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Loach Bests her Coach at Bromont
Bromont, QC, Canada
by Amber Heintzberger
Photo: Anthony Trollope/
Colleen Loach (CAN) and at the Todd Sandler Challenge Memorial trophy
It takes a cool competitor to finish on her dressage score and beat Phillip Dutton in the bargain, but Colleen Loach kept a level head and rode a double clear show jumping round to do just that and win the CCI** at Bromont riding Peter Barry's Irish horse Longfield Dougal on her score of 49.69. Both Loach and Barry train with Dutton, making the nine-hour trek to Pennsylvania on a monthly basis, and he must have taught her a few useful skills in those lessons.

Loach took the lead when dressage leader John Williams and Sweepea Dean incurred time faults on cross-county. She has competed up to the three-star level previously, and been riding Longfield Dougal since last summer. The eleven-year-old gelding had done several intermediates previously, but was injured shortly after arriving in Canada and had some time off to recuperate.

"My horse was trying so hard and jumped really well," she said after her round. Loach was awarded the Todd Sandler Challenge memorial trophy for her efforts.

Dutton finished second on Loose N' Cool, owned by Nina Gardner, who was fresh off an intermediate win at Virginia two weeks ago. He put in a confident-looking performance at Bromont to finish in second place despite one unfortunate rail down. Dutton said that he liked riding in the big arena at Bromont and felt that the course was a good test of horse and rider.
Shawn Price (USA) and Jack The Lad
John Williams brought his Canadian horse home for a little taste of Canadian competition and went home with third place in the CCI**. Williams and his wife Ellen purchased Sweepea Dean as a two-year-old from the same farm in Ontario where they bought his Olympic partner, Carrick. "He's out of a Thoroughbred mare by Cozymyn, who is a three-quarter bred by Carrick's sire, out of a half-Friesian mare," he said. "He's a full brother to Gretchen Butts' horse Zydeco."

In the CIC** Young Rider Shawn Price, 18 of Louisville, Kentucky won the competition with her off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding Jack the Lad. Price said that she has mostly been working on her dressage, training with Susan Harris. She was placed third after the first phase but when both the first and second-placed horses had refusals on cross-country, Price took the lead and was not about to let it go. She had an unfortunate two rails down in stadium jumping, but lucky for her Martha Griggs and Gregory also had a rail and stayed in second place.

Dutton had a successful competition with both of his horses this weekend. In the CCI* a relatively new ride to Dutton, Mighty Mangaroo, led from start to finish on his dressage score of 50.71. Owned by Ann Jones, the six-year-old Australian thoroughbred gelding was imported by Boyd Martin, who is also based in the US. The young horse looked calm and confident as he tackled the final phase of the event and cantered around like it was a hunter course.

Sharon White and Fortunate Son went into show jumping in second place but brought most of the rails to the ground; Hillary Popiel also had numerous rails down, so Canadian team rider Penny Rowland moved up from fourth to finish second riding the handsome grey gelding Charley Farley, currently on trial from Jill Henneberg for purchase by Don J. Good.

Rowland, of Orangeville, Ont. had only sat on Charley Farley about seven times before the competition, but said that she was confident in the horse since he had competed up to intermediate with Austin O'Connor before Henneberg imported him from Ireland. Also, since Rowland rode at Jersey Fresh last weekend, she said the preliminary-size jumps looked a little smaller.

"I'd love to take him on to be a to be a team horse - that's what the thought process is," said Rowland. "Now he is qualified to do a two-star, but there is no two-star to go to. That's a problem; if someone would put one on, they would have no problem getting the entries." As for the event at Bromont, she said, "They have done an absolutely fabulous job - they deserve way more entries here but I think word of mouth is gonna fly and they'll have way more entries next year. The cross-country course was perfect, it looking imposing to the riders but was very horse-friendly and rode well."

Susan Berrill of Brownsville, Vermont won the CIC* with the 12-year-old mare Welton Hvala. The mare recently returned to competition following an injury and Berrill said that she is getting her back into the swing of things.

"Her dressage was pretty good - I am still working her back into the form she was in," said Berrill. Three rails down in stadium did not cost her the lead, and Berrill said that the jumping is always their toughest phase. "It was nice and forward but the oxers and big and square and that's what I pulled." She grinned, "I was very pleased with her cross-country. She was fast and clean and made me remember why I like to ride her so much!"

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