New US leg of Eventing Nations Cup won by the US

A final hit out for the American Olympic Eventing team and Clark Montgomery sent a clear signal that he is one to watch at Rio

Winning US Eventing Team; (L-R) Boyd Martin, Phillip Dutton, Lauren Kieffer and Clark Montgomery on the podium with Helen McDonald and Deborah Sandford for Land Rover North America and U.S. Chef d'Equipe, David O'Connor
Winning US team: (L-R) Boyd Martin, Phillip Dutton, Lauren Kieffer and Clark Montgomery on the podium with Helen McDonald and Deborah Sandford for Land Rover North America and U.S. Chef d’Equipe, David O’Connor

Selected riders were representing their country in the Eventing Nations Cup at the Land Rover Great Meadow International, as the FEI and USEF chose the event to host the first-ever FEI Nations Cup Eventing Competition outside Europe.

Clark Montgomery’s dominant win on Loughan Glen, along with three fast and clear cross-country rounds from the other team members, gave the U.S. a clear victory on a score of 138.3. Canada finished second on 177.6, with Great Britain in third place on 254.3.

Clark Montgomery riding Loughan Glen competes in the Cross Country phase of the 2016 Land Rover Great Meadow International on Sunday, July 10, 2016, at the Great Meadow Foundation in The Plains, VA.
Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen

Clark Montgomery put on a near flawless riding performance over both days of the competition to take the individual 2016 title with Loughan Glen. The pair led from start to finish after delivering a commanding dressage score of 36.3, clear show jumping and clear across country over Mike Etherington-Smith’s course with just 1.2 time penalties, finishing on a final score of 37.5.

Marilyn Little (USA) took second place on RF Demeter with a score of 43.8, and Great Britain’s Jodie Amos finished third on Wise Crack with 49.0.  Of the 40 starters on the final cross-country day, 36 completed the course and just four finished with no time penalties.

Clark Montgomery riding Loughan Glen
Clark Montgomery riding Loughan Glen

A delighted Clark Montgomery said, “It means a ton to me to win here at the Great Meadow International in front of my home crowd. We had a pretty good performance and it was a great preparation run for us. He did a good dressage and I can’t complain about his show jumping at all. We had a couple of hairy moments on the cross-country but he’s such an honest horse and he still came home in a great time.”

This was the final preparatory event for riders from the Rio-bound 2016 US Olympic Eventing Team. The team is Phillip Dutton, Lauren Kieffer, Boyd Martin, Clark Montgomery, and travelling reserve, Maya Black.

His team mates Boyd Martin, Phillip Dutton and Lauren Kieffer finished sixth, seventh and ninth to set an unbeatable target and secure their country’s first victory in the FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing series.

The cross country course rode extremely well, with 27 of the 40 starters finishing clear of jumping faults, but the clock was a deciding factor with just four combinations making the optimum time.

Colleen Loach was best of the second-placed Canadian team, finishing 14th on Qorry Blue D’Argouges. Her three team mates also went clear across the country, but were hampered by their dressage marks to finish 38.3 adrift of the winning US squad.

Three British riders travelled across the Atlantic to join forces with US-based Briton Justine Dutton to make up a full four-person British team. Jodie Amos and Wise Crack finished best of the visiting British, in third place individually, adding no further penalties to their dressage score of 49.0.

Ben Way (GBR) riding Willows Tipster finished 26th after finishing only two seconds over the optimum cross country time, but Justine Dutton had two refusals out on course and Ros Canter was eliminated for a rider fall.

Despite their mixed fortunes, the British team finished third overall, earning enough points to give them a clear lead over Germany at the halfway mark in the FEI Nations Cup Eventing series.

The action returns to Europe this weekend, and the competition is expected to be strong in Aachen 14-17 July. New Zealand has a team in this event.

The final scoreboard is available by clicking on this link.

You can watch a replay of the action on www.usefnetwork.com

Check out the highlights video on this link.