The Plains, Virginia - The United States Nations Cup team made history capturing the inaugural FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing competition in North America at the Land Rover Great Meadow International (GMI) presented by Adequan®. Leading from start to finish, the team of Phillip Dutton, Lauren Kieffer, Boyd Martin, and Clark Montgomery won with an overall score of 138.3 penalties. The team from Canada moved up to second scoring 177.6 penalties and Great Britain ran into a bit of bad luck to finish third with 254.3 penalties.
"It was a great weekend here at Great Meadow. The community really supported it and really seemed to enjoy all three days. I don't think it could have gone any better,"said David O'Connor, Co-Chairman of the Land Rover Great Meadow International. "It's great to have the first Nations Cup outside Europe and we had the perfect site for it."
All four members of the U.S. team put in stellar performances. Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen were the favorites to win despite being relatively unknown in America as they were based in England for the past two years. The pair did not disappoint the massive crowd at Great Meadow as they led from beginning to end throwing down the best dressage test of the competition scoring 36.3 penalties and then remaining faultless through the show jumping. The pair incurred just 1.2 time penalties going three seconds over the optimum time of 6:36 seconds in the final cross-country phase for a combined score of 37.5 penalties.
"It was a bit of a wake-up call, I had to argue with him a little bit," said Montgomery of his Irish Sporthorse. "But he is such an honest horse and wants to jump the fences. It means a ton to win at Great Meadow this weekend. I have been based in England for a while so to get to come home in the U.S. and compete in front of the home crowd, means a huge amount to me."
Philip Dutton was the pathfinder for the team and the competition going first in all three phases. Riding Fernhill Fugitive, Dutton knocked down a flag at the imposing Beverly Equestrian Brush Corners obstacle, but negotiated the remainder of the Mike Etherington-Smith designed cross-country course without incident adding only 3.2 time penalties to their two-phase score of to finish on 50.4 penalties. Boyd Martin and Welcome Shadow added 1.6 time penalties to their score also finishing with 50.4 penalties. Lauren Kieffer and Meadowbrook's Scarlett contributed to the winning team incurring a mere .4 time faults in cross-country for a final score of 55 penalties.
All four members of the Canadian team jumped clear cross-country only incurring time faults to move them into second place. Selena O'Hanlon and Foxwood High added 2.8 time penalties to their score to finish with 62.4 penalties. Colleen Loach on Qorry Blue D'Argouges incurred 3.6 time penalties for an overall score of 57.1 penalties.Waylon Roberts added 4 time penalties to his two-phase score to end with 70.2 penalties on Kelecyn Cognac and Jessica Phoenix took her time on Bentleys Best tacking on 14 time penalties to her score for 58.1 penalties.
The team from Great Britain had a bit of a rough trip on Sunday. Rosalind Canter and Zenshera fell at fence five and were eliminated. Justine Dutton and Huck Finn had two refusals and time faults to finish with 135.8 penalties. Ben Way and Willows Tipster had better luck jumping clear and going just over the optimum time to add 0.8 time penalties to his score for 69.5 penalties. Jodie Amos and Wise Crack had a great day going double clear, one of only four for the day, to finish on their dressage score of 49 penalties.
Individually, Americans placed four out of the top five. Marilyn Little and RF Demeter, owned by Jacqueline Mars, Raylyn Farms and Patrick and Eileen Witte, had an outstanding competition moving up from fourth after the first day of competiton to finish in second place. The pair went clear in show jumping and put in a stellar performance cross-country to finish on their dressage score of 43.9 penalties. Holly Payne Caravella and Santino were fourth with 50 penalties and Hannah Sue Burnett rode Under Suspection from 16th place to fifth overall scoring 50.2 penalties.
Two additional awards were presented. Holly Payne Caravella and Santino won the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation "Off the Track Thoroughbred" Award and Boyd Martin and Welcome Shadow were presented with the Irish Draught Horse Society of North America award to the highest placing horse with Irish Draught blood.
For more information, please visit www.greatmeadowinternational.com.