Clark Montgomery

This article was originally published on Eventing Nation


Clark takes his victory gallop at the Fair Hill CCI2* with Loughan Glen

Even by my own terrible reckoning, (I was born without a sense of direction), Chattahoochee Hills is barely out of the way if you’re traveling from Pine Top back up to Lexington, Kentucky, so that was all the excuse I needed to arrange a meeting with Clark and Jess Montgomery who have been based there since June this year.  Sadly, Jess was not feeling well the day I visited so I didn’t meet her, but her lovely husband chatted with me for a while and caught me up to speed with what’s happening with Montgomery Equestrian.   According to his website Clark started riding when he was five, trained with Jim Graham for a couple of years starting in 1997, and then joined the O’Connor Event Team in 1999. In 2008, he and Jessie took three horses over to England, basing themselves at Mark and Sandy Philips’ Aston Farm, hoping to stay for the four years leading up to the London Olympics (visa issues eventually made this impossible).  While in England, apart from placing 2nd at the Blair Castle 3* CCI, attending Barbury, Gatcombe, Badminton, Chatsworth amongst others, and also events in Europe, either as a competitor or spectator, Clark and Jessie also acquired two more lovely horses, Universe and Loughan Glen, who earlier this autumn finished first and second in the CCI ** at Fairhill.  I asked Clark  what he felt he learned in England, and about his tentative plans for these two horses next Spring.

Clark told me how he felt it was good for him to ride in the UK, and get some experience over there under his belt before a really big occasion, maybe for example, the Olympics or a Badminton.  He said that, on going back again in the future, he feels like he might have a little extra edge and confidence.  Although he always puts the horses development and progression first, there is a chance that if all goes well, Clark could be up for consideration for the 2012 team, and it seems that the USEF Eventing High Performance Program are in agreement – last week they named him to the 2011 Developing Rider Program A List.

barnaisle.jpg  chattahoocheehills.jpg
The beautiful Chattahoochee Hills facility and scenery

Belgian Olympic Three Day Eventer Carl Bouckaert’s Chattahoochee Hills Farm is undoubtedly a convenient venue to base yourself and horses; rolling acres, an indoor arena & numerous outdoor arenas, light and airy stalls with the mac-daddy of barns under construction, five sanctioned competitions a year including the AEC’s for two more years, and big plans for the future, and a growing equestrian community in the surrounding area.   Although, it might have seemed like an obvious question, I asked Clark how he and Jess ended up here…


Not only do people rave about Clark’s riding talent, but Clark and Jess are an extremely popular couple on the circuit, and now that I’ve met one half of the couple I’m beginning to understand why: they work together, and enjoy their time off together too.  Clark said he’s quite busy all day riding, and he helps Carl whenever he’s around.  If Clark needs a pair of “eyes on the ground” then Jess will oblige.  Most nights, he said they are very happy to cook a nice meal, stay at home and keep it low key, but being close to Atlanta also has it’s advantages!


Montgomery Equestrian will be based at Chattahoochee for most of the winter, but they may re-locate to Ocala for six weeks or so during the very worst of the weather in January or February.  But otherwise Clark seems very content with the set-up the way it is.  Quietly ambitious and motivated, as he approaches his thirties, he has a reassuring confidence and conviction in his ability and the choices he’s made, and yet he still has an endearing modesty and is unfailingly polite & helpful.  The horses are in a routine, he has a plan, and although Carl has four fox-hunters that he regularly takes on “the man from snowy river” trail rides, as Clark jokingly refers to them, making full use of the massive acreage on the estate, don’t expect to see Clark out in the Hunt Field any time soon!

Thank you to Clark for taking the time out of his busy day to talk to me, it was an absolute pleasure.  I’m only sorry that Jessie wasn’t feeling well, but now I have the perfect excuse for a return visit, as well as to get pictures of their adorable german wire haired pointer, Brodie, who they got  in Scotland, and who wouldn’t stay still for a second this time! Thank you also to Carl Bouckeart and Chattahoochee Hills for letting me have another look around their gorgeous property, and thank you for reading and watching.  Go Eventing!

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