Lexington, KY – Competition at the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials got underway with 49 of the 97 competitors in the CCI3* cantering down centerline in the dressage ring. The American contingent of Will Faudree (a Land Rover Training and Competition Grant Recipient), Jules Stiller, Tiana Coudray and Aimee Chambers had a strong showing on the first day, occupying four of the top 14 placings. Great Britain’s Piggy French, fresh off a Team Bronze medal at the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships, heads the field with Lemington Lett Dance on a score of 42.7.
U.K.-based Vermonter Jules Stiller will be looking for an improved result at the CCI3* level after a fall on the cross-country at the 2011 Bramham CCI3* last spring with Enjoy Me. They had a stellar effort on the first day and lie third on a score of 46.2 halfway through the division. This combination was most recently placing 11th at the CIC3* at Hartpury.
“He was fantastic,” said Stiller about the 10-year-old Westphalian gelding. “He does a good test anyway but today he did the best test he’s ever done. When I came out of the ring, Mark Phillips told me he thought I did a 38 and I was really excited, so I was a little disappointed when I heard the score but he stayed right in there which is fantastic.”
Sarah Cohen lies second on Irish Jester on a 44.0. Stiller is looking forward to making amends for the mistake she and Enjoy Me made at the horse’s CCI3* debut.
“So far the course looks really good,” said Stiller. “We had a bad fall this spring so I will be looking for a clear round and then go as fast as I can. But my goal is to give him a good ride.”
Just two places behind Stiller sits fellow American Tiana Coudray (Ojai, CA) on a score of 49.4 with Jaital Inc.’s Ringwood Magister. Coudray and the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding have a long history of good performances after the first day. Saturday they will be looking to put their practice to the test. They have spent the summer training in the U.K. and after a disappointing CCI4* debut in April, the winner of the 2010 Jersey Fresh CCI3* is looking to return to form.
Aimee Chambers and After Eight occupy 13th place with a score of 53.1. Chambers, originally from California and now based in England, looks to improve on her 47th place finish at last year’s Blenheim CCI3*.
Rounding out the American effort on day one is Will Faudree and Jennifer Mosing’s Pawlow, who stand in equal 14th on a score of 53.3. Faudree (Hoffman, NC) and his top horses have been based in England throughout the summer and honed their skills thanks to the generous support of Land Rover and their Training and Competition Grant.
The remaining two Americans in the CCI3*, Clark Montgomery and Phillip Dutton, will compete tomorrow. Both Montgomery and Dutton are competing at the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials as part of the Land Rover Training and Competition Grant program.
Montgomery will ride his Bromont CCI3* Loughan Glen at 10:23 a.m. local time, while Dutton will ride Bruce Duchossois’ promising Mighty Nice in his CCI3* debut at 11:55 a.m.
Information about Land Rover’s partnership with the USEF is available here: http://www.landrover.com/us/en/lr/experience-land-rover/sponsorships-events/equestrian-usef/.
Follow the U.S. Eventers in Europe throughout this fall on the USEFNetwork.com here: http://usefnetwork.com/featured/EventersinEurope/.
Scores and results are available here: http://www.bdwp.co.uk/ble/.