Temecula, CA - April 2004 - The Galway Downs Horse Trials held March 25-28 in Temecula, California proved a fitting site for the west coast launch of the 2004 USEA Gold Cup Series. Continuing on Red Hills' success, Galway Downs was met with another weekend of perfect weather and exciting competition.
Gina Miles and McKinlaigh, last year’s Galway CIC***-W champions who also went on to place third in the 2003 FEI World Cup Final, put in an impressive performance to defend their title, but rails in show jumping resulted in a fourth place finish. This year it was Robyn Fisher riding Le Samurai who secured the win and captured the trophy in the CIC***-W, with no jumping faults in cross-country or show jumping. This win earned Robyn a total of 275 Gold Cup points. With 19 starters in the division, the top five finishers earned Gold Cup points and made their mark on the "Race for the Cup" Leaderboard.
In the CIC** division, 22-year-old Nicholas Cwick captured the win aboard Asterix, pulling ahead of the overnight cross-country leader with only one rail in show jumping, and earning a total of 130 Gold Cup points. Barbara Crabo entered show jumping with such an impressive lead that she was able to afford four rails and still hold on to second place, finishing closely behind Cwick and earning 125 Gold Cup points.
The USEA Gold Cup Series next moves back to the east coast to the Fair Hill International Horse Trials in Elkton, Maryland, April 2-4. With many of the top competitors from Red Hills still in the south and having not yet returned home for the spring season, Fair Hill should provide an opportunity for a whole new slate of riders to leave their mark on the Gold Cup Leaderboard. Stay tuned to the USEA website for continued updates and track the "Race for the Cup" throughout the year.
The USEA Gold Cup Series is based on a cumulative points structure. Riders are awarded points for various overall finishes as well as other competitive accomplishments during each Gold Cup event. This structure is designed to add additional excitement to championship competition throughout the year.