Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Cubalawn on the cross country (Libby Law Photography)
Woodstock, England – The Fidelity Blenheim International Horse Trials CCI3* came to a conclusion on Sunday with the influential final show jumping phase. Leading the American effort were USEF Land Rover Competition Grant Recipients Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Cubalawn, who earned a top 20 placing in their first CCI3* together.
Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Tom Tierney and Simon Roosevelt’s 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding entered the final phase in ninth place but lowered the final three poles on course, resulting in 12 faults. The pair finished in 17th place on a score of 62.2.
“It’s only our fourth event together, and it was a really good weekend to get to know each better. He just got a little low there through the final three fences, so we’ll work on combinations back home,” stated Dutton after the show jumping.
Additionally, the Olympic and World Championship veteran finished in 36th place on a score of 96.6 with Tom Tierney and Ann Jones’ nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Fernhill Fugitive, after collecting eight faults in the final phase. Katherine Coleman (New Orleans, La.) and her own 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, Courage Under Fire, finished with 22 faults in the show jumping to close out the weekend on a score of 112.2 in 41st place.
Great Britain earned the top three spots as Francis Whittington and Easy Target collected the winner’s spoils on an overall total of 38.3, with William Fox-Pitt and Freddie Mac claiming second place on a score of 42.0, and Jodie Amos rode Wise Crack to third-place honors with a score of 46.8.
By Helen Murray
Learn more about the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials here.
Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Cubalawn (Libby Law Photography)
Woodstock, England – Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Cubalawn made a sizable jump up the leaderboard following a proficient trip across the country on Saturday at the Fidelity Blenheim International Horse Trials. On a day where Eric Winter’s difficult CCI3* track caused a shuffle of the standings, the USEF Land Rover Competition Grant Recipients jumped clear picking up 3.2 time faults to stand in ninth place heading into the show jumping on a score of 50.2.
Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) only began riding Tom Tierney and Simon Roosevelt’s 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding this summer and was extremely impressed with his performance on Saturday. Before moving into the Olympic and World Championship veteran’s barn, Fernhill Cubalawn was campaigned at the three-star level by Alexandra Green.
“He’s a new ride for me, and I’m still getting to know him, so for him to come out at this level and do it relatively easily, I was really happy,” said Dutton. “It’s a challenging course that doesn’t walk super hard, but there’s bits to do all the way around. Cuba handled it like a total pro, and he surprised me a bit at the start box, being totally relaxed and with his ears flopping around. He felt great at the end and was still full of gallop. All credit goes to the horse and how he’s been educated by Alex Green, and I think he’s a good horse for the future.”
With Tom Tierney and Ann Jones’ nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Fernhill Fugitive, Dutton lays in 38th heading into the show jumping on a score of 88.6 after collecting 20 jumping penalties and 15.6 time faults on Saturday. Just behind them in 39th are Katherine Coleman (New Orleans, La.) and her own 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, Courage Under Fire, who collected 20 jumping and 7.2 time penalties to now stand on a two day total of 90.2.
American young rider Jacob Fletcher (North Little Rock, Ark.) was eliminated on the cross country after parting company with his own, Frank Fletcher, and Fletcher Farms’ nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Atlantic Domino.
Great Britain’s 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Team Silver and Individual Bronze medalist William Fox-Pitt leads the field after the cross country with Freddie Mac on a score of 38.0.
By Helen Murray
Learn more about the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials here.
Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Cubalawn (Libby Law Photography)
Woodstock, England – USEF Land Rover Competition Grant Recipients Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Cubalawn lead the way for the U.S. following the first phase of the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials. The pair, which were the second competitors into the ring on Thursday morning, earned a dressage mark of 47.0 from the Ground Jury of Christina Klingspor, Andrew Bennie, and Ciska Van Meggelen-Peek and head out onto the cross country in equal 20th place.
Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) began riding the 11-year-old Holsteiner, owned by Tom Tierney and Simon Roosevelt, this summer and has quickly begun to form a partnership with the horse. The Olympic and Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games veteran believes that there is a bright future ahead for Fernhill Cubalawn.
“I’m very pleased with him; he’s such a workman. He goes in and is the same in the warm-up as he is in the main arena, which means I can start to trust him a bit more,” commented Dutton after his test.
On Friday, Dutton rode Tom Tierney and Ann Jones’ nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Fernhill Fugitive, to a score of 53.0 to stand 40th after the dressage.
Dutton is joined in Blenheim’s CCI3* competition by compatriots Jacob Fletcher and Katherine Coleman. Fletcher (North Little Rock, Ark.) and his own, Frank Fletcher, and Fletcher Farms’ nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Atlantic Domino, stand in 45th place after the dressage with a score of 54.2, while Coleman (New Orleans, La.) lies 70th after scoring 63.0 with her own 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, Courage Under Fire.
Australia’s Andrew Hoy and Cheeky Calimbo lead the field heading into cross country on a score of 34.0.
By Helen Murray
Learn more about the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials here.
Woodstock, England – The Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials is set to host elite eventing combinations September 11-14 in a competitive CCI3*, as well as in eight- and nine-year-old CIC3* competition. The U.S. will have four shots at claiming top honors in the CCI3* this week, as a group of promising combinations headlined by USEF Land Rover Competition Grant recipients, Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Cubalawn, look to showcase their talents.
Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) began riding Tom Tierney and Simon Roosevelt’s Fernhill Cubalawn this summer, but the pair has quickly forged a partnership. In their second competition together, they were victorious in the CIC2* at the Cosequin Stuart Horse Trials in July and then went on to finish second in a competitive Advanced division at the Millbrook Horse Trials. Before moving into the Olympic and World Championship veteran’s barn, the 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding was campaigned at the three-star level by Alexandra Green.
Dutton will also ride Tom Tierney and Ann Jones’ nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Fernhill Fugitive, in Blenheim’s CCI3*.
Rounding out the American entries this weekend are Katherine Coleman and Jacob Fletcher. Coleman (New Orleans, La.) will ride her own 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, Courage Under Fire, while Fletcher (North Little Rock, Ark.) is set to ride his own, Frank Fletcher, and Fletcher Farms’ nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Atlantic Domino.
Dutton and Fernhill Cubalawn will be the first U.S. combination in the dressage and heads down centerline on Thursday at 9:07 am BST, with Fletcher and Coleman going back-to-back in the afternoon at 2:00pm BST and 2:07pm BST, respectively. Dutton will then ride Fernhill Fugitive at 11:07 am BST on Friday.
By Helen Murray
Learn more about the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials here.
Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Le Pin-au-Haras, France – The first day of dressage began on Thursday for the FEI World Team and Individual Eventing Championship at the Le Pin National Stud in Le Pin-au-Haras, France. The Ground Jury made up of Gillian Rolton (AUS), James Alain (FRA), and Ernst Topp (GER) saw 46 combinations perform their dressage tests, three of whom were representing the U.S. Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces had the best score of the day for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team, with Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM and Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville also having solid performances. All three combinations finished in the top 15 at the halfway mark of the first phase.
The seasoned veteran Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) rode a lovely test on Trading Aces to lead the U.S. contingent to a great first day of dressage. With the Trading Aces LLC’s 2004 Irish Sport Horse gelding, Dutton used his experience to produce a fluid test with a horse he has only ridden for a few months. The pair had excellent trot work, a nice walk pirouette, and solid canter work to score 43.8 and sit in sixth place at the end of day one of dressage.
“I’m pleased; I’m glad it’s behind me,” Dutton said of completing the first phase of the Championship. “He is such a cool horse to have the loan of so I’m very, very grateful to Boyd and Silva [Martin] and all the syndicate members for making him available for me for these couple weeks.”
