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June 12, 2011

Montgomery Leads The CCI*** Charge At Bromont

"The Star Spangled Banner" played in honor of Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Kat Netzler Photo.

Bromont, Que.—June 13 

Loughan Glen and Clark Montgomery finished their weekend in the Bromont CCI*** the same way they started it—in first place. Despite taking down one pole in the show jumping, the horse held his lead on the final day of competition.

“There wasn’t too much pressure going in. I knew if he had a few rails, and I didn’t win, it’s OK, he’s a nice horse with a good future,” Montgomery said. “He’s just an 8-year-old, and he seems already like an old soul. To think that I could have eight or more years of him at this level is just incredible, and I’m looking really forward to it."

Loughan Glen and Montgomery had the same fence down as several other horses, a red vertical heading away toward the arena's banked wall, made of dark rocks. Loughan Glen nearly fell over it.

“He nearly gave me a heart attack there!” Montgomery said. “I thought everything was good, and then he just didn’t leave. I don’t know what went on, if it was the red rail against the rocks or what. I wanted that rail [in hand] for a little more of the course, but it kind of woke him up a little, and he jumped brilliantly the rest of the way around.”

Though Rehy Lux and Leslie Law stayed in second after a double-clear round, the show jumping in the CCI*** shifted the leaderboard more drastically overall. Phillip Dutton and William Penn moved up from fifth to third, and Buck Davidson on Absolute Liberty went from sixth to fourth. One dropped rail on the red vertical spelled 4 faults for Sharon White and Rafferty’s Rules, and they finished fifth.

“He jumped great,” Law said. “He’s not a horse that explodes off the ground in show jumping, and I’ve learned to adapt to that and ride him the way he likes to jump and really just let him jump around the fences and not force the jump from him. If you ride him that way, trying not to force a huge jump out of him, he wants to jump clean.”

Law, Ocala Fla., and Bluemont, Va., picked up the ride on Rehy Lux when his previous rider, Ann Glaus, got pregnant. The 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse is still owned by Ann’s husband Troy.

“Ann directed herself more into show jumping, and this horse probably isn’t an out-and-out show jumper,” Law said. “I’m very grateful to Troy and Ann. I’m glad Ann had a baby, and even more thankful to Troy for that! I’ve got a lovely horse to ride now. After yesterday, I think he probably is truly a four-star horse.”

Montgomery, Fairburn, Ga., is planning to contest another three-star this fall before bumping Loughan Glen up to the four-star level.

Roquefort Reels In A CCI** Title

Rebecca Howard tried to enter show jumping with the same mindset she might have had if she were going first instead of last, forgetting the fact that Hannah Sue Burnett had just jumped a clean round and she didn’t have a rail in hand.

“I sort of practice not using the word 'pressure,' ” Howard said. “Of course there is some, but it’s more about just going in and riding well. So I don’t think it would have felt any different than if I was going into the show jumping at Jersey [Fresh CIC**], where I had a bit more breathing room. I try to be in the same headspace each time no matter what the scoreboard says.”

The show jumping caught several two-star riders out, with only seven of 38 pairs making it around without rails. But Roquefort and Howard, Norwood, N.C., jumped a double-clear round and maintained their lead.

“I went out early trying to watch a good [round], and I saw one and went on it," she said. "It was big, I thought, and there were quite a lot of verticals at the same time. [Roquefort] is getting more and more rideable each round I do. I’ve had him for over three years now, and I feel like I’m just getting to know him this spring. It’s nice to go in the ring knowing what kind of horse I’m going to have, and it goes according to plan. He certainly didn’t feel tired or anything.”

Roquefort and Howard, who rides for Canada, haven’t had the smoothest partnership together. First, an injury to the horse put him out of action. Then, once he recovered, he and Howard had a rotational fall on Feb. 28, 2010 at the Pine Top Horse Trials (Ga.). Howard had to take months off to heal her fractured ribs, punctured lung and two broken collarbones.

But now they’re back on track, and Howard’s hoping the 13-year-old gelding owned by Jim Cogdell will be her mount for the Pan American Games CCI** in Guadalajara, Mexico this fall.

“He’ll have a nice break now,” she said. “I’ll give him a good month to hang out. I think he would keep doing some flat work and show jumping over the summer, and we’ll go from there.”

Zipp Finishes CCI* With A Bang

Will Coleman and Zipp, a 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Jim Fitzgerald, lowered one rail today, but it was good enough to hold their lead for the win in the CCI*. Finishing on a final score of 47.8, Coleman and Zipp started the weekend in first and never looked back.

Clean show jumping rounds were hard to get in the CCI*. Only five out of 30 starters made it around without rails or time. One of those, Momo Laframboise riding Dejavu, moved up from 14th after dressage to second overall after adding no penalties to her dressage score of 54.8.

Zipp doesn’t have a spotless show jumping record, so Coleman was happy to finish with one pole down.

“He’s very smart on the flat and is a really brave, good cross-country horse,” Coleman said. “Show jumping has been the weakness, where he needs the most room for improvement. He’s still very young, and we’ll take our time with him making that phase really solid before we move up to a two-star. He’s a really quality horse.

“I think it’s a hard arena, especially with the younger horses,” Coleman added about the main arena at Bromont. “There’s a lot of atmosphere, horses tend to go in there and tighten up, and more experienced riders tend to do better here, I think because they’ve felt that before and know how to help a horse out. Compared to how horses jump up in the warm-up, you go in there and have quite a different horse. But it’s great we can experience that before we get somewhere like Rolex.”

Coleman, based in Charlottesville, Va., won the CCI*** here last year aboard Nevada Bay, and he also finished 10th and 14th in the CCI** this year with Oboe O’Reilly and Westwind’s El Dorado, respectively.

“Those are two exciting ones, too,” Coleman said. “This is their first two-star. They’re greener intermediate horses but had a good season this year. They went around yesterday very well. Both were double clean and finished without acting like it was too hard. I had a rail on both today, which was disappointing, but they were a little impressed by that arena.”

Check out our coverage from the jog, the hilarious wheelbarrow race, Saturday's cross-country and Friday's dressage. Full results available at Event Entries.

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