After several years living and competing across the pond in England, international eventer and Olympian Clark Montgomery and his wife Jess have been back Stateside since last September. Based now in Ocala, Jess tells EN that they are “enjoying the sunshine” and gearing up for a great season.
Clark’s top horse and Rio Olympics partner Loughan Glen won an Intermediate division this weekend at Ocala Winter II presented by Brian Cox Farm Team. Clark and 14-year-old Glen, owned by Jess, Kathryn Kraft, Holly and William Becker, are a sight to behold in the sandbox and typically score extremely well. Their last outing was no different as they posted a 22.9 to take an early lead which they held throughout, adding only one second of time on cross country.
Clark said Glen is feeling really good and confident now after a rough Olympic Games and subsequent surgery to remove a bone chip in his knee. Having made a full recovery, Clark and Glen are aiming for the upcoming Pine Top CIC3*, the Carolina International 2* or 3* and a return to the CCI4* level at Rolex Kentucky.
Universe, a 16-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Jess and Carol Montgomery, Elizabeth Smith and Janet Higgins, hasn’t been eventing recently, but he’s enjoying jumping around in the 1.3 and 1.4 meter classes at HITS this winter. “We’re so happy to have the little fella back and using his springs so well!” Jess said.
Clark also has a couple of nice youngsters coming up the ranks. Engapore is an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Linda Gunderson and came back with Clark from England. Engapore won his most recent Training level competition at Three Lakes on his dressage score of 18.3, and followed that up with a third place finish at his first Preliminary competition this weekend.
Clark is a fierce competitor, consistently finishing in the top spot at some of the biggest events in the world. For him, every day is about improving. As an instructor, he is passionate about helping horses and riders reach their full potential. “When I teach, it’s the same thing for me with my students. I enjoy seeing people improve throughout their lesson and then ultimately see that progress transfer to their results in competitions.”
When it comes to teaching, Clark’s style is a direct and honest approach, but he emphasizes that improvements in riding don’t always come in leaps and bounds. “I’m not one to tell you that something is good or correct if it isn’t!” he said. “I tend to try to celebrate the baby steps along the way–believe me, there’s a lot of those.”
With years of experience as a rider and as a teacher, Clark really enjoys the opportunity to impact each horse and rider he works with. “Over the years, I have gotten away from teaching the big groups and the broad theory lessons and instead prefer to teach people on a more individual basis. I just ask that people arrive with an open mind and be willing to participate when challenged.
“My clinics offer riders some very specific tips to lower their dressage scores and communicate better in their jumping. If the rider is willing to put themselves into a place of learning for a couple of days, that’s exactly what they will see happen.”
Riders looking to hone their skills with this top rider and instructor will have the exciting opportunity to learn from Clark when he heads to Loch Moy Farm, home of the Maryland Horse Trials, for a dressage and cross country clinic March 3-5. Riders will have the opportunity to receive individualized learning experiences with private dressage lessons and semi-private jumping sets.
“At Loch Moy Farm, I’ll have the time to work with everyone independently and can really focus on being able to improve each horse and rider,” Clark said.
Clinic participants will enjoy Loch Moy Farm’s eight acres of all-weather rings, complete with show-jumps, 100 cross-country fences, water complex, banks and ditches. Lessons can be customized for each horse and rider’s needs. Cross-country sets will be on the all weather and schooling course.
Online registration to ride or audit the March 3-5 Clark Montgomery Eventing Clinic at Loch Moy Farm is available via Event Clinics HERE. The clinic closes TODAY with late entries allowed until February 21. Sign up now and look for additional upcoming clinic dates with Clark.