Dutton took over the ride on Trading Aces while Boyd Martin recuperated from a broken leg earlier this year and was offered the ride on the talented gelding for these World Championships. The pair has continued to develop its partnership over the summer. Dutton praised his time at the training camp preparing riders to peak on the World stage, and he and Trading Aces seem to have done just that with today’s performance.
“It has been good for Oscar and I to get to know each other. He goes on about a three- or four-day cycle where about every fourth day I need to really get him forward and thinking forward, and then I can tone it down, and I think I got that cycle about right today,” Dutton explained.
Davidson (Ocala, Fla.) and Ballynoe Castle RM were the first pair to head down centerline for the eventing portion of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and they were all business. He and Carl and Cassandra Segal’s 2000 Irish Thoroughbred gelding performed a smooth test, demonstrating the strength of their longtime partnership. A nice trot tour, great halts, and clean changes were rewarded with a score of 48.7 to put them in 11th place after the first day of dressage.
“Like Reggie does, he just sort of comes out and gives me 100%,” Davidson said. “That’s as good as he has gone and I feel like I rode better than I ever have and we got two more days.”
Though being the first combination to start the dressage phase is unenviable, Davidson doesn’t mind it saying, “I actually like it. I have been first at every major three-day event this year and I don’t think it gets more major than this, so why not go for it.”
Riding as an Individual, Halpin (Oldwick, N.J.) and Manoir de Carneville had a solid test with one error of course being the only blip in their performance, scoring 50.8. The pair had nice trot work, some tension in their walk work, and good canter work before they went off course. Halpin and the Manoir de Carneville Syndicate’s 2000 Selle Francais gelding got back on track and finished strongly to slot into 15th place.
“He felt fantastic; there were moments in there where I just felt like the arena and the crowd picked him up and I started to actually have a bit of fun, which is not normal in there, so I’m very happy with him,” Halpin said.
Of the unlucky moment when she went off course following the extended canter, Halpin said, “Unfortunately I was having such a nice time that I forgot where I was going.”
In the FEI World Team Eventing Championship, Great Britain leads the way with Germany and New Zealand in second and third place, respectively, following the first day of dressage. William Fox-Pitt (GBR) and Chilli Morning are atop the leaderboard in the FEI World Individual Eventing Championship with a score of 37.5, followed by Michael Jung (GER) and fischerRocana FST in second with a 40.7 and Ingrid Klimke (GER) and FRH Escada JS in third with 41.2.
The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team enters Friday’s competition in fifth place. Severson and Fernhill Fearless will begin the second day of dressage at 9:38am local time. Symansky and Donner will perform their test at 10:26am, and Martin and Shamwari 4 will wrap up the first phase for the U.S. at 3:12pm.
Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Luhmühlen, Germany – The riders representing the U.S. rose to the occasion on Saturday tackling Captain Mark Phillips’ 6,500m 29-fence cross country course. Land Rover Competition Grant recipients Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 looked like a true partnership, adding no penalties to their dressage score of 47.80 to move up to seventh place.
Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Shamwari 4 Syndicate LLC’s 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding are just 6.3 points out of the lead. Martin looked no worse for wear galloping cross country on a CCI4* after breaking his leg back in March. He also sits in 17th place with Otis Barbotiere, Otis Barbotiere Syndicate LLC’s 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding, after adding 6.8 time penalties and moving up from 33rd place.
“Both horses jumped their hearts out; I was thrilled with them,” Martin said.
Phillip Dutton produced a fault-free round on Mighty Nice. Though Bruce Duchossois’ 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding is green at the CCI4* level, he looked like a seasoned competitor with Dutton in the irons. The pair heads into Sunday’s show jumping phase in fifth place on their dressage score of 46.00.
“He’s still green at this level, but he really stepped up today and was great the whole way around,” Dutton shared.
