Bromont, Quebec – Clark Montgomery is leading the CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event, The Todd Sandler Challenge, following the opening phase of dressage held Friday, June 10, in Bromont, Quebec.
Montgomery of Fairburn, GA, earned an impressive score of 39 penalty points from the judges to move into the lead following the first phase of dressage. Montgomery’s mount is Loughan Glen, an eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Jessica Montgomery, Kathryn Kraft and Holly Becker.
“He’s been steadily improving over the year,” said Montgomery, 30, of the horse he began riding in 2008. “He’s just big and beautiful, and soft and relaxed in his work. In his training, we are working to get him more powerful and expressive. You can’t ride him timidly; he would walk if you did that. He’s Irish and he’s very laid back.”
Sitting second behind Montgomery is 2004 Olympic Champion Leslie Law of Great Britain. Law earned a score of 42.30 penalty points riding Rehy Lux while Kristin Bachman of the United States sits third riding Gryffindor with a score of 50.20 penalty points.
Montgomery is looking forward to Saturday’s cross-country phase, which will be the first time he has run Loughan Glen at the three-star level.
“It’s big, and definitely tough enough,” Montgomery commented. “My goal is to go out there and get all the jumps jumped, preferably the first time. Everything on my plan is direct; I think it is all very doable. We’ll see how his fitness is, he is a big horse and it’s the longest course that he will have done so far. Some of the distances between the fences are longer than he’s had before, he’s going to learn to gallop out there, and I’m excited to teach him. It is just going to be a matter of showing him the way.”
This marks Montgomery’s second visit to Bromont, as he also competed here in 2010.
“Last year was my first time; I loved it and was excited to come back,” he said. “You really do feel like you are at an international competition here. You are in Quebec, a French-speaking place, so it really makes it feel more international. The weather is gorgeous, the footing is gorgeous, and the facilities are great. It is fun to be here.”
Course designer Derek Di Grazia of the United States and Canadian course builder Jay Hambly have been hard at work preparing the course-country course in the picturesque Bromont Olympic Horse Park, site of the equestrian events for the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
“It’s going to be a great day to see so many different levels of competition, from the introductory right up to the three-star, and so many competitors from different countries,” said Di Grazia of Carmel Valley, California. “We’ve had massive amounts of rain in May, and the past week has been relatively dry except for one thunderstorm, and this has allowed the conditions to become quite good.”
As for what competitors can expect, Di Grazia said, “The courses this year all have some changes at all levels. They should give the riders something new to look at and to think about before they go out and ride. In the three-star, the questions are spread throughout the course. As always, it comes down to the rider who can maintain the concentration and ride the plan all the way around the course.”
Canada’s Rebecca Howard of Salmon Arm, BC, leads the CCI2* division following the conclusion of dressage with Roquefort, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding she co-owns with Jim Cogdell.
In the CCI1* division, Will Coleman of Gordonsville, Virginia, is in the lead with Zipp after posting a dressage score of 41.40. Coleman was the winner of the 2010 CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event, The Todd Sandler Challenge.
Yet another American, Mara Depuy, is leading the Open Training division riding Alimit with a score of 41.90 penalty points.
Cross-country begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 11, and is scheduled to run until 4:30 p.m., making it ideal for spectators. The Bromont Three Day Event concludes on Sunday, June 12, with the third and final phase of stadium jumping. This year, 150 horses are vying for more than $30,000 in prize money in the CCI***, CCI**, CCI*, CCIYJ* and Open Training divisions.
Alan Shinton returns as the generous title sponsor of the Alan Shinton Team Challenge. This friendly Team Challenge offers $10,000 in total prize money to teams comprised of riders from all divisions and levels, and is a great way to foster camaraderie and a sense of mentorship throughout the competition. On Thursday, June 9, the teams were auctioned off to bidders during the Canadian Eventing Red and White reception, with $14,000 raised. Shinton, ever generous in his support of the sport, matched it, bringing the total raised to $28,000. The proceeds will benefit the three grooms who lost everything in a fire at event rider Boyd Martin’s training barn in Pennsylvania on May 31.
The Bromont Three Day Event wishes to thank Heritage Canada and the Government of Quebec for their support.
For more information about the Bromont Three Day Event, including LIVE SCORING, please visit the bilingual website, www.bromont3dayevent.com.
Photo: Clark Montgomery of the United States and Loughan Glen lead the CCI3* division at the Bromont Three Day Event running June 9 to 12 in Bromont, Quebec. Photo Credit – Cealy Tetley, www.tetleyphoto.com