Galway Downs 2020 is a Wrap

I am very relieved to say that this big event at Galway Downs is over. After months and months of preparations, I believe we got a great performance from both horses.  I am extremely proud of how hard Luke and Ludwig tried this week in California.  This event was no joke, and the boys showed up!

Yesterday was the trot up and showjumping.  Luke and Ludwig pranced out of their stalls in the morning and looked perfect at the vet inspection.  I then gave them both a light jump school with our coach, Erik Duvander. We just popped them through a small gymnastic to slow them down and get their shape back.  When I walked the show jumping course at lunchtime, I knew it was going to be a real test of their training.

Long Island T

Ludwig was first to jump. He warmed up well and was feeling in good nick, then he went in the ring  in and jumped a sensational round.  He was absolutely perfect, jumping in good form and scope. I was one second over the time picking up .4 of a penalty. In hindsight, I went a little wide on a few turns. All in all, he jumped unbelievably well considering what he went through the day before on a tough cross country course.

Luke was the last horse to jump and the pressure was on after the 2nd place horse jumped a clear round. Luke was feeling good in the warm-up; I started the round a little bit quietly, trying not to let him get buzzed up. The first half of the course he was brilliant, then he started to get a bit keen.   I really had to wrestle to slow him down at the end, so I incurred three seconds of time penalties.  But even though Luke was getting fired up, he stayed careful, and we pulled off a clean round.

I was very happy and relieved yesterday after it was all over. What a year!  I really think that this event will set these horses up for a huge 2021. The horses fly home this morning, and will then get a well deserved rest.

I have to give a big thanks to Silva for coming out to help me on dressage day! As usual, Steph Simpson is doing an unbelievable job of helping with these horses, especially with the flight out here. Thanks also to our sponsors who keep the horses and our team well outfitted. Lastly the group of owners of both horses – about 25 owners between both horses – have been a wonderful group of supporters. And of course thanks to the USEF for the travel grant that helped pay to fly the horses out from Pennsylvania.

It’s a wonderful opportunity and privilege to compete on the other side of America during the Covid virus. Everybody involved in this competition bent over backwards to make sure these competitions continue. I’m sure it would have been easy to cancel the event, but there are some great supporters who have worked hard to make sure our big competitions have continued.
Ludwig Event Video: 

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