Germany’s Olympic, World, and European Champion Michael Jung and fisherRocana FST remain on their dressage score of 41.5 to lie in first place heading into the final day of competition. Tim Price (NZL) and Wesko are in second place with a score of 43.80 while Bettina Hoy (GER) and Designer 10 are third on a score of 44.50.
The U.S. riders in Luhmühlen and the USEF send their condolences to the family and friends of German rider Benjamin Winter who passed away following a fall on the cross country.
(USA, 26 April 2014) William Fox-Pitt (GBR) riding Bay My Hero, today Saturday 26 April 2014, is the current leader after the Cross Country phase, with Lauren Kieffer (USA) riding Veronica in 2nd place and Phillip Dutton (USA) in 3rd place, at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington.
William Fox-Pitt leads the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event after a thrilling day’s cross country at the Kentucky Horse Park. Having completed another superb clear round on his second ride of the day, Fox-Pitt judged the time perfectly and sits in pole position going into the final show jumping day tomorrow. The overnight leader after the Dressage, Allison Springer (USA) riding Arthur, came unstuck at the Normandy Bank with a run-out, which cost her a hefty 20 penalty points. Phillip Dutton has two rides in the top 10, where he is lying in third and ninth place. Marilyn Little (USA) also has two in the top 10 with her rides lying in fourth and tenth position.
After a great clear round by Andrew Nicholson (NZL) on Avebury in today’s Cross Country phase, the pressure is now on Nicholson to see if he can repeat the form he demonstrated in 2013, by winning the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, which will put him one competition away from the coveted USD$ 350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing Prize. Nicholson is currently lying in 7th place after Cross Country on a score of 51.7.
Results after the Cross Country Phase
1. William Fox-Pitt/Bay My Hero (GBR) 44.0
2. Lauren Kieffer/Veronica (USA) 46.7
3. Phillip Dutton/Mr Medicott (USA) 49.5
4. Marilyn Little/RF Demeter (USA) 51.3
5. Michael Pollard/Mensa G (USA) 51.5
6. Bruce (Buck) Davidson Jr/Ballynoe Castle RM (USA) 51.7
7. Andrew Nicholson/Avebury (NZL) 51.7
8. Sinead Halpin/Manoir De Carneville (USA) 51.7
9. Philip Dutton/Trading Aces (USA) 52.5
10. Marilyn Little/RF Smoke on the Water (USA) 52.5
Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing Current Contender
Andrew Nicholson (NZL) has travelled to the Kentucky Horse Park as the new Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing ‘live contender’ and the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event defending champion. This follows the news announced on 23 April 2014 that last year’s winner of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, Jonathan Paget (NZL), has officially been disqualified following a “partial decision” by the sport’s governing body Tribunal. As a result of Paget’s disqualification Andrew Nicholson and Avebury have now been promoted and are the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2013 winners.
Quote from Phillip Dutton (USA) (link to audio of full post-event press conference below):
Q. Phillip – the course for you?
I thought the conditions were ideal for the running today and my first horse really learned a lot today and Mr Medicott has been around so many courses throughout the world I was just hanging on and letting him do it so it was a pretty easy trip for him!
Quote from William Fox-Pitt (GBR) (link to audio of full press conference below):
Q. William – Bay May Hero – how was the course for you?
I think the course really encouraged forward riding and as your saw a lot of horses did go well – I was delighted with how the course ride. I knew for my two horses that it was a decent track and a big test. I was thrilled with both my horses but particularly Bay My Hero, who’s much less experienced. He was a little bit surprised by the Head of the Lake but it didn’t seem to matter; I know that with him when he can see where he has to go he will go there. He is as clever as a cat and super genuine and I was delighted with him and he carried his tubby little body around in the time as well so that was a bonus!
Quote from Lauren Kieffer (USA) (link to audio of full press conference below):
Q. Lauren – any surprises out there today?
I was thrilled with my mare; she really fought for it. We knew we had to ride every combination and it had big questions. Everything rode the way I expected it to – I knew going out I was going to have to fight and focus on being accurate and so I was quite happy with him.
