Jennie Brannigan made the trek to the Mars Bromont CCI4*-L (Quebec) from her home base in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, a winning one, topping the division after jumping clear around Derek di Grazia’s cross-country course on Saturday and adding two rails in show jumping on Sunday.
Di Grazia’s course was made tougher by the wet ground, but Brannigan and the gelding were the fastest of the 14 finishers, adding 1.6 time penalties to jump from eighth after dressage to the overnight lead.
“I am just proud of yesterday and how hard the horse always tries. I cannot ask for more,” she said of the 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (National Anthem—Royal Child). “As I get older it’s not always about being perfect. It is about enjoying when it goes your way.”
Bred by his owners, Tim and Nina Gardner, “Comic” has had some ups and downs in his career, including a recent battle with Lyme disease.
Finishing just 1.4 penalties behind Brannigan was Canadian rider Lindsay Traisnel on Bacyrouge, an 11-year-old Selle Français gelding owned by Patricia Pearce.
“We got him as a 4-year-old as a resale project and kind of sold everything else instead,” she said. “This was while we [Traisnel and husband Xavier Traisnel] were living in France. He did his first four-star last year at Bromont and was awesome, so I said, ‘OK, he always goes well at Bromont, we are going back to Bromont.’ We love Bromont!”
The CCI4*-S saw Valerie Pride and her own Favian adding just one rail and a bit of time to retain their cross-country lead for the win. This is not Pride’s first trip to Bromont, as she’s attended the event as both a rider and judge over the past few years.
For the win in the CCI3*-L, it was Olympian Boyd Martin who moved up from third after cross-country on Miss Lulu Herself, a 9-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Bonnie Stedt.
Liz Halliday-Sharp brought several horses along on her first trip to Bromont. After sweeping the dressage—she led the CCI4*-L, CCI3*-L and CCI2*-L at the conclusion of that phase—she ultimately took home the two-star win aboard new ride Miks Master C, formerly campaigned to the advanced level by Maya Black. For Halliday-Sharp, Bromont was the last stop in North America before she jets off to compete at the Luhmühlen CCI5*-L (Germany) this week, the final selection trial for the U.S. team ahead of the FEI World Championships happening in Pratoni, Italy.
Cassie Sanger, 17, topped the podium on Sunday morning in the CCI2*-L U25, adding nothing to her cross-country score with Fernhill Zoro.
“It is gorgeous, and for show jumping and dressage there is definitely a lot of atmosphere,” Sanger said of her first Bromont experience. “The cross-country was definitely tough and to the level, so I was paying attention the whole way around.”
For full results, click here.