James Atkinson Enjoys ‘Best Ever Cross Country Ride’ at CIC2* Galway Downs International Horse Trials

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Ottawa, Ont., March 31, 2015 – Canadian eventers recently rode to top 10 finishes in the CIC2* division at the Galway Downs International Horse Trials, held March 26-29 in Temecula, Calif.

Highest placed on the leaderboard for Canada was James Atkinson, a Canadian currently living in California. Atkinson rode Nabouco De Lessay, a 14-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Martha McDowell and Sarah Broussard Kelly, to a fifth place finish in the CIC2* division.

A score of 52 penalties in dressage put the duo into seventh place. However, after lowering just one rail for four faults in show jumping, they moved up to sixth. A cross country round that added no jumping and just 0.8 time penalties moved them up to their final fifth place position on a total score of 56.8 penalties.

“I was very happy with our performance this weekend at Galway Downs,” commented Atkinson. “It was an important part of the process necessary to prepare ‘Hugo’ for the major events in his future.”

Atkinson was most impressed with the cross country phase, stating, “His cross country was one of the best rides I have ever had. This horse has a fantastic stride, and he is so educated and attentive now that I can get to any distance from anywhere. It is so fun.”

Leah Breakey of Carstairs, Alta. followed in seventh place overall in the CIC2* division on a total score of 69.6 penalties aboard Master King II, her nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. A dressage score of 61.2 and eight jumping faults in show jumping had the pair in 12th position heading into cross country. However, an impressive trip around the track that incurred just 0.4 time penalties shot them up five spots to land in their final seventh place position.

Also placing in the top 10 for Canada in the CIC2* division was fellow Albertan, Amy West of Bluffton. Paired with her 16-year-old Hanoverian mare, Whirlwind WF, she placed eighth overall on a total score of 83.7 penalties.

For complete information and results from the Galway Downs International Horse Trials, visit www.galwaydowns.com.

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