Jessica Phoenix and Little Romance with Jaguar Landrover International CCI 3* Three Day Event

Jessica Phoenix and A Little Romance win the Bromont CCI Three Star competition. Photo by Cealy Tetly.
Jessica Phoenix and A Little Romance win the Bromont CCI Three Star competition. Photo by Cealy Tetly.

Canadian Equestrian Team member Jessica Phoenix of Uxbridge, Ontario and A Little Romance, a petite mare with big talent, jumped to victory Sunday on the final day of the Jaguar Land Rover International CCI Three Day Event.

“Little Blue Eyes was unbelievable!” said an ecstatic Phoenix, referring to the 15.1 hand mare by her nickname (because when she was born, her eyes had a bluish tinge). “This is her first CCI three star and we definitely weren’t going for the win, we were going for her personal best, which she gave me and she won it. I can’t believe it.”

Phoenix immediately called the mare’s breeders and owners, Don and Anita Leschied of Woodslee, Ontario “and we were all crying on the phone.”

Although the mare dropped one rail during the show jumping phase of the three day to pick up four faults and finish with a score of 59.80, but the ride was enough to move them into top place (they had been in second after Saturday’s cross country phase). As winner, Phoenix received the Todd Sandler Challenge Trophy.

A Little Romance is by the Thoroughbred stallion A Fine Romance. The mare is “the sweetest horse and I love her,” said Phoenix. “She is incredibly obedient to ride and has so much heart like Exponential (Phoenix’s 2012 Olympic mount) and Pavarotti (her Pan Am gold medal ride.)”

Lisa Barry of The Plains, Virginia, finished in second in the CCI 3 star with FIS Prince Charming, a 10-year-old grey Thoroughbred gelding.

Lynn Symansky of Middleburg, Virginia won the CIC three star and Meghan Perry of Nantucket, Massachusetts was second with her Canadian Sport Horse gelding Nicos, with 99.80.

Lauren Kieffer of Middleburg, Virginia had a fantastic weekend, taking first place in the CCI two division with Meadowbrook’s Scarlett,a seven-year-old Thoroughbred mare owned by Marie LeMenestrel, and second with Landmark’s Monte Carlo, an Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Jacqueline Mars.

Buck Davidson of Riegelsville, Pennsylvania and Australian Ryan Wood battled it out in the CCI one star division, with Davidson finishing on his dressage score of 39 to hold on to first with Be Mine, an eight-year-old Rheinlander gelding owned by Amy Tunney of Greenlawn, New York. Wood, based in West Grove, Pennsylvania, claimed second and third places with Woodstock Wallaby, his own grey Irish Sport Horse gelding, and Woodstock Bennett, a bay Thoroughbred gelding owned by Creek Farm.

Several other Ontario riders finished in the ribbons at the Bromont three day event.

Samantha Elsenaar of Port Perry, Ontario finished in 7th place in the CCI 1* with her seven-year-old imported grey Irish Sport Horse gelding, Banbury Sky.

In CCI 2* competition, Dasha Ivandaeva of Tottenham, Ontario and her Polish bred Throughbred cross gelding Autorytet finished in 6th place, while Canadian Team member Diana Burnett of Blackstock, Ontario finished 12th with her nine-year-old gelding, Bonner’s Chief II.

Cody Sturgess of Port Perry, Ontario finished 11th in the CCI 3* with his 13-year-old Thoroughbred mare, Imperial Melody.

The Jaguar Land Rover Bromont International CCI 3* is Canada’s only 3* FEI event, now in its 27th year. It is held at the spectacular Bromont Olympic Park,  host of the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

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