Clark Montgomery Leads U.S. Team on Day One of Equestrian Eventing in Rio | USET Foundation

Clark Montgomery Leads U.S. Team on Day One of Equestrian Eventing in Rio

Rio de Janeiro – August 6, 2016 – The 2016 Olympic Games kicked off on Saturday morning with the first equestrian event. Top athletes from around the world gathered to compete during the Dressage phase of Eventing. Clark Montgomery is the highest ranked rider for the United States, turning in a test that earned 46.6 penalties on Loughan Glen for tenth place after the first two riders from each team have competed.

Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen
Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen

An overall solid score, it was a disappointment for Montgomery who hoped to be in the mix with the leaders. Loughan Glen has not earned a score outside of the 30’s in quite some time, but issues during the trot tour and in the flying changes proved very costly for the pair.

“This was [Loughan Glen’s] time to shine in the dressage and he was a little disappointing,” admitted Montgomery. “He started out really well and I don’t know what really happened. He really sucked behind my leg, where he constantly wants to walk or stop, but I squeezed every point I could of him and it’s time to focus on the cross country now.”

Montgomery added, “He’s a very good cross country horse. He’s quite reliable, so that’s what we’re all hoping on. That’s how we made the team. We thought coming here that clean cross country rounds were going to be a big part of the competition and that has definitely turned out to be true with what the course looks like.”

With many twists and turn, the course will test riders right from the beginning. It features a CIC feeling at the beginning, but will require must more endurance for the 10 minute time allowed.

“For me, it’s going to be important not to go too fast in the beginning so that I have some horse at the end,” concluded Montgomery. “That’s where a mistake can be made. You go a little too quick and lose your horse’s energy. Then at the end, where you could be making up time, you have to be on a tired horse.”

Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery are represented the United States on the first day and are currently ranked in seventeenth place individually. The pair finished on a score of 47.7, a personal best, as the first Americans to compete at the Olympic Games.

Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery
Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery

“My horse is the greenest on the team, but a good, fast galloper, so it made sense to put him put first,” noted Martin. “I think we can expect three better scores from the U.S. after my guy, but I couldn’t have asked for much more. It’s about where he is in his training, he’s still on the more inexperienced side of things and he did get a little bit excited with the cheering, but he kept his cool and did a good job.”

Now Martin is looking forward to the challenging cross country phase that looms ahead on Monday. “It’s tough, and it’s very tricky,” he stated. “My guy, it wouldn’t suit him that much with all these twists and turns and angles, so I am really going to have to ride well to get him around clear and fast. There are a lot of angles and corners and narrows. The one thing I have, this horse has tremendous speed and endurance, so I think I can afford to take my time at some of the tricky fences and really get him to look at it and press him the galloping lanes and make up some time. I’m quietly confident.”

Martin added, “I noticed a few of the other countries picked stronger show jumping and dressage horses and greener cross country horses, so it could be an exciting test. I think America has failed a bit in cross country in years past, so we decided to go with four stronger cross country riders and that could come into our favor.”

Stay tuned as the USA’s Lauren Kieffer with Veronica and Phillip Dutton on Mighty Nice take their turn during Sunday’s Dressage phase of Equestrian Eventing at 11:00 a.m. EST and 2:38 p.m. EST, respectively.

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1             GBR             FOX-PITT William             CHILLI MORNING             37.00
2             AUS             BURTON Christopher             SANTANO II             37.60
3             GER             JUNG Michael             SAM FBW             40.90
4             GER             AUFFARTH Sandra             OPGUN LOUVO             41.60
5             FRA             NICOLAS Astier             PIAF DE B’NEVILLE             42.00
6             FRA             LAGHOUAG Karim             ENTEBBE             43.40
7             NZL             TODD Mark             LEONIDAS II             44.00
8             NED             LIPS Tim             BAYRO             46.00
9             AUS             GRIFFITHS Sam             PAULANK BROCKAGH             46.30
10             USA             MONTGOMERY Clark             LOUGHAN GLEN             46.60
11             SUI             VOGG Felix             ONFIRE             46.70
12             IRL             MCCARTHY Padraig             SIMON PORLOE             46.80




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