June 10, 2013--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 Qu?bec, Minist?re de l'?ducation, 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 is available throughout the duration of the event.
Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event - Final Results
William Coleman III (USA) - Obos O'Reilly - 58.2
Selena O'Hanlon (CAN) - Foxwood High - 65.6
Sarah Cousins (USA) - Tsunami - 68.2
Selena O'Hanlon (CAN) - Bellaney Rock - 69.5
Alison Springer (USA) - Copycat Chloe - 77.0
Phillip Dutton (USA) - Ben - 72.1
Jessica Phoenix (CAN) - Pavarotti - 76.3
Lauren Kieffer (USA) - R. F. Cosima - 80.5
Caroline Martin USA) - Titanium - 91.6
Sarah Cousins (USA) - Westerly - 92.7
Erin Sylvester (USA) - Mettraise - 70.4
Buck Davidson (USA) - Santa's Keeper - 78.8
Buck Davidson (USA) - Knight Lion - 82.4
Booli Selmayr (USA) - Castle Diamond - 82.7
Kate Chadderton (AUS) - VS McCuan Civil Liberty - 83.4
Waylon Roberts (CAN) - Yarrow - 49.7
Erin Sylvester (USA) - Paddy the Caddy - 50.1
Mikki Kuchta (USA) - Calle - 54.5
Phillip Dutton (USA) - Mansfield Park - 54.7
Lucia Strini (USA) - Petit Filou II - 54.9