As we come to the end of a marathon two days of dressage — 101 horses — America has a lot to be proud of in this phase at this competition. All seven horses and riders put in good performances, and of course we can claim the leader as our own, Clark Montgomery on Loughan Glen.
Emily Beshear and Shame On The Moon were the penultimate pair to go into the arena and also delivered — some lovely trot work, just a stumble behind in the extension, beautiful changes in the canter, and just when I was thinking ‘Delta’ had one of the nicest walks we’ve seen yet she started jogging which was a real shame, and a complete surprise to Emily who said afterwards she never jogs, and that it wasn’t even due to nerves but more down to laziness!
However, the test was still nice enough overall to score a handy 44. 5 which leaves them in 14th going forward to the cross country tomorrow, and we have a total of four of our seven riders in the top 20, and six in the top 40 of 101 total entries after this phase — pretty nice results so far.
Sandra Auffarth, reigning World Champion and European Team Gold Medalist, lies in second place behind Clark, and Pippa Funnell will go forward to cross country in 3rd place on Jane Toliver’s The Billy Stud bred Billy The Biz.
Kate Chadderton, our adopted Aussie American, was the very last to go today and did a nice job, conjuring the best test possible out of VS Mccuan Civil Liberty. ‘Libby’ as she calls him definitely isn’t the flashest mover, he’s a sweet OTTB who tried his hardest, and you can’t help but be impressed by Kate’s similar attitude, she’s making every minute over here count.
The riders are out walking the course again, and CCI3* cross country starts early tomorrow, 9 a.m., and the CIC3* division will show-jump starting at 4 p.m. I caught up with Lauren Kieffer and had a brief chat about naughty Vermiculus, and she laughed and said he’s going to be a superstar, that he’s been fairly arrogant since doing Wellington a few weeks ago, and that this is not only just his second Advanced, but that he’s also used to living out in a field 24-7! Vermiculus and Landmarks Monte Carlo are, touch wood, headed to Boekelo after this, and Lauren will take the younger horses up to Osberton.
It’s been a long two days of dressage and we’re all looking forward to the next two days with a mixture of nerves, anticipation and excitement. The weather forecast is excellent, and we’ll be bringing you as much news as we can as quickly as we possibly can. Thank you to all the riders, grooms and supporters for being so patient with us, thank you for reading, and go the U.S. at the Blenheim Palace International Three Day Event!