With a generous time allowed, the chronometer was not a key factor in the first round. Course designer Guilherme Jorge, on his way to the Rio Olympic Games, nevertheless gave the starting athletes a challenge, with such difficulties as the large Assante oxer, as well as the tight turn going to the CWD vertical, notably, which gave a hard time to many competitors. Of the 19 starting pairs, seven made it to the jump-off.
The first clear round was executed by Alison Robitaille (USA) and Ace, the third duo on the course. Not until the tenth pair of Andrew Kocher (USA) and Uppie de Lis, was there confirmation that there would be a jump-off. Clear rounds followed quickly with Keean White (CAN) and For Freedom Z, Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Special Lux, Ljubov Kochetova (RUS) and Balou du Reventon, Todd Minikus (USA) and Babalou as well as Leslie Howard (USA) and Gentille van Spieveld.
Charlie Jacobs has also gave a nice performance with Calanta, a young KWPN gelding of nine years. The pair cleared all the jumps, but a time fault prevented them from advancing to the second round.
As the second round started, the first pair to come back on the course, Alison Robitaille and Ace, had 4 jumping faults. Andrew Kocher, who stood out as an extremely fast rider over the last two weeks of competition at the International Bromont, was next on course with Uppie de Lis. The pair seemed to have the momentum, but a bar down at the last obstacle did them in. Keean White, the sole Canadian in the Top 10, unfortunately droped the bar at the first obstacle. After three rounds in the jump-off, the door was still open for a rider to take the lead with a clear round.
Jonathan McCrea and Special Lux, who had the best time in the first round, came back on course where they successfully negotiated Guilherme Jorge's course, with an excellent time, and they looked hard to beat.
Ljubov Kochetova (RUS) on Balou du Reventon, was looking for the perfect round, but a slower rhythm gave her a time of 51.26 seconds. Todd Minikus and Babalou tried to get ahead of Jonathan McCrea/Special Lux, who were still in the lead. They clocked in an unbeatable time of 41.29 seconds, but a jumping fault mid-course left an open spot on the podium.
Leslie Howard, an experienced rider, finally came on course with Gentille van Spieveld to conclude their second round. A perfect round guaranteed them a place in the top three, and with a two-second lead ahead of Ljubov Kochetova they took second place.
For more information on the programming, please visit our Web site at. www.internationalbromont.org.