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The Classic Format Thrives At Galway Downs International Three-Day Event

Temecula, Calif., Sept. 12, 2011— The Galway Downs International Three-Day Event, on Nov. 3-6, is the season-long goal for West coast riders competing at the preliminary and training levels. And it’s not just because Galway Downs offers the only classic-format preliminary three-day event on the West Coast, along with one of the West Coast’s two training-level three-day events.  

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Temecula, Calif., Sept. 12, 2011— The Galway Downs International Three-Day Event, on Nov. 3-6, is the season-long goal for West coast riders competing at the preliminary and training levels. And it’s not just because Galway Downs offers the only classic-format preliminary three-day event on the West Coast, along with one of the West Coast’s two training-level three-day events.  

Ever since Galway Downs began in 1999, the preliminary three-day event has been an important part of it, and then organizer Robert Kellerhouse added the training-level three-day event in 2008. These competitions run in conjunction with the three international divisions, headlined by the CCI3*.  

“These classic-format divisions are certainly a major focus of what we do here at Galway Downs,” said Kellerhouse, noting that this classic-format preliminary three-day event is an FEI-sanctioned competition (CCI1*), meaning that horses that achieve a minimum score will qualify to move up to the two-star level.   “The classic-format events are extremely popular with the riders who compete in them, and we sincerely believe in them as important training opportunities for both the riders and the horses,” added Kellerhouse.  

Sherry Hevner-Rygh, a director of the Long Format Club, noted that the starting field in these two divisions has always been among the biggest in the nation. The Long Format Club promotes and supports classic-format three-day events around the country.   In 2010, 44 horses started the training three-day event, the largest starting field of the year’s 10 training three-day events. In addition to California, riders come to Galway Downs from Oregon, Washington, , Idaho, Montana, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Canada to compete at the training and preliminary levels.  

“I think people come because of the quality—Galway Downs is a great facility, the courses are absolutely fabulous, and the time of year makes it a great year-end goal for many people,” said Hevner-Rygh. “The event—and all the phases of the classic format—are a quality product, and the riders know that’s what they’re going to find when they get here.”  

Hevner-Rygh believes that running the national-level horse trials in conjunction with the classic-format training and preliminary three-day events introduces riders in the horse trials to a goal that that many are not aware of.

“I still have people asking me what the horses are doing on the race track [the steeplechase phase] and why they’re trotting around [on the roads and tracks phases], so it’s an educational opportunity too. People look at these divisions and say, ‘Wow, I’d like to do that too,’” she said.  

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In addition, the riders in the preliminary and training three-day events get to compete alongside the accomplished international riders in the CCI3* and CCI2* divisions. The CCI3* made its debut at Galway Downs in 2010 and drew atop-notch field of 19 horses, including five riders from the Middle Atlantic states. An even larger field, with even more East Coast riders, is expected this year. They’re attracted by is the first-class cross-country course designed by Ian Stark of Great Britain, by the temperate weather and excellent footing, and by the generous prize money.  

The total prize money this year is $33,000, with a $21,000 purse in the CCI3*.  

A portion of the general admission and patron’s ticket revenue at Galway Downs will benefit Operation Homefront, the official charitable partner of the Professional Riders Organization Tour and of Galway Downs.  

The mission of Operation Homefront is to provide emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our nation’s service members. Since its founding in 2002, Operation Homefront has provided more than $92 million to programs that benefit military families.  

Land Rover, the Professional Riders Organization, Del Mar Eventing and Professional’s Choice are the presenting sponsors of the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event.           

Other generous sponsors of the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event include: Advanced Protection Formula by Auburn Laboratories Inc., Big Horse Feed, California Horse Trader, Charles Owen, CWD Saddlery, Doug Hannum Equine Therapy, Embassy Suites Hotel, Equine Comfort Products, Equine Insurance of California, MDBarnmaster, Ride On Video, Riding’s Publications Inc., Smartpak Equine, Sunsprite Warmbloods and Voltaire Design.  

General admission for the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event is $8 per day in advance, $10 at the gate. VIP tickets—which include seating in the ringside tent, lunch and a full selection of beverages—are also available for $55 per day in advance. For advance reservations, go to www.galwaydowns.com.   For more information on the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event, 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).

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