Quotes from Andrew Nicholson (NZL), currently live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing:
Q. Andrew – how was that ride and what happened at the water park?
It was a bit my fault there. Avebury when he lands he always lands after a jump on his left lead which means a turn to the right you lack a bit of distance so I thought when I walked the course if I just took my time and do four strides where it should be three, but I jumped in too big and I should have kept going on the three but I tried for the four and the fourth was very deep – but he’s experienced and that’s what he’s fed for!
Q. So you are currently lying in around fifth?
Yes, it’s a big day tomorrow, we hope. We’ll go back may sure the horse is all good – he’ll get washed off now a few times, cool him off and try and freshen him up for tomorrow and it will be pretty much the same for me!
Copyright Free Audio
Please click on the following link for copyright free audio of the post-event Press Conference after Cross Country Day with the top three placed riders: http://po.st/BUJiXw
For more information on the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and full Results/Leaderboard, please visit www.rk3de.org.
Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing
In 2001, Rolex created the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. This trophy is awarded to the rider who manages to win the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials event in any consecutive order. Until now, only British rider Pippa Funnell has managed this staggering achievement, winning the title in 2003.
Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott (Libby Law Photography)
Pau, France – Fifty combinations went forward to the final phase of competition at the 2013 Les Étoiles de Pau CCI4* on Sunday to tackle Bernard Basque’s 13 obstacle track. Rails fell throughout the day and proved costly as those that could produce clear rounds climbed the leaderboard. Five U.S. combinations headed into the show jumping phase at Pau and at the end of competition three Americans had landed in the top 15.
Overnight leaders William Fox-Pitt and Seacookie TSF of Great Britain added four faults for a single rail down to finish on a score of 45.5 to clinch victory by .5 penalties over France’s Maxime Livio and Cathar de Gamel. Fox-Pitt also collected third place honors with Cool Mountain on a score of 46.2.
Leading the way for the United States were Land Rover Competition Grant recipients Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and the Mr. Medicott Syndicate’s Mr. Medicott. The pair which added just .4 penalties on the cross country to their seventh placed dressage score entered the final phase in fourth place. Despite incurring eight faults for two rails down the combination maintained their fourth place position to finish on a score of 52.6.
“He jumped well. I feel bad that I had two fences down; he is a horse that can definitely jump a clear round but it was a very difficult track,” said Dutton who had the dubious honor of following Livio into the ring after the French rider went clear. “Not to make excuses but I followed the Frenchman into the arena and the crowd went ballistic and he (Mr. Medicott) was a handful after that. If I were to do it over again, I would have taken a little more time.”
The Olympic and FEI World Equestrian Games veteran only began riding Mr. Medicott in June but has quickly forged a partnership with him. The talented 14-year-old Irish Sport gelding had been ridden at the 2008 Olympic Games and 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games by Germany’s Frank Ostholt as well as partnering with Karen O’Connor to a ninth place finish at the 2012 Olympic Games. Therefore, Dutton has put a priority on getting to know the veteran horse, as well as having the gelding get acquainted with his style of riding.
“Looking back on the weekend on the whole I’m quite pleased. Coming here if I knew I would be fourth I would have been very excited.”
With his fourth place finish this weekend Mr. Medicott now has three top 10 finishes at Pau, with Ostholt the gelding was third in 2008 and 10th in 2011.
Clark Montgomery (Wiltshire, UK) and Jessica Montgomery, Carole Montgomery, Janet Higgins, and Elizabeth Smith’s Universe headed into the show lying in ninth place after a double clear cross country round. The Land Rover Competition Grant recipients incurred eight faults for rolling two poles on Sunday to drop one place in the standings, finishing 10th on a score of 60.
Montgomery and the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding complete their 2013 campaign with two top 30 CCI4* finishes. In addition to their 10th place finish at Pau, the pair was 27th at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in Universe’s first attempt at the level.
Lynn Symansky and her own Donner travelled to Pau after having been awarded a Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grant and gained valuable experience over the weekend. The 2011 Pan American Games Team Gold medalists rose from 38th after the dressage on the strength of a double clear round on the cross country, they headed into the show jumping in 12th place. Two rails down meant they added eight faults to their total to finish on an overall score of 61.3 in 13th place in their first European competition.
Land Rover Competition Grant recipients, Marilyn Little (Frederick, Md.) and Raylyn Farms and Team Demeter ‘s RF Demeter headed into the final phase of competition lying in 11th but 16 faults dropped them down the order. The 11-year-old Oldenburg mare rolled four rails to finish on a final total of 68.8 in 18th place.
Michael Pollard (Dalton, Ga.) and Carl Bouckaert’s 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Mensa were the sole U.S. pair to jump in the first session of the day producing an eight fault effort, the Land Rover Competition Grant recipients finished on an overall score of 108 in 43rd place.
Pau, France – Cross country day at the 2013 Les Étoiles de Pau CCI4* saw American combinations climb the leaderboard with efficient, clear performances. Pierre Michelet’s 33 obstacle track produced trouble throughout the day with thirty six combinations coming home without jumping penalties and of those only six were able to finish within the 11:48 time allowed. Phillip Dutton, Clark Montgomery, Marilyn Little and Lynn Symansky proved their mettle with classy efforts on a day that saw many top names in the sport fail to finish.
Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and the Mr. Medicott Syndicate’s 14-year-old Irish Sport gelding Mr. Medicott set out on course lying in seventh place and climbed three places with a classy performance. The pair cruised effortlessly around Michelet’s track to finish one second over the optimum time and add .4 time faults to their dressage score of 44.2. They will head into the show jumping in fourth place on a score of 44.6 just 3.1 points out of the lead.
“It was good; obviously he’s a great horse. I’m still trying to get to know him and we were trying to go fast without making a silly mistake,” remarked Dutton of his ride on Saturday. “This wouldn’t be the ideal course for him but he got better and better as the course went on.”
Both Dutton and Mr. Medicott brought a wealth of experience to Pau but are contesting their first CCI4* together. Dutton has represented both the U.S. and his native Australia at numerous Olympic and FEI World Equestrian Games, including winning Olympic Team Gold with Australia in 1996 and 2000, while Mr. Medicott completed the 2008 Olympic Games and 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with Germany’s Frank Ostholt. He was also ridden by Karen O’Connor to ninth place at the London Olympic Games.
“It gets better with each time. He’s got to get to know me and my reactions but I think this weekend is good for us,” remarked Dutton about his growing partnership with Mr. Medicott.
Dutton looks to secure Mr. Medicott’s third top-10 Pau completion on Sunday. The gelding was third in 2008 and 10th in 2011 with Ostholt.
Montgomery (Wiltshire, UK) and Jessica Montgomery, Carole Montgomery, Janet Higgins, and Elizabeth Smith’s Universe were the pathfinder for the U.S. as the first American pair on course. The Land Rover Competition Grant recipients set the tone for the U.S. camp by flying around the course faultlessly to finish two seconds inside the optimum time. The talented pair are looking for their second CCI4* completion of 2013 after having placed 27th at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding’s first attempt at the level.
Montgomery and Universe, who stood 31st after the dressage, head into the show jumping in ninth place on a score of 52.
Little (Frederick, Md.) and Raylyn Farms and Team Demeter’s 11-year-old Oldenburg mare RF Demeter were the final U.S. pair on course and cruised to a clear round finishing just four seconds over the time. The pair, which was seventh at the Luhmühlen CCI4* in June, is competing in Pau on a Land Rover Competition Grant and is poised for another top 12 CCI4* finish as it heads into the show jumping on a score of 52.8. With its quick clear round on Saturday the pair climbed 16 places after the dressage and now stand in 11th places after two phases.
Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and her own Donner were the second U.S. combination to produce a double clear effort on Saturday. The pair, which is contesting its first European competition after having been awarded Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grant, proved its place among the top in the world with a scorching round. The 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding utilized his classy galloping style to finish 15 seconds within the time allowed. The 2011 Pan American Games Team Gold medalists climbed 26 places with their clear round and will enter the final phase on a score of 53.3 in 12th place.
Michael Pollard (Dalton, Ga.) and Carl Bouckaert’s 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Mensa looked on target to produce another clear round for the U.S. until a run-out two-thirds the way around the course. The Land Rover Competition Grant recipients collected 20 jumping penalties for a run-out at 20B and added a further 24.8 time faults. They head into the show jumping in 47th place on a score of 100.
Land Rover Competition Grant recipients Hannah Sue Burnett (The Plains, Va.) and Jacqueline Mars’ Harbour Pilot set out on Saturday laying in equal 11th place. The 2011 Pan American Games Team Gold and Individual Silver medalists slipped between elements at the first water and were subsequently eliminated when Burnett came out of the tack.
Kristi Nunnink and her own 12-year-old Holsteiner mare R-Star travelled to Pau from their base in Auburn, Calif. on a Land Rover Competition Grant. The pair ran into some trouble at the first water and was eliminated after jumping the option in the wrong order.
Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt again proved why he’s among the best in the game as he produced three double clear performances to hold the top three spots at the conclusion of the cross country. The 2012 Olympic Games Team Silver medalist leads with Seacookie TSF on 41.5, Cool Mountain stands second on 42.2, and Neuf Des Coeurs is third standing on 43.2.
William Coleman III riding Obos O’Reilly won the Bromont CCI3*, the Todd Sandler Challenge. Photos by Cealy Tetley.
Bromont, Quebec – William Coleman III and Phillip Dutton both maintained their leads in the final show jumping phase to win the CCI3* and CIC3* divisions respectively at the 2013 Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event, The Todd Sandler Challenge, held 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. While the cross-country is considered the most thrilling phase, the show jumping at Bromont held plenty of excitement, as scores were very close among the top contenders in all four International Equestrian Federation (FEI) sanctioned divisions.
William Coleman III of the United States became the winner of the CCI3* division and the Todd Sandler Challenge. Riding Obos O’Reilly, owned by Four-Star Eventing Group Syndicate, Coleman posted one of only two clear show jumping rounds in the CCI3* division. The challenging show jumping course was designed by Mauricio Garcia of Puerto Rico, who was assisted by Canada’s Jean Pierre Ayotte.
“I do love this event,” said Coleman, who was a member of the U.S. Eventing Team at the 2012 London Olympics. “I like the way it’s run and the people who run it. I always have a good time here. Some people have events where they tend to do well, and Bromont is one for me.”
Finishing second in the CCI3* was Canadian Olympian Selena O’Hanlon of Kingston, ON, who piloted Foxwood High to the only other clear round in the division, rising three spots from fifth place following Saturday’s cross-country phase. O’Hanlon also rode two other horses in the CCI3*, both of which finished in the placings. With Bellaney Rock she was fourth, while A First Romance placed 12th.
“This was the first CCI3* for all three of my horses,” said O’Hanlon. “I am thrilled with how all of them went this week, and I’m happy to be taking them home happy and sound. I’m looking forward to the future with all three of them.”
In the CIC3* division, Phillip Dutton maintained the lead he established after cross-country with Team Rebecca’s Ben. In the CIC3* division, competitors rode a shortened cross-country course compared to the CCI3*, but the final show jumping phase was over the same course as the CCI3*. Dutton had one fence down in the show jumping, but with a two rail lead, he still comfortably finished first with 72.1 penalties.
