Lauren Kieffer riding Veronica leads the CCI3* division following the opening phase of dressage at Bromont. Photos by Cealy Tetley.
Bromont, Quebec – Lauren Kieffer and Phillip Dutton are the early leaders following the first phase of competition at the 2013 Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event, The Todd Sandler Challenge, running June 6 to 9 at the Bromont Olympic Horse Park in Bromont, Quebec.
The Olympic equestrian discipline of Three Day Eventing is often referred to as the triathlon of equestrian sport, with the phases of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping taking place over three consecutive days. The opening phase of dressage is now complete at the Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event, and riders are preparing for Saturday’s cross-country phase, followed by the third and final phase of show jumping on Sunday.
Leading the CCI3* division after dressage is Lauren Kieffer of the United States. Kieffer, of Middleburg, VA, rode Team Rebecca’s Veronica to the top of a 22-horse starting field with a dressage score of 44.6 penalties. Kieffer has a comfortable lead over second placed William Coleman III, a member of the U.S. Olympic Eventing Team in London, who earned 50.2 penalties riding Obos O’Reilly.
“My horse was great with the atmosphere here and I’m really happy with her,” said Kieffer, who is impressed by the cross-country course she will face on Saturday. “This is my first time here and it’s beautiful. The course is big and bold, and the questions are right out there in front of you. There are lots of places for you to let your guard down and make a mistake.”
The CIC3* is a division held at the same level as the CCI3*, but on a shorter cross-country course with fewer jumping efforts. After dressage, Phillip Dutton of the United States leads the CIC3* after scoring 46.9 penalties for his test riding Ben, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding also owned by Team Rebecca.
“Ben is a smart mover and has a really good head,” said Dutton, a two-time Olympic team gold medalist. “He gets a bit more forward in the atmosphere of the competition, but he doesn’t get silly. I was pleased with the trot work, but I could definitely improve the canter work still more.”
Dutton expects the real test to come on Saturday with the cross-country phase. “There are some big fences and there is some technical stuff in there as well. There are lots of different factors here.”
Dutton, an Olympic team veteran of both his native Australia and the U.S., holds a narrow lead over Canada’s Jessica Phoenix of Uxbridge, ON, who is less than one point behind Dutton with 47.7 penalties. Phoenix is riding Pavarotti, her partner at the 2011 Pan American Games where she won individual gold and team silver medals for Canada.
American Sharon White leads the CCI2* division with Don Sheffield on a score of 49.8 penalties. Holding down second place is Canada’s Jordan McDonald with 50.2 penalties. McDonald, from Oakville, ON, is also fifth in the CCI2* division with Glencanto with 57.2 penalties.
In the CCI1* division, Jennifer Bazan of the United States leads with 44.3 penalties riding Allegretta while Waylon Roberts of Port Perry, ON, currently sits second on 45.7 penalties riding Yarrow.
The cross-country competition, the most exciting phase of the Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event, will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, with the CCI1* division, followed by the CCI3*, CIC3*, and CCI2* divisions. American FEI 4*course designer Derek Di Grazia, Bromont’s resident course designer since 2009, will challenge competitors with courses of world class standards. The cross-country fences have again been constructed by Canadian course builder Jay Hambly.
Spectators attending the Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event have the opportunity to watch some of North America’s finest equestrian athletes compete at the only annual three day event held at a former Olympic site. The Bromont Olympic Horse Park was the site of equestrian events at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. Over the past 27 years of its existence, the Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event has become one of North America’s most prestigious three day events, and is the only competition of its kind in Canada sanctioned at the three star level by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).
Volvo is the title sponsor of the Bromont Three Day Event for the second year. Bromont has also been included for a third year in the PRO Tour Series. The Professional Riders Organization (PRO) is a non-profit group of accomplished event riders dedicated to promoting the sport and advocating safety for horses and riders.
The Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event, The Todd Sandler Challenge, is made possible in part through a contribution from the Government of Canada. The organizing committee also wishes to thank the Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, for their support of this year’s event.
For more information about the Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event, please visit the bilingual website, www.bromontcci.com. Live scoring will be available throughout the duration of the event.
Contact: Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439