June 23, 2011 --? Clark Montgomery of the United States won the CCI3* Bromont Three-Day Event, The Todd Sandler Challenge, on Sunday, June 12, in Bromont, Quebec. More than $30,000 in prize money was awarded to the top finishers.
In addition to Clark Montgomery's win in the three-star division, Rebecca Howard of Salmon Arm, British Columbia, claimed the CCI2* division while William Coleman of Gordonsville, Virginia, won the CCI1* division.
Clark Montgomery led the three-day competition from start to finish with Loughan Glen. In Sunday's final show jumping phase, Montgomery had a one rail cushion which he needed, adding four penalty points to his score for final total of 47 penalty points. 2004 Olympic Champion Leslie Law of Great Britain jumped clear riding Rehy Lux for a final score of 50.70.
"He is such a young horse, if he had a few rails and didn't win, it wasn't going to be a big deal to me, although he almost did give me a heart attack at fence four!" said Montgomery, 30, of Fairburn, Georgia, of the fence he had down in the show jumping phase. "I wanted that rail to be a little bit further along in the course, but it woke him up a little bit and he jumped well the rest of the way."
It was a case of first time lucky for Loughan Glen as the eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding was competing at the three-star level for the first time.
"He is just an eight-year-old, but he seems already like he's an old soul," said Montgomery of the horse owned by Jessica Montgomery, Kathryn Kraft and Holly Becker. "To think that I could have eight more years of having him at the advanced level is something I am really looking forward to."
In addition to winning his share of the prize money and the Todd Sandler Challenge trophy, Montgomery also claimed $2,000 in bonus money for competing in all three phases wearing SSG Riding Gloves.
Second-place finisher Law was also happy with his horse, Rehy Lux, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Troy Glaus that he has been riding for less than a year.
"After yesterday, I think he truly is a four-star horse," said Law. "I've learned to adapt and ride to the way he likes to jump.If you ride him that way, and trust him, he wants to jump clean. To be fair to the horse, he has just gone better and better in the show jumping.
"He is very level in all three phases," continued Law. "He's a little bit of a grumpy thing in the stable and puts the other horses in their place, but to ride he is fantastic, he is very laid back and has a super temperament. He's quite level-headed and doesn't get too worked up.He's a good, honest character."
This was Law's first trip to the Bromont Three Day Event, and the former Olympic Champion was impressed by the quality of competition.
"I thought the cross-country was a proper three-star, especially technically," said Law. "It's rather like home.It's quite English, it's good grass, and it's good ground.And you get huge variations in the weather, going from beach ware to rain ware in a matter of days!"
Phillip Dutton of West Grove, Pennsylvania, also jumped clear to move up to third place with William Penn while Buck Davidson of Riegelsville, Pennsylvania, placed fourth with Absolute Liberty.Yet another American, Sharon White, placed fifth with Rafferty"s Rules.
Canada's own Rebecca Howard jumped clear on Sunday to win the CCI2* division with Roquefort, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding she co-owns with Jim Cogdell. Having led the division from start to finish, Howard added just two cross-country time penalties to her dressage score to finish with a final score of 49.40 penalty points.
"It was big, I thought," said Howard of Sunday's show jumping course. "There were a lot of verticals, but he jumped well.He is getting more and more rideable. I've had him for over three years now, and it is nice to go into the ring now knowing what kind of horse I am going to have, and to have it go to plan."
Of knowing she was in the lead heading into the final phase, Howard commented, "I have practiced not using the word ?pressure.' Of course there is, but is more about going in and riding well.I just try to do the same each time, no matter what the scoreboard says."
Howard hopes that her performance will have sufficiently impressed the selection committee members, leading to a place on the Canadian Eventing Team for the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Howard, who drove 17 hours from her base at The Fork Stables in Norwood, North Carolina, in order to compete in Bromont, said, "It was fun, and it is even more fun when you win. I haven't been in this position too many times.It's fun to come to your home turf, where there is so much support.I am so impressed by the event.I was impressed last year, and even more so this year."
Hannah Burnett of The Plains, Virginia, also jumped clear riding Harbour Pilot to finish second with a score of 52.80.Double Olympic Team Gold medalist Phillip Dutton of West Grove, Pennsylvania, had been breathing down Howard's neck coming into the final phase, but fell to third after dropping a rail with Mighty Nice for a final score of 53.50.
Will Coleman of Gordonsville, Virginia, led the CCI1* division from start to finish with Zipp, owned by Jim Fitzgerald.Despite having one rail down in the final phase of show jumping, Coleman's final score of 47.80 gave him the victory over Canada's Moira Laframboise of Orangeville, ON, who added no penalties to her score of 54.80 to move up from fifth to second with Dejavu.
"He's been a pretty good horse," said Coleman of the seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding purchased from Canadian Olympian Kelli Temple. "He's flashy in dressage, he's a brave cross-country horse, and show jumping has been our weakest phase with the most room for improvement. He's a pretty class horse, and I think he can have a big future."
Coleman is a big fan of the Bromont Three Day Event, having won the CCI3* division in 2010.
"There's a reason that they have 150 FEI horses here," said Coleman. "I think the organizing committee and the supporters and sponsors are passionate about it, and they are working hard to make their dreams come true. Sue Ockendon does an incredible job of making Bromont one of the best events in North America."
Mara Depuy of the United States narrowly hung on to her lead in the Open Training division after the show jumping phase saw her accumulate eight jumping and one time penalty with Alimit. Her final score of 50.90 penalty points kept her just ahead of Jordan McDonald and Ramble On who had a three-day total score of 51.McDonald also jumped double clear with Glencento to place third with a final score of 53.20.
The 2011 Bromont Three Day Event, The Todd Sandler Challenge, once again met with rave reviews, with the cross-country tracks set by course designer Derek Di Grazia of Carmel Valley, California, and Canadian course builder Jay Hambly receiving unanimous praise. A huge army of organizing committee members, volunteers and sponsors help make the event special and unique, as does the picturesque Bromont Olympic Horse Park, site of the equestrian events for the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
For more information about the Bromont Three Day Event, please visit the bilingual website, www.bromont3dayevent.com.