“I am overall pleased with Ben; he’s a very talented horse,” said Dutton, a two-time Olympic Team gold medalist for his native Australia who now competes for the U.S. “Ben’s work is getting better and higher quality.
Dutton, a frequent competitor at Bromont, was once again impressed with the calibre of competition.
“Bromont and Fair Hill CCI3* are the two hardest competitions of this level in North America in terms of terrain and course design,” he said in reference to the annual events held in Quebec and Maryland.
Moving up to second place with one of only two clear show jumping rounds in the CIC3* division was Canada’s Jessica Phoenix on Pavarotti, the horse with which she won individual gold and team silver at the 2011 Pan American Games.
“Pavarotti was awesome all weekend long, and he was so rideable on cross-country,” said Phoenix, who was the highest placed Canadian at the 2012 London Olympics. “He couldn’t have jumped any better.”
In the CCI2* division, Erin Sylvester of the United States managed to maintain her lead, despite a less than perfect show jumping round riding Mettraise. Her eight fault round and final score of 70.4 penalties stood up against the field of 14, after only four riders went clear in the show jumping.
“Overall I was really happy with my horse today; she got excited in the ring but she still tried really hard,” said Sylvester. “This is a big improvement over where she was even a few months ago.”
American Buck Davidson moved up five places in the CCI2* show jumping phase, vaulting from seventh after cross-country to second place after posting one of the division’s few clear rounds with Santa’s Keeper. Davidson was also third with Knight Lion.
In the CCI1* division, Waylon Roberts of Port Perry, ON, was the only Canadian winner at the 2013 Volvo Bromont Three Day Event. It wasn’t an easy victory for Roberts, who went into the show jumping with Yarrow only 4.8 penalties ahead of Erin Sylvester on Paddy the Caddy, who had added a single time penalty to their score in the show jumping. That one time penalty turned out to be just enough to keep Roberts in the top spot. After taking one rail and adding four faults to his score, Roberts finished just 0.8 points ahead of Sylvester, with 49.7 penalties.
“I thought the course today was really well designed. It was challenging for the level,” said Roberts, who was excited to have had such a major success with Yarrow, a six-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding sired by Yavari and bred by his parents, Canadian Olympians Ian Roberts and Kelly Plitz. “I’m really excited about Yarrow. He’s also a part of our family.”
The success of the Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event relies on the support of many sponsors and volunteers each year. Volvo returned as title sponsor for the second year, and Bromont was included for the third time 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.
“We are delighted with Volvo’s involvement again this year,” said Sue Ockendon, Event Director of the Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event. “We are also grateful for the sponsorship we have received from SSG Gloves, and from Keith and Debbi Eaman. We greatly appreciate the support from all of our sponsors.”
While the weather didn’t cooperate for much of the weekend, Ockendon says it’s a tribute to the ongoing improvements to the footing and drainage at Bromont, and to the efforts of the cross-country jump crew that the event was a success in spite of the rain.
“Jay Hambly and his crew worked very hard to make it possible for the horses to run at every fence,” said Ockendon of Bromont’s resident course builder and his team. “They put gravel down at every fence throughout the day on Saturday. That’s what helped the footing stay solid.”
The cross-country courses at Bromont were designed by Derek Di Grazia of the United States. Riders agreed that Di Grazia, the resident course designer at Bromont since 2009, created tracks of world class quality at the 2013 event.
“Derek is arguably one of the best designers in the world,” said Dutton. “What you find with his courses is consistency, and his courses are bigger than what you see in most of North America. You can have confidence in the lines that the distances are going to work.”
The 2013 Bromont Three Day Event was host to an FEI Course for officials, technical delegates, stewards and course designers. The course drew people from around the world to Bromont, which is in the final stages of bidding for the right to host the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games.
“The FEI Course was very good,” said Ockendon. “It gave people from all around the world the opportunity to come to Bromont and see how it works.”
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.