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Two Wins for Byyny at Bromont
Bromont, QC, Canada
by Amber Heintzberger
Photos: Anthony Trollope/
Jan Byyny (USA) and Syd Kent
Jan Byyny brought home two first-place ribbons from the Bromont three-day event in Bromont, Quebec September 21-23, 2007. Byyny and her own Syd Kent won the CCI** on their dressage score of 49.1 and with Allie Lawaetz' young Dario she claimed the Preliminary division (55.6). Two similarly named horses claimed second place in each division: Alice Joy and Destination Unknown were second in preliminary while Allison Springer and Destination Known placed second in the CCI**.

"It was the first time I'd been to Bromont in about 18 years and you couldn't ask for a more laid-back event," said Byyny. "They try so hard to be accommodating to the riders."

Byyny, who runs Surefire Horse Trials at her own Surefire Farm in Purcellville, Virginia, has had a successful start with both of these horses that are relatively new to her. At Stuart (NY) this summer Syd Kent was third in the intermediate and Dario won the preliminary. At Wardeca Syd was second and Dario was third, and at Seneca both horses placed second in their respective divisions. Byyny purchased Syd Kent herself in England this Juneß and Lawaetz bought Dario in France last November as a five-year-old.

Both of Byyny's horses led their divisions from start to finish this weekend. Syd Kent finished on his dressage score and Dario added only 2 time faults on cross-country. Only one horse, Hadley Warner's No Secrets, went clear on both cross-country and stadium in the preliminary division. Only three horses out of a field of 24 were double clear in the CCI**.

"Both horses were fantastic," said Byyny. "I couldn't have asked for a nicer weekend! Dario's so fancy on the flat though, I'd have to screw up not to win. The arena has a lot of atmosphere, with or without spectators, and Dario was spooky but sharp in the dressage and stadium jumping. Syd Kent was green in the dressage and until about the fourth fence on cross-country, then he was foot-perfect. He jumped fantastic. The top five horses were all good jumping horses and Allison Springer left me no room for error!"
Missy Miller (USA) and Dene Court
Young Rider Caitlin Romeo claimed the CIC** riding Spirit of the Outback (73.9) followed by Jamie Price on Maximus (77.9). A good dressage score of 50.3 ensured the win for Romeo who had three rails down in stadium and 11.6 time faults on cross-country. Price had two rails down but still could not catch Romeo after a dressage score of 69.1. Only four horses were entered in this division, which seemed to be cursed with bad luck; Ariel Grald's Practically Perfect was spun at the jog and Ashley Jones with Tinkabella retired on cross-country.

Melissa Miller of Ohio won the CIC* on Dene Court when dressage leader Meghan Bailie of Ontario added four time faults on cross-country and had two rails down in stadium jumping riding Stryker. Caitlin Wallace who was second after dressage also had time faults and two rails, which clinched the win for Miller after her clear stadium round.

Organizers did not run a CCI* since there will be one at Wit's End in Ontario next weekend. Four horses competed in an Advanced Combined Test, which was won by Darren Chiacchia on Windfall II, who he plans to take to Wit's End. Chiacchia placed second with his Pan-Am Games partner Better I Do It, owned by Adrienne Iorio-Borden. Winner of the spring event at Bromont, Colleen Loach competed Longfield's Dougal in the advanced combined test and finished fourth.

Tom Todaro, President of Horse Trials Quebec and a member of the Bromont organizing committee, said that this fall's event went amazingly well. "This was the first time we've run a two-star in the fall," he explained. "It was based on Americans wanting it and they were very supportive of the event. We had nearly 100 entries, which means entries were up."

The event at Bromont hosts the Todd Sandler Challenge in memory of Todd Sandler, 18 of Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec who died tragically in a car accident in 1999 while returning home from the Rolex Kentucky three-day event. Todd was a member of the 1999 Canadian Eventing Team Talent Squad and one of Canada's bright prospects for eventing's future.
Ian Roberts (CAN) and F.N.Gaudy
2007 marks the 31st anniversary of the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal; it is interesting to note that Bromont takes place at one of the few Olympic equestrian venues still active in the world today.

The many changes and improvements at Bromont, including 30 new jumps to the cross-country course designed by Derek diGrazia and built by Jay Hambly, are the first phase of preparation for the much anticipated three-star competition that is being planned for June 12-15, 2008. Ground has been broken for the new course and construction has already begun on the new water complex.

"They're still doing a lot of groundwork and working on the infrastructure," said diGrazia. "So far everything is going well - they're getting a lot of stuff done including drainage work. They'll also get a lot of portables built over the winter." diGrazia will make a few trips to Bromont from his home in California during the construction, probably after the winter.

"Derek's done a great job with the cross-country and taken a lot of the mountain out of the course, which is good," said Byyny. "The three-star sounds like it will be good too. I'd forgotten what a nice place Bromont is to compete."

Organizers hope that Bromont may be chosen as a qualifying event for the Olympic Games taking place in Beijing, China (Equestrian events will take place in Hong Kong) in August 2008 which would bring the Olympic spirit back to Bromont and would mean that Canadian riders could qualify on their home turf.  

Major renovations in addition to the new courses have taken place at Bromont in the past year and Todaro commented that it was important for the organizers to have continuity in their success. With the spring event having gone off without a hitch and now the fall event a success, things look good for the future of the event. Todaro also noted that the city has been very cooperative and that the organizers are expanding their committee to include subcommittees that can handle the various facets of the event, like sponsorship. An exciting prospect for competitors is that sponsorship will increase next year and Todaro said they will be able to offer considerable prize money for the first time.

This year's event was sponsored by Volvo Brossard, Manson, Ogilvie Horse, DJL Construction, and Sandridge Saddlery who provided handsome coolers to the winners of each division. The Training (won by Ian Roberts on F.N.Gaudy) and Preliminary divisions were part of a series sponsored by Subway called the Subway Cup, in which about $5,000 prize money was awarded during the season in Quebec.

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