Irish Sport Horses Show Top Form at The Land Rover Great Meadow International
Top Riders Praise Irish horses for Cross Country Skills
Co. Kildare, Ireland – July14x, 2016 -Irish Sport Horses (ISH) proved once again that there is no better breed for eventing competition. Last weekend, the 2016 Great Meadow International (GMI) presented by Adequan® at Great Meadow, in The Plains, VA, hosted the first-ever FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing competition outside Europe, as well as the final preparation trial for the U.S. Olympic Eventing Team prior to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Of the 40 horses that competed, no breed had better results than the ISH.
At the top of the leader board throughout the event was Clark Montgomery aboard his 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse Loughan Glen. The duo, who have been selected for the US Olympic Eventing Team, took 1st place in all three phases, providing an optimistic send-off to Rio. Montgomery sounded positive about his relationship with the Irish horse stating, “We know each other really well at this point, we’ve had ups and downs but we’re on a real upswing right now.”
And when questioned about the abilities of Irish Sport Horses such as “Glen,” Montgomery answered, “They’re great to come to competition with because the atmosphere really perks them up, and puts them right on a good level of energy instead of over-the-top which you deal with with a lot of the other breeds.”
Montgomery’s US Olympic teammate Phillip Dutton also had great success at Great Meadow with his two Irish Sport Horses -11-year-old Fernhill Fugitive who placed 7th overall and Mighty Nice whofinished 11th in the dressage phase and 9th in show jumping, claiming the 15th spot overall. As a five-time Olympic veteran Dutton is no stranger to difficult competition, but he sounded confident in his two Irish-bred horses as he geared up for the weekend at Great Meadow in preparation for Rio next month. “They’re a great, tough breed that’s bred for eventing and cross country and they have some jumper lines in there as well. Clever horses, they’re a great match for being eventing.”
Not only did the two riders secure top standings individually with their Irish Sport Horses, but Montgomery and Dutton helped the US Team clinch 1st place in the first-ever FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing competition held outside Europe.
Sharon White finished close behind Dutton and Mighty Nice on her own Irish-bred mount, Cooley on Show. The two ranked 31st in the dressage phase held early Saturday morning and 26th in the show jumping phase held later that day. After their cross country round on Sunday moved them up to 16th place overall, White expressed her satisfaction with Cooley on Show.”I love riding him, I love competing him. I adore him. This is just a fabulous competition horse, he lives to compete.”
Similar to Montgomery’s remarks, White also commented on the Irish Sport Horses’ great skill-level stating, “Their cross country is beyond fabulous, I’ve never met an Irish Horse that didn’t love a ditch and some water so I think you just can’t beat that, their love of cross country is quite special.”
Puerto Rican rider Lauren Billys competed with Castle Larchfield Purdy, a 14-year-old bay Irish Sport Horse. With recent achievement in California and at the Pan-American Games last year in Toronto, Billys shared Sharon White’s sentiment with the Irish breed saying, “He’s an amazing horse, for me he’s been the horse I’ve always dreamed of and he’s really given me the opportunity to ride in arenas I’ve always dreamed of being in.” Billys and Castle Larchfield Purdy finished 32nd overall.
About the Irish Horse Gateway
The Irish Horse Gateway was initiated by Horse Sport Ireland in 2013 to connect the world to the Irish Horse. It is the first point of contact for overseas clients seeking information on sourcing Irish horses and ponies for Equestrian sport and leisure. Horse Sport Ireland was established to bring together the breeding, sport and leisure aspects of the horse sector.
The Irish Horse Gateway’s mission is to connect buyers to sellers of Irish horses and ponies and promote the Irish horse and pony internationally to build upon its reputation worldwide.
For information on The Irish Horse Gateway please see www.irishhorsegateway.ie
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