Tag Archives: Meghan O’Donoghue

O’Donoghue and Lowe Earn USEF One-Star Eventing National Championship Titles

Meghan O’Donoghue and Rehy USA (Xpress Photo)

Lexington, Ky. – This weekend the hallowed grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park played host to the USEF One-Star Eventing National Championships as part of the Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day Event & Team Challenge. In a very competitive field of 50 in the CCI1*, Meghan O’Donoghue and Rehy USA claimed the Richard Collins Trophy for the win. Sharlee Lowe and Jjamaica topped the field of 20 in the Junior and Young Rider division to clinch the Harry T. Peters Trophy.

The CCI1* began under cold and rainy skies on Thursday, but the weather did not seem to affect O’Donoghue (Carbondale, Ill.) and Ronald Shipka Irrevocable Trust’s Rehy USA, as they went into the lead easily on a score of 39.80.

“I was really happy with him,” said O’Donoghue of Rehy USA’s dressage performance. “He is a really lovely horse on the flat and has been really competitive this year. I thought he put in a really professional test. It’s fun to go in there and show off a little on him.”

The 2005 Irish Sport Horse gelding dominated the Derek Di Grazia-designed cross-country course, turning in a clear round in one of the fastest times of the day and maintaining the pair’s lead going into Saturday’s show jumping phase.

“The horse has been a pretty good cross-country horse and I was able to watch a little bit before our ride,” said O’Donoghue. “The course rode pretty much to plan. He went around easy and inside the time so I was thrilled with him.”

With a rail in hand heading into the show jumping arena, O’Donoghue had a slim amount of breathing room, but didn’t need it as she and the gelding put in another superb clear effort to secure the National Championship title.

“The horse had jumped really well in the warm-up and didn’t feel fatigued at all so that gave me a lot of confidence. Richard Picken has been helping me with show jumping this year and I think we had a good plan – all of that factors into how it plays out in the ring and everything was going well. It’s nice to be in this place. I’ve done a lot of FEI competitions and to take home a win is great, especially for the family [the Shipkas] who has supported me a lot over the last couple years.”

Staying hot on the winning pair’s heels all weekend was Phillip Dutton (West Grove Pa.) and The Manager, a 2010 Thoroughbred gelding owned by Ann Jones. In the gelding’s first event at the FEI level, he turned in a solid dressage test to score a 44.00. With double-clear efforts in both cross-country and show jumping, the pair clinched the Reserve National Champion title on their dressage score.

Sydney Conley Elliott (Benton, La.)and Carol Stephen’s QC Diamantaire rounded out the top three, also finishing on their dressage score of 44.80.

Sharlee Lowe and Jjamaica (Xpress Photo)
Sharlee Lowe and Jjamaica (Xpress Photo)

Earning her first CCI1* win and Nation Champion title, Lowe (Metamora, Mich.) remained poised all weekend with her own Jjamaica, a 2008 Hanoverian gelding. They sat in second after dressage on a score of 50.20, but propelled themselves to the top of the leaderboard after a solid double-clear cross-country effort.

Lowe was pleased with her horse’s efforts in the first two phases, saying, “I was a little worried [on the first day] since I have never ridden him in the rain during dressage, but he is from England so I had a little faith that he had dealt with rain before. Overall, he tried his heart out. Going into cross-country, I knew it was a big course with a lot of great brush questions so I knew I had to go out there and be aggressive and make some bold choices. Luckily he was with me every step of the way. There were some moments when he could have backed down, but he fought his way over every fence and I was really happy.”

With multiple top combinations finding trouble in the show jumping phase, Lowe was able to enter the arena as last to go with a rail in hand. The pair did tip one rail out of the cups, but secured the win on a final score of 54.20.

“There is always some pressure when you’re going last,” said Lowe. “Show jumping is one of the phases we have been working on a lot at home and the rail he had I thought was a bit of a fluke. I don’t have any words to describe how happy I am with this win. I am so grateful. A year ago I didn’t have this horse and there were a lot of people along the way that helped me find him and then once I had him, to get us to this point. We started out the year going training [level] so we have come a long way.”

Moving steadily up the leaderboard all weekend were Olivia Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Amy Ruth Borun’s Santa’s Playboy, a 1998 Thoroughbred gelding. The pair was sixth after dressage on 54.50 and fifth after cross-country where it incurred 2.40 time penalties. With a beautiful faultless show jumping round, Dutton finished on a score of 56.90 and secured the second Reserve National Champion title for the Dutton family, matching her father Phillip in the USEF One-Star Eventing National Championships.

Cassandra Wallskog (Mequon, Wis.) and her own and Megan and Joel Wallskog’s Quainton Cassanova also cruised up the leaderboard on the final day. Sitting in ninth after dressage, the pair placed third overall thanks to a double-clear show jumping effort to end on 59.50.

Complete Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day Event & Team Challenge Results

From the USEF Communications Department

USET Foundation Awards Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant to Meghan O’Donoghue

Meghan O’Donoghue is the recipient of the 2014 Amanda Warrington Grant from the USET Foundation. Photo By: Shannon Brinkman.

Gladstone, NJ – November 19, 2013 – The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded the 2014 Amanda Warrington Grant to Eventing rider Meghan O’Donoghue of Carbondale, IL. The Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant is awarded through the USET Foundation Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund. Earlier this year, O’Donoghue and her talented mount Pirate competed at their first 4* event during the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event CCI, where they placed twelfth.

The Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund was established by Amanda’s family in her memory with the purpose of helping provide financial assistance to an event rider who has been identified as a rider with great talent and ability to represent the United States in the future.

