had a story book ending to her unforgettable year, winning both the CCI1* and 2* competitions, on the heels of her Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International CCI3* National Championship win in Maryland two weeks ago.
The six-year-old striking grey Holsteiner mare Fleeceworks Royal, owned by Judith McSwain, responded perfectly to Smith's careful riding in the CCI1* to earn a clear round and top honors in the competitive division that saw multiple changes in the standings as rails dropped.
Overnight leader Lord Lombardi, ridden by owner and young rider Megan Traynham (Arbuckle, CA), clipped the second element of last triple combination to finish second. Alexandra Tett and her own Quidproquo Des Vatys saw a steady climb in the standings as they completed in third place on their dressage score.
Riding Chatwin for friend and new mother Frankie Thieriot Stutes, Smith had a scant 1.1 point lead in the CCI2* division. She entered the arena, last to go and without a rail in hand, after second-placed competitor and Pan Am gold medalist Marilyn Little.
Little had piloted Jacquline Mars, Robin Parsky and RayLyn Farm's stylish young 7-year-old Hanoverian RF Overdressed to a faultless round, securing her placing and putting the pressure on Smith. Smith responded by efficiently jumping clear to secure the championship. A delighted Smith cantered Chatwin to the far end of the arena after the finish to give Stutes and her 3-week-old baby both a congratulatory hug.
"Frankie has really done all the work with this guy," said Smith, giving credit to regular rider Stutes. "I am just really happy to have had the ride on him this year. He's such a cool horse and Frankie deserves all the credit." "This year has just been an amazing journey for me, and I want to thank all of the owners of the remarkable horses I have been so blessed to ride," she said holding back tears.
Ocala, Fl. -based competitor Jonathon Holling rounded out the top three in the CCI2* division, riding the big scopey grey gelding Kildalton Cooley for the Kildalton Group. The pair turned in an important clear round to receive third place, making the journey from Florida well worth the effort.
For a full listing of the results of the 2015 Galway Downs International, click here.
For more information on the Galway Downs International Event, visit www.galwaydowns.net