September 16, 2015–A massive field of 101 combinations are set for the start of the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials CCI3* following the first horse inspection on Wednesday. A total of seven American combinations are part of the field, including four grant recipients, for the prestigious CCI3* taking place September 17-20.
Lauren Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) and Veronica have had much success competing in Europe this year. Back in June, she and Team Rebecca, LLC’s 2003 Dutch Warmblood mare finished seventh in the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials CCI3*. They are at Blenheim with the help of a Karen E. Stives Endowment Fund for High Performance Eventing Competition Grant through the USET Foundation. This grant also allowed them to compete in the Aachen CICO3*, where they assisted the U.S. Team to a Bronze medal-finish and were 15th individually at the challenging event. The duo is set for another top performance at Blenheim. Listen to Kieffer’s thoughts as competition at Blenheim is about to get underway.
Will Coleman (Gordonsville, Va.) will ride OBOS O’Reilly in the horse’s European FEI debut at Blenheim, thanks to a USEF Land Rover Competition Grant. He and The Four Star Eventing Group’s 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding finished an impressive sixth place in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover CCI4* in the horse’s first attempt at the level. In August, they had a solid prep run at Richland Park in the competitive CIC3* division, finishing in 13th place.
Rising stars Elisa Wallace (Jasper, Ga.) and Simply Priceless received a USEF Land Rover Competition Grant to make their overseas debut at Blenheim. She and David and Jill Hopcroft’s 2001 Thoroughbred gelding had a notable CCI4* debut at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover, finishing in 17th place. They finished seventh in their last outing at the Richland Park CIC3*, setting them up well for their Blenheim appearance.
Emily Beshear (Somerset, Va.) brings Shame On The Moon for the horse’s first European competition with the help of a USEF Land Rover Competition Grant. She and Deep Purple Eventing’s 2006 Trakehner/Thoroughbred mare have collected several top placings this year. This spring, the pair was seventh in the Jersey Fresh International CIC3*, then second at the Bromont International CCI3*. They come to Blenheim having finished third in the Richland Park CIC3*.
Three other strong combinations will represent the U.S. at Blenheim: Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night, Jennifer McFall and High Times, and Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen. Halliday-Sharp (East Sussex, UK) and Deborah Halliday’s 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding recently finished eighth in the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials CIC3*. McFall (Wilton, Calif.) and her own 2004 Holsteiner gelding had a great showing at The Event at Rebecca Farm CIC3*, finishing third. Montgomery (Tetbury, England) and Jessica Montgomery, Kathryn Kraft, and Holly and William Becker’s 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding had a fantastic sixth-place finish in the Luhmühlen CCI4* presented by DHL back in June, and recently fine-tuned their skills after a short break by winning the Somerford Park CIC2*.
The dressage phase begins tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. BST and continues Friday.
The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members. Without the support of these organizations and individuals, it would not be possible to support our athletes. The USEF is especially grateful to individuals who give generously of their time and money to support the equestrian teams.