The Grant Committee recommends a recipient that they believe will benefit from the opportunity of continuing their training with top coaches and competing against the world’s best horse and rider combinations in Eventing, one of three Olympic equestrian disciplines, and it is then ratified by the USET Foundation Executive Committee.

“I am extremely honored to receive the Amanda Warrington Grant as this year comes to a close,” expressed O’Donoghue. “I had a great 2013 with my first 4* and first international event under my belt. The opportunities this grant will provide for me will hopefully produce even better results for 2014. Again, I can’t thank the USET Foundation and the committee enough for choosing me, and I will use this grant to honor Amanda.”

As the recipient of the grant, O’Donoghue will receive up to $5,000 to help offset expenses associated with her training over the next year. After receiving the Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grant earlier this year, O’Donoghue was able to compete at the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials CCI3* in England just six months after her 4* début with Pirate.

O’Donoghue was most recently named to the High Performance Winter/Spring Training Lists for the 2014 season. An 11-year-old off-track Thoroughbred, Pirate and O’Donoghue have been partnered together for eight years, taking the Eventing world by storm and ready to prove they can represent the United States on the international stage.

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

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Montgomery Fulfills Expectations; O’Donoghue Rockets Up the Leaderboard on Cross Country Day

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen (Shannon Brinkman)

Woodstock, England – Cross Country day at the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials saw gutsy performances from U.S. competitors over Eric Winter’s influential track. Saturday’s test was made all the more difficult as horse and rider combinations also had to contend with slick going, yet the Americans remained undeterred. Clark Montgomery maintained his third place standing on an ever-improving Loughan Glen, while 24-year-old Meghan O’Donoghue made a massive climb up the leaderboard following an impressive cross country round.

Montgomery (Wiltshire, United Kingdom) and Jessica Montgomery, Kathryn Kraft, and Holly and William Becker’s Loughan Glen led the way for the U.S. on Saturday with one of the quickest trips of the day. The pair, which was awarded a USEF Land Rover Competition Grant to compete at Blenheim, produced a masterful round over Winter’s testing track adding just 2.8 time penalties to stand on a two-day total of 45.5.

Montgomery has been based in England since the beginning of 2013 and has made a priority of increasing the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding speed on the cross country.

“This horse in the past has been a bit slow and gotten tired in the last few minutes especially, so I’m really happy to be just seven seconds over. You always just go for it but it (the time allowed) is proving a bit difficult,” said Montgomery. “He felt good; I had to fight a little bit for the course; it rode harder than I expected but he was super honest and I couldn’t have been happier.”

Two years ago, Montgomery and Loughan Glen made their international debut at the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, finishing in fifth place. In the return trip to Blenheim, Montgomery looked to improve upon the 2011 performance and with one phase left is poised to do just that.

“I set pretty high expectations for myself; the horse can do a very good job. When I was here two years ago he was over 10 seconds slow, so I wanted to be inside 10 seconds here and he did that,” said Montgomery. “I have a goal of jumping clear tomorrow so hopefully I can finish on it.”

To hear more of Montgomery’s thoughts on his performance Saturday, visit: http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/BHI_Montgomery_xc.mp3.

Meghan O'Donoghue and Pirate (Shannon Brinkman)
Meghan O’Donoghue and Pirate (Shannon Brinkman)

O’Donoghue (Carbondale, Illinois) and her own Pirate are contesting their first overseas competition on a Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grant from the USET Foundation. But they defied their lack of international experience on Saturday with a scorching round to climb up 31 places. The pair came to Blenheim looking to showcase the jumping form that propelled them to 12th place in their first CCI4*at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover in April. The 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding once again demonstrated his tidy form across the country to just add 8.8 time penalties to their score.

O’Donoghue and Pirate will head into Sunday’s final show jumping phase in 11th position on a score of 61.1.

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pennsylvania) once again proved why he is among the best in the game on the cross country as he guided Team Rebecca, LLC’s Ben to a clear jumping round on Saturday. In only his third ever CCI start, the Holsteiner gelding lost a shoe early on in the course but nevertheless continued to perform for Dutton in the slick conditions. The pair added 27.2 time penalties and lay in 22nd position on a score of 75.5.

Julian Stiller (Berkshire, United Kingdom) and her own Sintra BK were the first U.S. pair on course and incurred 20 jumping and 14.8 time penalties to stand in 43rd place on 99 penalties after the cross country. Stiller elected to retire her second ride of the day, her own and Jules Delvecchio Pandora X, after things were not going according to plan.

Rounding out the U.S. effort in CCI3* competition was Cindy Rawson (Somerset, United Kingdom) and her own and Donald Collier and Pip Bowerman’s Mocharabuiee. The combination incurred 20 jumping and 39.2 time penalties and now lay 55th on 115.2.

Irish Olympian Aoife Clark heads the CCI3* field with Fenyas Elegance on a score of 44 after incurring four time penalties on the cross country. France’s former World Champion, Jean Teulere, stands tied with Montgomery on a score of 45.5. However, Teulere and Matelot Du Grand Val were one second closer to the optimum time and therefore head into the final phase in second position.

In the CIC3* for eight- and nine-year-old horses, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (East Sussex, United Kingdom) and her own HHS Cooley collected two time faults in the show jumping to move up to 19th. They will head out onto the cross country on 51.8 penalties.

Great Britain’s Team Silver medalist from the 2012 London Olympic Games, William Fox-Pitt, leads the CIC3* with Fernhill Pimms on a score of 33.1.

By Helen Murray

For more information on the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, click here.

To view the live scores, go to http://www.bdwp.co.uk/cgi-bin/3dif.pl?fn=ble13.csv&nav=left.

Follow the 2013 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.