Boekelo, The Netherlands- The United States sent two Land Rover Competition and Training Grant recipients down the centerline Thursday at the Military Boekelo CCIO3* in front of the Ground Jury composed of Sue Stewart, Eric Lieby, and Helen Christie. Leading the U.S. effort in FEI Nations Cup Eventing competition are Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. The pair performed a pleasing test to score 46.2 and stand in 11th place following the first day of dressage.
"He was good, a little nervous at the beginning. It took a few movements to get him settled but as the test went on he got more and more rideable," said Montgomery of Loughan Glen.
"The first few movements didn't score as well as I would have liked but he was great at the end."
Montgomery (Kennett Square, PA) and Holly Becker and Kathryn Kraft's nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding have benefitted greatly from Land Rover Competition and Training Grants in the last year. After winning the 2011 Bromont CCI3* in Canada, they traveled to England and placed fifth at the 2011 Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials as part of the grant program. The pair also spent the summer training and competing in England thanks to Land Rover Competition and Training Grants.
Looking towards Saturday's cross country, Montgomery anticipates Boekelo's large crowds and terrain will be a factor.
"It's got some tight turns, narrow galloping lanes. It's not a walk in the park by any stretch. I think the combination of the galloping lanes, the amount of people, and they're saying there could be a little bit of rain, will mean it rides much differently than it walks."
Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) and Tom Tierney's Atlas were the first American combination in the ring this morning scoring 54.8. The eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding stands equal 32nd at the halfway point of the first phase.
Dutton, who represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games, and the scopey gelding were fourth at the 2012 Volvo Bromont CCI3* Three Day Event in June and most recently placed fifth in CIC3* competition at the Plantation Field International Horse Trials.
Leading the field after day one is reigning European, World, and Olympic Champion Michael Jung of Germany. With Halunke FBW, Jung scored a 32 to lead fellow German countryman Dirk Schrade and Edino by nine points.
The remaining two Nations Cup team members for the U.S., Jon Holling and Jennie Brannigan, perform their dressage tests on Friday, as will Montgomery with his second horse. Brannigan will ride Nina Gardner's Cambalda at 10:36am local time, with Montgomery and wife Jessica's Universe entering the ring at 1:15pm. Holling will be the final U.S. competitor at 3:28pm with Constance Ann Holling's Downtown Harrison.
For live scoring and results visit; http://janssen.sportcg.net/2012/boekelo/leaderboard01.html
For more information about the Boekelo CCIO3* visit; http://www.military-boekelo.nl/
Follow the 2012 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.