American riders showed formidable jumping performances to win the seventh leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™, held in Bromont (CAN). With an experienced team of athletes most of whom had ridden at 5* level, three of the four riders jumped clear in both the jumping and cross-country tests. The American quartet was made up of Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp, Lillian Heard, Colleen Routledge and Andrew McCannon. They finished on a score of 138.6 ahead of the host nation, Canada on 158.3. Australia were the only other nation competing but had only one rider completing the competition.
Bromont Horse Trials is one of the most important equestrian events in Canada and the only FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ leg in the Americas. Whilst riders faced a tough cross-country challenge, which saw a number of retirements, they were full of praise for the ground conditions.
Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp, a stalwart of the US Team, was the overall winner of the CCI 4*-S on Miks Master C, after jumping a double clear and one of the fastest cross-country rounds of the day: "It was a proper course here but my horse was world class. Hopefully we will go to Boekelo for the final (Nations Cup)."
Teammate Lillian Heard who was recently married to Australian event rider Ryan Wood, has been to Bromont many times and cites it as her favourite event. Despite riding at 5* level, this was her first Nations Cup experience.
“This is my first time being on a team since Young Riders 15 years ago, it was really cool and elevates the stakes by which you're playing. I am usually only competing for myself so it was cool to go out and think I’ve got to be good for me but I have to be good for other people which adds a different element and is good practice.
“The course was awesome, this event is never easy and you don’t come here thinking anything is a given. The footing is great but the courses are tough. This is my horse’s first run back and he’s quite experienced - this feels more like a championship competition which is good because when we go to the other events, it feels easy. I was the first out so I didn’t have any intel which worked out fine, because my horse doesn't always do what the others do. The waters were tough and almost 5* questions and my horse was really good. The jumps were big and technically hard and the terrain makes a difference here too, but it’s supposed to be getting us ready for the 5* level so it’s good.
Andrew McConnon was another rider on the USA team having his first Nations Cup experience and was happy with his double clear. “This was my first team challenge and it was great to work with these three experienced ladies (Halliday-Sharp, Heard and Routledge) who were very kind and giving with information. I love it (being part of teams) and would love to be a part of more.”
Germany now lead the overall standings on 290 points and the FEI Nations Cup™ competition moves to Arville (BEL) which concludes today (21 August).
FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ 2022 Calendar & Team standings can be found here
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