September 11, 2013 -- Seven horse-and-rider combinations will be representing the U.S. at the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, September 12-15. Set at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, England, the field is packed with some of the best riders in the eventing world. Eighty-four combinations will tackle the CCI3* while 67 are competing in the CIC3* for eight-and nine-year-old horses. All U.S. horses passed the First Horse Inspection on Wednesday.
In the CCI3*, five U.S. riders will seek top finishes at Blenheim Palace. Two riders will compete with the aid of competition grants. Clark Montgomery (Wiltshire, UK) and Jessica Montgomery, Kathryn Kraft, and Holly and William Becker's Loughan Glen were awarded a USEF Land Rover Competition Grant. Earlier this summer, he and the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding finished in second place at the Barbury Castle CIC3*.
After a stellar four-star debut at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover earning 12th place, Meghan O'Donoghue (Carbondale, Ill.) was awarded a Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grant from the USET Foundation. She will compete her own 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Pirate at her first international competition across the pond.
Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) will compete Team Rebecca, LLC's Ben in the CCI3*. He and the 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding won the Bromont CIC3* in June, and hope to continue with their winning form. Cindy Rawson (Somerset, GBR) will partner with Mocharabuiee, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred/Irish Sport Horse cross gelding she co-owns with Donald Collier and Pip Bowerman. The pair completed the Hartpury CIC3* in early August. Julian Stiller (Berkshire, UK) will compete two mounts in the CCI3*, Sintra BK and Pandora X. With Sintra BK, her own eight-year-old Warmblood mare, Stiller completed the Hartpury CIC3* after taking over the ride on the horse earlier this summer. Stiller and Pandora X, a nine-year-old Hanoverian mare she owns with Jules Delvecchio, completed the CIC3* at both Barbury Castle and Hartpury.
Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (East Sussex, England) is the sole U.S. representative in the CIC3* for eight-and nine-year-old horses with her own HHS Cooley. She and the nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding were also the sole representatives when they finished in 12th place at the Le Haras National Du Pin CCI2*, which served as the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Test Event in mid-August. This will be the pair's debut at the CIC3* level.
In the CCI3*, Stiller and Sintra BK are the first U.S. pair in the dressage ring on Thursday, riding at 9:52am BST. Dutton and Ben will go at 10:30am BST while Montgomery and Loughan Glen will ride in the afternoon session at 3:30pm BST. O'Donoghue and Pirate kick things off for the U.S. on Friday at 10:22am BST, followed by Rawson and Mocharabuiee at 11:22am BST. Stiller will ride her second mount, Pandora X, in the afternoon session at 2:52pm BST.
Halliday-Sharp and HHS Cooley will perform their CIC3* dressage test on Thursday at 12:07pm BST.
For more information on the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, click here.
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