November 5, 2013--Kristi Nunnink and Katie Yozamp won the two divisions of the Training Level Three-Day Event at the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event.
Nunnink, of Auburn, Calif., won division A on Lord Lombardi (33.6), edging Lindsay Weaver on Sintra (34.1) and Joe McKinley on Lone Tree Farm's Street Wise (36.8). McKinley also finished fourth on Romulus (38.0).
Yozamp, of Temecula, Calif., won division B on Wishbone (32.2), edging Kelly Pugh on Sportsfield Condi (32.5) and Kelsey Homes on NZB The Chosen One (33.4).
The Presenting Sponsors of the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event are: Equine Insurance of California, Land Rover, Professional's Choice, the California Horse Trader and the PRO Tour.
Nunnink and Lord Lombardi took the lead in dressage and never looked back, even though they lowered one rail in show jumping.? Lord Lombardi is a 5-year-old Holsteiner gelding, whom Nunnink bought at age 3 from October Hill Farm in Texas.
"He's more show jumping- and dressage-bred, so it's not his nature to gallop and jump out of stride. I ran him in the Training Level Three-Day Event because I was hoping the steeplechase phase would help that," said Nunnink.
Nunnink had hoped to move Lord Lombardi up to preliminary level this fall, but Lord Lombardi had to miss a few events because Nunnink was in Europe competing her advanced horse R-Star. She just returned from France on Wednesday, flying into Ontario Airport, an hour north of Galway Downs.
"It's really been a big group effort to compete in France and then come right back here. Everybody else did all the work, and I just showed up," she said. "I thought running him here would be the perfect compromise, that it would be a good stepping stone for him."
Weaver, of Morgan Hill, Calif., had a similar goal with Sintra. "I thought it was a step up from training level, more so than in the past. I thought this course really simulated the upper-level transition to FEI," she said.
Like Nunnink, Weaver, 30, lowered a rail in show jumping. "I had a brain bleed earlier this year, and I forgot the course for moment.? I wasn't sure which fence to jump, and I almost turned the wrong way, but I remembered at the last moment and sort of pulled her back to it, and we had a rail because of it," she said.
Yozamp added no further penalties to her fourth-placed dressage score. Galway Downs was the second Training Level Three-Day Event for her and Wishbone, but Yozamp fell off in the first one because she was weak from suffering food poisoning.
"I was a lot more confident this time. Last time, I didn't know what to expect. This time I was more relaxed, and I knew what was coming up," said Yozamp, 20. Wishbone is as 5-year-old Holsteiner gelding.
Yozamp added, "Doing the full cross-country yesterday, with the steeplechase and the roads and tracks, was the most educational thing for me and for him. He's really proven to be very brave and a very, very honest horse."
Pugh, 23, imported Sportsfield Condi, 5, form Ireland only four months ago. So she entered her horse to further his education too.
"The cross-country course asked a lot of good questions. He definitely grew up a lot from the start to the finish?the sign of a good course," she said.
The Gold Medal Sponsors of the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event are: Devoucoux, Ian Stark Equestrian Center, MD Barn Master and Sunsprite Warmbloods.