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Bromont, Quebec – Marilyn Little-Meredith took the lead in the CIC3* division of the Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event, The Todd Sandler Challenge, following the opening phase of dressage in Bromont, Quebec.
This 26th edition of the Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event is the final North American outing for athletes seeking a berth at the 2012 Olympic Games. The majority of top Canadian and American Olympic Team hopefuls have opted to compete in the CIC3* division of the Bromont event.
Little-Meredith of Frederick, MD, earned a score of 38.6 penalties riding RF Rovano Rex to top an international starting field of 33 horses. Little-Meredith, who competes at the grand prix level in show jumping as well, also holds 17th position with RF Demeter, another horse that she has declared for U.S. Olympic Team consideration.
Boyd Martin of Aiken, SC, is currently second in the CIC3* division riding Remington XXV with a score of 39 penalties and third riding Neville Bardos with 42 penalties.
The top Canadian following the opening phase of dressage is Selena O’Hanlon of Elgin, ON, riding Colombo, her partner at both the 2008 Olympic Games and the 2010 World Equestrian Games. With a score of 47.4 penalties, O’Hanlon is tied for tenth position with American Will Faudree aboard Andromaque.
“This is really a preparation event for Canada’s team,” said Canadian Eventing Team Technical Advisor and 2000 Olympic Champion, David O’Connor.
O’Connor also noted that the Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event plays an important role in the Canadian Olympic Eventing Team’s final preparations for London, saying, “Overall I am quite happy with how the riders did today.”
In addition to the CIC3*, 42 horses contested the dressage phase of the CCI2* division on Friday. In first place after dressage with 43.9 penalties is Olympic team silver and bronze medalist Karen O’Connor of the United States riding Mandiba. Lying second with 44.7 penalties is American Liz Millikin with Masterpiece 54. Danielle Dichting, also of the USA, is third with The Graduate on a score of 45.6 penalties.
The cross-country phase, regarded as the most thrilling phase in eventing sport, will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday with the CCI2* division held first, followed by the CCI3*, CIC3* and CCI* divisions. Bromont’s cross-country course, which is built on the same terrain used for the evening competition at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, is designed by Derek Di Grazia of the United States and built by Canada’s Jay Hambly. The third and final phase of competition, show jumping, will take place on Sunday, June 10.
A total of 149 horses are contesting the four divisions of the 2012 Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event, which is one of North America’s most prestigious three day events. The venue, which was built to host the equestrian events at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, is a fitting site for the final team selections for the Canadian and U.S. Olympic Eventing Teams. The event is generously supported by Volvo, Beaulieu Canada and several other sponsors.
The Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event, The Todd Sandler Challenge, is made possible in part through a contribution from the Government of Canada. The organizing committee also wishes to thank the Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, for their support of this year’s event.
For more information about the Bromont Three Day Event, including live scoring, please visit the bilingual website, www.bromontcci.com.