Jun 07, 2024

Shannon Lilley and Eindhoven Garette Take Charge at the MARS Bromont CCI4*-L

By Michelle Dunn - Edited Press Release
Shannon Lilley and Eindhoven Garette lead the MARS Bromont CCI4*-L following the first day of competition. Cealy Tetley photo

Bromont, Quebec, Canada—June 6—The first half of the CCI4*-L division completed their dressage tests Thursday at the MARS Bromont CCI. Shannon Lilley and her own Eindhoven Garette earned a mark of 33.8 from judges Peter Gray (CAN), Bea Di Grazia (USA), and Christian Steiner (AUT) and sit in the lead, with the second half of the field yet to ride.

“He took a while to develop in the beginning, over the first couple of years,” Lilley remarked. She originally sourced Eindhoven Garette from JP Sheffield and Dirk Schrade in Europe and purchased him on the recommendation of longtime coach Buck Davidson. “He’s come a very long way in the last six, seven months, since Morven Park [Leesburg, Virginia]. He went around the four-long at Morven really well, and he’s now come so far in the dressage, it’s really incredible.”

Lilley prepped for MARS Bromont, which has always been her goal for the spring season with this horse, with a trip to the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S, which is run alongside the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L. Her plan was to just practice dressage in Kentucky, taking advantage of the atmospheric Rolex Stadium.

“He was super in that atmosphere, and that was sort of the plan; to go and to get him in that ring and feel good about it, and he was great," she said. "Today I thought he was even better; the parts that were good were better, and then there were a couple parts that need improvement, but we always need that.”

Lilley explained the changes in her horse have extended to cross-country as much as in the dressage arena: “He looks like an overgrown pony, and he’s not; he’s so athletic, he’s like riding a little sports car,” she said. “He’s quite sharp. And he’s settled a lot in his brain and in his body over the last six months, but he is sharp and very quick. He’s got a huge amount of jump and gallop, and so to be able to get him to relax and move through his back in [the dressage] has been challenging. But he’s really brave, and he’s fast and he’s quite accurate. I’m excited to do the cross country on him.”

Boyd Martin and Kolbeinn posted the low score of the day in the CCI2*-L.

Martin Scores Best of the Day in the CCI2*-L

While a few pairs managed to squeeze into the 20s on Thursday, Boyd Martin posted the best score of the day in the CCI2*-L with Malmo Mob and Sherry Pound's Kolbeinn, an exciting 7-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding who’s been in Martin’s program for about 18 months.

Kolbeinn has show jumping in his pedigree and had jumped through 1.40-meters in Sweden before switching careers. Martin remarked that sometimes taking on a show jumper can mean some challenges in the dressage phase of eventing, but that hasn’t been the case with this horse, who Martin calls “a laidback champion.”

“Full credit to the family that had him in Sweden, they really did a superb job educating him on the flat and he clicked right onto gear,” Martin said. “He’s just very willing and he just loves his job, and to get a 21 in dressage with only 18 months under his belt. I think it’s his character; he just loves doing everything.”

Martin said he loves bringing horses at all levels to Bromont each year, commenting that the challenge of the cross-country is proper education for them. “You can expose them to what it feels like to jump a big track on undulating country, and push them over a longer distance,” he explained. “It’s a great education between this and Morven Park, it’s the two real hardcore three-day events.”

Find full results on EventEntries.com

Dressage resumes on Friday with the remainder of the CCI4*-L pairs starting at 10:02 a.m. The CCI4*-S riders will also do their dressage beginning at 11:22 a.m. The remaining CCI3*-L pairs start the day at 9:00 a.m., and the CCI2*-L dressage will also begin at 9:00 a.m.

If you are not able to be at Bromont in person, a free live stream will be provided across all phases of competition, produced by RNS Video Media and carried on the Bromont YouTube channel as well as Horse & Country at no charge to viewers.

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