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Starting Fields Set For Galway Downs International Three-Day Event
Temecula, CA, USA

A total of 102 horses are set to start tomorrow in the 11th annual Galway Downs International Three-Day Event. Of these, 46 will be contesting the training-level three-day event, the largest starting field of the eight training-level events held so far this year in the United States.

Organizer Robert Kellerhouse introduced the training-level three-day event to Galway Downs in 2008 to give West Coast riders a unique educational opportunity. Along with the competition, riders can attend a series of forums and lectures covering rules, competition procedures and veterinary care. But the most popular educational opportunity is schooling the course for the steeplechase phase with cross-country course designer Ian Stark, a two-time British Olympic medalist.

"It's a fabulous feeling galloping over the steeplechase course," said Marilyn Payne, president of the Galway Downs ground jury. "It's amazing how you develop a new sense of how to balance and control your horse at a gallop. With the introduction of warmblood crosses into eventing, the classic three-day is a must in their education. Many of them come away with a 'new gear' and a new understanding of galloping and jumping. All of this education just makes better horses and riders and makes our sport much safer."

Added Payne, "I'm very excited that we are now seeing organizers like Robert Kellerhouse willing to host classic-format events, especially putting on a classic-format event at two levels! I strongly believe that both the competition and the training leading up to these events provide a fabulous education for both horses and riders."

Some 22 horses will compete in the featured division of the weekend, the CCI2*. Dressage for the CCI2* begins at 1:15 p.m. on Friday and runs to 5:00 p.m. at the Southern California Equestrian Center, just east of Temecula. The training-level three-day event gets underway at 8:20 a.m. and wraps up at 2:45 pm. The classic-format CCI1* and the short-format CCI1* run concurrently with those two divisions.

Riverside County Commissioner Jeff Stone will be the event's honored guest on Sunday afternoon to present the prizes and ribbons for the CCI2*. "We're tremendously pleased that Jeff will be joining us on Sunday for the event's climax," said Kellerhouse. "Each year, our events at Galway Downs contribute more than $2 million to the local economy, and I think his enthusiasm is a sign that our local leaders are recognizing our contribution to the community."

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