America’s Clark Montgomery put in a commanding performance at the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials for his biggest win to date, as the event celebrated its 25th anniversary.
The rider, who is based in the UK, won the CCI3* competition at the Oxfordshire event on Loughan Glen – the horse he hopes to take to the Olympics in Rio, by a margain of 8.2 penalties over Christopher Burton of Australia who came home in second on Nobilils 18.
After his win Clark – the third American in history to win at Blenheim, commented: “He was definitely a little more tired that I expected, even in the warm up but he tried at every fence and came home clear. I’m really proud and I couldnt be happier. It makes everything that we are trying to do over here seem to mean that it is working and worthwhile. We’re having a great year this year and we’ll ride the wave as long as it stays.”
American riders put in strong performances with Clark’s compatriots Lauren Keiffer and Emily Beshear finishing in sixth and seventh respectively.
Fresh from her team Silver medal at the European Championships at Blair Castle last week, Kitty Kingwas the highest placed British Rider in third place with Ceylor LAN. She said: “It’s been a fantastic week again. Ceylor LAN couldn’t have gone better – I couldn’t have asked more of him. He’s only eight and he has just jumped brilliantly. He was so careful in the show jumping, gave himself plenty of time and didn’t bother with the crowds and just felt like a much older horse than he is. He was very relaxed and confident. I was coming here hoping for a top ten and to finish third I am absolutely delighted for him and couldn’t ask more than to finish on his dressage – he was super.”
Jonelle Price became the first rider to score back-to-back victories in the CIC3* for eight-and nine-year-old horses, this year winning on Cloud Dancer II. The New Zealander had a cushion of more than 10 peanlties over her nearest rival going into the final cross country phase, and despite picking up 8.8 time faults, she steered the eight year old Dutch warmblood to victory.
Afterwards she said: “He’s a very different type to Faerie Dianamo but it’s horses for courses. He’s got so much quality in the dressage and jumping and he’s genuine and brave so I think he’s got a future in the sport.”
France’s Astier Nicolas was one of the nine riders to achieve the optimum time and moved up from fourth place to finish second behone Jonelle on Helen and Paul Fearn’s Spes Addit Or.
Irishman Jonty Evans was overcome with emotion at finishing third on Cooley Rorkes Drift. They just slipped a place from second after show jumping with two time penalties. The nine-year-old by Courage was bought by Fiona Elliott at the Going for Gold sales at Goresbridge in Ireland. Jonty got the ride through a Good Samaritan act when he had stopped to help Fiona when her lorry broke down on the Fosse Way, and the horse hasn’t left his yard since. He said: “This horse is so good that I’ve had to raise my game. We’re not a big yard, so to have one like him means a lot. I think he’s going to be competitive. I want to go to Rio!”
Photgraphy courtesy of Lucy Hall
1. Clark Montgomery, Loughan Glen (USA), 33.8
2. Christopher Burton, Nobilis 18 (AUS), 42.0
3. Kitty King, Ceylor LAN, 44.4
4. Gemma Tattersall, Quicklook V, 45.4
5. Tim Price, The Court Jester (NZL), 46.2
6. Lauren Keiffer, Veronica (USA), 46.6
7. Emily Beshear, Shame On The Moon (USA), 47.7
8. Flora Harris, Bayano, 49.2
9. Dani Evans, Raphael II, 50.6
10. Kevin McNab, Dustman (AUS), 50.9
CIC3* 8/9 Year Old Results
1. Jonelle Price, Cloud Dancer II (NZL), 42.0
2. Astier Nicolas, Spes Addit Or (FRA), 44.4
3. Jonty Evans, Cooley Rorkes Drift (IRE), 45.8
4. Ian Willis, Hartpury Sky Is The Limit, 49.0
5. Emily Parker, Diamond Sundance, 50.8
6. Aoife Clark, Wasting Light (IRE), 51.1
7. Michael Jackson, Treloar, 51.9
8. Sidney Dufresne, Tresor Mail (FRA), 52.5
9. Lauren Shannon, Quality Purdey, 52.9
10. Tim Price, Xavier Faer (NZL), 53.0