Monday, March 28, 2011

Galway Downs International Horse Trials Provide A Perfect Prep For Bennett-Awad and Miles

Galway Downs International Horse Trials Provide A Perfect Prep For Bennett-Awad and Miles
Updated: 2011-03-24
From Galway Downs
Temecula, Calif., March 24, 2011— A star-studded field of 15 horses is ready to compete in the CIC3* at the Galway Downs International Horse Trials on April 1-3, which is a designated Adequan USEA Gold Cup Division. Two of the group’s leading contenders are Hawley Bennett-Awad on Gin ‘N Juice, a pair whose pivotal score helped Canada earn the team silver medal at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, and Gina Miles, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist, on her new mount Chanel.

Bennett-Awad, a 2004 Olympian who lives in Temecula, started riding Gin ‘N Juice as a young horse and has trained her to the sport’s highest levels. The Thoroughbred mare, 10, was bred by Terry and Linda Paine of Temecula and foaled across the street from the Southern California Equestrian Center, site of the Galway Downs event. Bennett-Awad is also riding the mare’s full brother, 5 O’Clock Somewhere, in the CIC2*.

Bennett-Awad’s main goal for this year is to ride Gin ‘N Juice in England’s famous Badminton Three-Day Event three weeks after Galway Downs, in preparation for the 2012 Olympics in London.

“Galway Downs is the perfect last run before we leave,” said Bennett-Awad. “Ian Stark’s courses are big and bold, and every single time I’ve ridden his courses, my horses come off them better than they were when they started. Plus, I can see the great changes Ian’s been making to the courses, and I can’t wait to ride them.”

Miles, of Atascadero, Calif., won the 2008 Galway Downs International Horse Trials on her way to earning the Olympic silver medal in Hong Kong with McKinlaigh. Miles has been searching for a successor to her great partner, and she believes she’s found one in Chanel, a Danish Warmblood mare co-owned by Liza Jane MacNaughton and previously ridden in European international events by Peter Flarup of Denmark.

Miles has already competed Chanel twice this spring and is hoping to qualify for the Pan Am Games in Mexico this summer. “She’s my hope for London 2012, and Galway Downs is an important step in our preparation. I know I can depend on Galway Downs, because it’s a first-class event with a top-notch course,” said Miles.

Amy Tryon of Duvall, Wash., a two-time Olympian who’s also earned the team gold medal at the 2002 World Equestrian Games and the individual bronze medal at the 2006 World Equestrian Games, will be a contender on her experienced international mount Leyland. Jil Walton, of Kalispell, Mont., the U.S. eventing team’s leading rider at the 1992 Olympics, will likely be in contention too if she has her usual faultless and fast cross-country round on My Sedona.
Jennifer Wooten-Dafoe, of Buellton, Calif., and The Good Witch, winners of the year-long USEA Gold Cup Series in 2010, have placed at Galway Downs several times and are once again strong contenders for the top prizes. The Galway Downs International Horse Trials is one of seven member events in the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series.

A total of 51 horses are entered in the other two international divisions— 20 in the CIC2* and 31 in the CIC1*.

Friday, April 1, will feature the both the dressage and show jumping phases for the three international divisions. Then, on Saturday, April 2, the international horses and riders will gallop over Stark’s redesigned and spectator-friendly cross-country course. The excitement will build to a peak as the horses start on course in reverse order of standing, with the first-placed horse being the final starter. Awards for the international divisions will be presented at the gala party on Saturday evening.

The national advanced, intermediate and preliminary divisions will meet the cross-country course’s challenges on Saturday too, and then they’ll be featured in Sunday’s climactic show jumping phase. The training and novice divisions will tackle the cross-country course on Sunday.

Point Two Air Jackets, Professional’s Choice, Equine Comfort Products, and the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series are the presenting sponsors of the Galway Downs International Horse Trials.

Other generous sponsors of the Galway Downs International Horse Trials include: CWD Saddlery, Sunsprite Warmbloods, Voltaire Design, Advanced Protection Formula by Auburn Laboratories Inc., Big Horse Feed, Equine Insurance of California, Doug Hannum Equine Therapy, Riding’s Publications Inc., Smartpak Equine, and the California Horse Trader.

General admission for the Galway Downs International Horse Trials 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 online to

For more information on the Galway Downs Horse Trials, visit or call 951-303-0405. To learn more about eventing, visit the U.S. Eventing Association’s website (