Canada’s Colleen Loach (Dunham, QC) and FE Golden Eye saved the best for last Friday at the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, taking over the lead as the very last to go in the FEI CCI4* division of the Bromont CCI.
Heading into Saturday’s third and final phase, they sit on their dressage score of 31.7 penalties, as one of only three double-clean show jumping rounds in a very competitive 4* division that saw everyone complete dressage and show jumping Friday, followed by cross-country Saturday.
Loach and ‘Goldie’ ousted US Olympian Boyd Martin from the top spot (on not one but two of his top mounts); Loach has the slimmest of margins with which to maintain her lead on what will surely be a decisive day of cross-country action.
“It was a tough course [in the show jumping ring] with lots of tight turns to square oxers,” commented Loach after her show jumping round. “The triple combination caused a lot of trouble. Goldie is an amazing jumper so I just rode it very forward and he jumped really well.”
In the CCI-S or short format, the event finishes with the exciting cross-country phase Saturday, where mistakes are costly as penalty points come in multiples of 20, rather than four as in the show jumping arena.
Having received a fair amount of rain in the area over the past three weeks, riders will be looking to guide their horses with care to find the best path over the softer ground.
Boyd Martin (Cochranville, PA) currently sits in second with his Tokyo Olympics and Lima Pan-Am double-gold-medal mount Tsetserleg; third with On Cue, with whom he won the 4*-S here at June’s MARS Bromont CCI, as well as the 2021 5*-L in Maryland; and sixth with Commando 3 (not to leave out Contessa, sitting second in the 3*.) Historically ‘Cue’ has put in some very good rounds in deep and even muddy going and Saturday will be anyone’s game.
Fellow American Caroline Pamukcu leads the CCI3* with HSH Connor on 29.0, with Martin and Contessa less than a point behind in second on 29.8. Australia’s Ryan Wood and Cooley Gentleman round out the top three on 33.7. Pamukcu also sits in fourth and sixth with HSH Tolan King and HSH Double Sixteen respectively.
Six countries are represented across the seven levels of competition: CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S, CCIU253*-S, CCI2*-S, CCIU252*-S, EV110 and EV100 as well a Team Challenge modelled after the incredibly successful and popular MidSouth Team Challenge. The fun Team Challenge is designed to give riders an introduction to the experience of riding on and strategizing as a team, with the end goal of finishing a full team with the lowest combined score possible.
The “Quebec Rules” team of Emma McHugh (Imperial), Juliette Veronneau (Kilkenny), Anne Castaigne (Cashemire) and Lea-Claude Pelletier (Vanquish) are currently the leading EV100 team on a total score of 82 penalties.
In the CCI3* “The Dream Team” of Caroline Pamukcu (HSH Connor), Boyd Martin (Contessa), Ryan Wood (Check Point) and Lea Adams-Blackmore (Frostbite) are well out ahead of “The Riff Raff” on scores of 96.100 and 125.80 respectively.
You can view the cross country course via CrossCountryApp below (or click here if the embedded material below does not display / to see tracks for all levels):