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White Wins Her First Three-Star at Bromont
Bromont, QC, Canada
by Amber Heintzberger
Photo: Anthony Trollope/StockImageServices.com

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Sharon White (USA) and The King's Spirit
It was a great day for Sharon White, her kept her cool to win the inaugural CCI*** at Bromont, Quebec, her first win at the three-star level. White said that the win was made even more special because her horse, The King's Spirit, is owned by Peter and Susan Barry, who are great supporters of the event. She also learned that her mother Carol, who has the same type of terminal brain cancer that Senator Ted Kennedy has, had a good result from a biopsy performed at Duke University over the weekend, in that the tumor is not worse.

"It was hard not to be there this weekend - this is for Mom," said White, 34 of Summit Point, West Virginia. "I've been doing this for a long time and it's my first three-star win, it's very exciting." White had one rails and three time faults and finished on 78.3 penalties.

Andrea Baxter, 25 of Paso Robles, California made up for a string of bad luck by claiming second place in the three-star riding her homebred Thoroughbred mare Estrella. Last year Baxter had entered Fair Hill and Estrella had already been shipped east when Baxter was thrown from her mother's preliminary horse at home and broke her arm the day before she was supposed to fly out. This spring she tried again, traveling to New Jersey for the Jersey Fresh CIC***, but Estrella developed an udder infection the morning of cross-country that took a week to recover from. "I guess the third time's a charm!" she said after a well ridden round with one rail and no time faults to finish on 78.3.

Third place went to Sarah Cousins on Tsunami (102.7) who also finished fifth on The Robber Baron (111.4). Canadian Young Rider Waylon Roberts had an uncharacteristic three rails down on Paleface to finish fourth (108.3). Dressage leader Boyd Martin (Australia) finished sixth (138.8) riding Benwald, owned by Anne Hennessey.

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Boyd Martin (AUS) and Galileo VI
Martin had a better result in the CCI** riding Galileo VI, a horse that he is riding for his employer Phillip Dutton. Jumping clear and in the time, he finished on 47.9 to win the competition. Martin's childhood friend Ryan Wood, also over from Australia working for Bruce Davidson, placed second (57.9) on Wynella Wolverine jumping clear and adding only one time fault. Michelle Mueller of Ontario finished third on Amistad (68.0).

Last night was a long one for Martin, his groom Beth and veterinarian Christiana Ober. Galileo looked good when he finished cross-country but began to show signs of colic around 9pm. The trio spent the night walking him, giving him fluids and observing him and finally around 1:30pm he started to show improvement, just when they had decided it might be a good idea to medicate him, which would have meant he would have had to withdraw from the competition. Martin expressed his gratitude to Dr. Ober for being patient and persisting in treating Galileo so that he could finish the competition.

"The good horses jumped the show jumping course well," said Martin. "I think that a good rider get can get a horse through the dressage and show jumping but if they're a little green for the level you can't cheat the show jumping phase - it's where a lot of greenness shows up. Galileo is still a bit green but he's a good show jumper. I think with time he could be one of the best in the country. That's one of the advantages of riding for Phillip - while he's concentrating on the horses he might take to Beijing I get to ride his top-notch young horses. I'll probably get him qualified for a three-star and then Phillip will ride him again."

Wood, who suffered a catastrophic fall at Ocala in February that had him out of commission for a while, is glad to be back in action. He also said, "If I had to be beat by someone it was good to be beat by my buddy Boyd." Wood was quick to acknowledge the support of Bruce Davidson and his family and friends in his success. Potentially he hopes to run Wynella Wolverine at the Fair Hill CCI*** this fall.

In the CCI* Nicole Parkin (CAN) jumped clear and in the time to hang on to her lead riding Nique Henrie's mare Lexus and in the CIC* Ashley Leith (CAN) had two rails down and was in the time to win riding ESB Irish Doctrine.

The first CCI*** at Bromont was a smashing success but there was a sad element to the weekend. Yesterday on cross-country Task Master, ridden by Ashlynne Bugg (CAN) fell at fence 16, a roll-top. He cantered away from the fence but after examination at the veterinary box he was transported to the hospital at the Faculte´ du Médicine vétérinaire of the University of Montreal.

Later in hospital he passed away due a to pelvic fracture and internal blood loss. Ashlynne suffered a broken wrist and was released from the hospital that day and returned to the competition site.

The staff of Eventing News wish to extend their sympathies to the owner and rider of Task Master.

This is a sad occurrence, especially in light of several similar occurrences this spring in the sport of eventing, but it should not detract from the fact that Bromont was a well-run event and that the cross-country courses were well designed and beautifully built. Overall competitors were extremely enthusiastic about developments at the venue as well as positive about organization of the event.

"They spent a lot of money on this event and it was an incredible effort," said White. To me it's a privilege to ride here, they put so much work into it."


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