Clark Montgomery led a revival in US eventing fortunes with an untouchable performance from the outset of this year’s Blenheim Horse Trials to win by an incredible margin. The final top 10 looked very different to those we’ve become used to at UK 3-Day-Events in recent years. Clark was joined by to 2 fellow team mates ( Lauren Keiffer 6th & Emily Beshear 7th).
Tim Price, who dropped to 5th after knocking down a rail, was the only New Zealander in the top 10. Chris Burton held onto his second place and the remaining slots were taking up by the young blood of the British Team, and Kevin McNab.
It’s the first time in a while we’ve seen a 3-Day-Event top 10 not dominated by Germans, New Zealanders or the stalwarts of the British Team. With so much younger, fresher talent appearing in the top 20 this year perhaps we’re seeing a distinct hand-off to the next generation. Even with several notable absentees, this was a decent field of over 100 horses that provided another memorable competition.
Wednesday’s torrential rain late in the day had no adverse effect on the competition or event, and the sun came through over the main four days. The turf conditions were absolutely perfect and you could see a good cut in the ground without it kicking up. I just hope the crowd numbers were up to reflect how good a family day out this event is, and reward Mandy and her team for all the effort they put into making this event so special.
With 2 days of cross country action over the weekend, nothing else really comes close to encouraging more non-horsey people to return for more than a day. It’s one of the best events in the world.
This year the Americans came in droves, and stole the show!
A few photos from the Show Jumping Finale: