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June 2, 2014

Clark Montgomery Withdraws Loughan Glen From Luhmühlen

Clark Montgomery has withdrawn Loughan Glen from the Luhmühlen CCI**** and will focus on a fall four-star. Sara Lieser photo.

Clark Montgomery has withdrawn Loughan Glen from the Luhmühlen CCI**** (Germany) after careful consideration of the gelding’s schedule. Although Glen led the dressage at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials CCI**** (England) in early May, Montgomery retired both him and his other mount, Universe, after trouble on cross-country.

Montgomery had planned to reroute Glen to Luhmühlen because the gelding has yet to complete a four-star, a strong plus on the resumes of horse and rider pairs in consideration for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France) team, but ultimately, he decided it wasn’t worth it to push the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Limerick—Tattymacall Mustard, Cut The Mustard) for possibly three four-star attempts in 15 weeks.

“The further Badminton’s gone away, and the more time I’ve had to reflect on it, he did go quite a ways around Badminton—9 minutes—but for [World Games] selection, he doesn’t have a four-star completion on paper, and that’s what he would need,” said Montgomery, who is based just a few miles from Badminton in England. “If Luhmühlen went well, which I have every bit of confidence that it would’ve, then if he were to go to the WEG, that’s a lot.

“It really sucks. I don’t like the decision, but I’d rather have him [be sound], both in his emotional willingness to compete for me and of course the physical risk of injury in doing something like that,” he continued. “I’d rather him be sound and happy for years to come instead of make this big push, especially because I have little [Universe], who’s been in the mix because of his performances last year.”

Montgomery, 33, will aim Glen, who’s owned by his wife, Jessica, Kathryn Kraft and Holly and William Becker, for the Barbury Castle CIC*** (England) on July 3-6, and hopes to try another four-star in the fall.

“We’ll start prepping him and probably get him ready for Pau [France]—an easier, flatter four-star,” he said. “I don’t think he’s ready for something like [the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI****]. Pau sounds like a great plan to aim him towards for the fall.”

While Clark retired Universe, or “Buzz,” a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Lauriston—Chablis, Cor De La Bryere) owned by Jessica, his mother Carol Montgomery, Elizabeth Smith and Janet Higgins, on cross-country at Badminton, the gelding completed it last year and finished 10th at Pau, so Clark is still hoping for a chance at the World Games team.

“We’re leaving for Bramham this weekend to go do the CIC***,” he said. “I think I need to keep showing that his dressage is improving, or at least staying on that level, so that’s his main deal for Bramham. He’ll tick around on the cross-country, not trying to be competitive, just to go out and get a good run and make sure he still feels confident after his run at Badminton.”

Even though Clark is disappointed that Glen won’t be targeting the World Games, he’s keeping busy focusing on Buzz, his two-star horse Garrison Flash, who’s starting to compete again after an injury last year, and several young horses.

“[U.S. Eventing Chef d’Equipe David O’Connor] seems confident that with [Buzz’s] performances last year that he could be a good horse for the WEG this year and for the cross-country that [designer Pierre Michelet’s] going to build,” he said. “I would have loved Glen to be in the mix; he would have been more competitive in the dressage, but without that all-important four-star completion on paper, it’s definitely not on the forefront. All focus is on to little Buzzy now.”

 
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