This weekend marks the 15th annual Fundraiser Eventing Clinic at Galway Downs in Temecula, California. This year, legendary UK eventer Pippa Funnell joins the amazing Ian Stark and over a dozen Southern California and Arizona event trainers for a weekend invaluable information. Whether you're riding in one of the classes or just auditing from the sidelines, it promises to be an unforgettable weekend.
Watching the clinic can be a terrific way to improve your riding or just learn more about the sport of eventing. As home to the longest running CCI2* in the US, Galway is a beautiful facility with an exceptional course designed by Ian Stark. However, there are a few tricks that the uninitiated will need to keep in mind to get the most out of the weekend.
- It's Galway, it's going to be windy. Wear a hoodie or bring a hat, ear muffs or scarf to prevent that piercing headache/earache that only the Temecula in January can cause.
- Be prepared for rain - no matter what the forecast says, it always seems to rain at least for a half an hour a day.
- Be prepared for sun - see above. It can go from freezing/windy and wet to baking hot in a matter of minutes.
- Be prepared for cold - ditto. Gloves are the one accessory you will not regret having to carry around even if you don't need them. Hand warmers might also be a good idea.
- Wear comfy shoes that you don't mind getting muddy. You'll be walking miles by the end of the day, make sure a blister or aching shins don't ruin the weekend. Good socks or even sock liners are also important.
- Bring something to record the pearls of wisdom you'll hear. Even if it's just the memo function on your phone, there will be things you'll want to jot down and refer back to when you get back to your own barn.
- Bring snacks - there's usually food there, but you won't want to stop following the clinicians around to go grab something. Protein bars are your friend.
- Don't be shy - get up close to the clinicians to get the most out of the day. Some of the best nuggets of knowledge are said as asides while watching a rider go through a series of jumps. Besides, who doesn't like have a groupie?
- Be sure to thank the clinicians you follow. They donate their time, with all the proceeds from the weekend going to support Galway Downs.
Come March, Galway will host the CCI3* International Horse Trials for the tenth year in a row and this fundraiser is the main source of money to maintain and improve Ian Stark's spectacular course. Don't miss the chance to support the West Coast's premiere event sight as well as learn from Pippa Funnell, first rider ever to complete the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing by winning Burghley, Lexington and Badminton, in one year. She was voted Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year 2003 and was in the top five of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
By attending this clinic, you will be doing your part to help support eventing at Galway Downs. For directions and more information, go to Galway Downs website.