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Glaus' Horse Wins Bromont CCI**
Bromont, QC, Canada
by Amber Heintzberger

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Michelle Mueller and Amistad
Photo: Anthony Trollope
Buck Davidson and Private Heart (55.8) came from behind to win the Bromont CCI** on June 8- 11 in Bromont, Quebec. The Irish gelding is owned by Major League baseball player Troy Glaus of the Toronto Blue Jays and his wife Ann, so the victory on home soil rang Canadian.

Things looked promising for the local contingent when Canadian Team rider Garry Roque of Caldedon East, Ontario led the division with Leatherhead from dressage (47.6) and held his lead after cross-country, but six rails down on Sunday plummeted the pair into ninth place while Davidson and "Jock" moved up from fifth place after dressage to win the division. Davidson also placed fifth in the CCI** on Triomphe.

As the winner of the CCI**, Davidson, of Ringoes, NJ also claimed the Todd Sandler Challenge. The award is presented in memory of Sandler, an aspiring event rider from Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec and a 1999 Canadian Eventing Team Talent Squad member, who died tragically in a car accident on April 26, 1999 at age 18.

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Gwen Lehari and Daniel
Photo: Anthony Trollope
Davidson's student Kristen Bond and Three Wishes placed second in the CCI** and British rider Robin Walker, who lives in Michigan, took third place with Loughnatousa Spot; he also rode Loughnatousa Flash to fourth place in the CIC**.

Gwen Lehari of Uxbridge, ON finished fourth overall riding Daniel, a 12-year-old gelding she has had since he was three, and was the top Canadian rider in the CCI**. "It's very, very fun riding a horse you've had this long," she said. "I wouldn't be doing intermediate with another horse - I'd lost my confidence in an accident, but I got it back with Daniel. He makes it fun." Lehari's daughter Kendal placed sixth overall in the CCI* riding Understudy.

US rider Will Coleman of Charlottesville, VA won the CCI* riding K Du Manoir, a Selle Francais/Thoroughbred gelding that he purchased two years ago.  Coleman was complimentary of the organizers of the event for keeping things running smoothly in spite of adverse weather conditions.

Buck Davidson came second in the CCI* with Ballynocastle RM, a talented Irish gelding owned in partnership by Ann Glaus and Cassandra Segal. Third place and top Canadian placing went to 17-year-old Erika Koczi of Ayers Cliff, QC riding Dare to Compare.

23-year-old Jessica Ruppel of Ravenna, ON and her 15-hand, Appaloosa cross gelding Naughty by Nature won the CIC**.

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Vanessa Fenwick
Photo: Anthony Trollope
"The courses here are really well built and have great flow," she said. "They asked good but fair questions and I think my horse learned a lot." Ruppel has done one Advanced horse trials with her gelding and said that she would like to take him to Florida to do a three-star next winter if things are going well. "I just don't know what he has in him," she said, "and I'm not in a big hurry."

Vanessa Fenwick of Pefferlaw, ON and Balista came second in the CIC**, setting them on the right track to move up to the CIC*** at Wayne. Fenwick purchased Balista this spring from Emeline Loughlin, who owned the gelding when Mike Winter rode him at the Athens Olympics. She spent the winter working with Mike and developing a partnership with Balista. Fenwick is working on developing her business as a professional rider and said that she bought Balista to help her gain top level experience and hopefully make the Canadian team.

"He felt amazing!" said Fenwick. "I was the second one out, so the footing was really good. It just kept pouring, so I withdrew the other two horses that I had entered."

Michelle Mueller of Port Perry, ON won the CIC* with Amistad, a horse that she will ride for a few years while the owner is at University. She said that the seven-year-old Thoroughbred/Percheron gelding moved up to Preliminary just this year and she has her eye on moving him up next year to Intermediate.

A CCI*** is planned for Bromont next year, with the cross-country course designed by Capt. Mark Phillips. This would mean that selection trials could be held on Canadian soil, and that Bromont will be a potential qualifying event for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Organizers said that sponsorship is already coming in with the promise of television coverage, and that things are looking promising for the future of Bromont, site of the equestrian events at the Montreal Olympics thirty years ago.


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