Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cheval Blanc Speed Derby: Christine McCrea Shines Once Again at the International Bromont!

Bromont, July 24, 2010 – The 35th Edition of the International Bromont ended this July 25 full speed ahead! The $15,000 Cheval Blanc Speed Derby created quite a stir among riders and spectators alike. The concept is simple: the first part of the course is executed inside the arena. An obstacle then leads the riders outside, where they go under the bridge, then through an obstacle which leads them inside the second arena, then through a decline back into the International Ring, where they finally complete the course comprising of a total of 21 obstacles! Only the stopwatch determines the winner, and riders beware: a fallen rail will add four seconds to the running time! The Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park makeover added tremendous magnitude to this already spectacular event, presenting many challenges to the riders. It was a close contest, but Christine McCrea took top honours with style.

14 rider-horse teams rose to the challenge, with many up-and-coming Québec natives to the starting line. David Arcand with two horses, Tarzan and Artan tackled the course, as well as king of speed François Lamontagne with both Arise Z and Unik Circa, first time participant Anne-Sophie Milette, and Nicolas-Xavier Bélanger with Papabili. Among the household names, Yann Candele and Erynn Ballard from Team Canada, as well as Irishman Jonathon McCrea and his American wife Christine, who was yesterday’s winner of the Bobcat CSI**.
First competitor to the course, Mélissandre Lincourt throws it all into the ring, but 20 penalty points are added to her time for a grand total of 146.76 seconds. David Arcand and Tarzan bet all their chips on tight turns, and sign off in 128.38 seconds. Affectionately referred to as the “Flying Frenchman” back in his days of representing his native country, Yann Candele ups the stakes with a 120.68 seconds time to beat, and a single jumping fault at the very last obstacle. François Lamontagne with Unik Circa charge out with full intent on winning! It’s a flawless run up until the last two obstacles, and 8 seconds are added to an exceptional 116.80 seconds time. At this stage of the competition, Lamontagne ranks 2nd. Immediately after, American Christine McCrea raises the bar with a time of 119.32 seconds and a faultless run. Despite an exemplary run, Canadian Erynn Ballard is unable to clench 1st position, signing off with a time of 126.11 seconds. Even with a flawless run, Irishman Jonathan McCrea cannot dislodge his wife from 1st place! Fatigue gets the best of François Lamontagne, yet with a second horse in the running, the Québec native still manages 9th place.

The 35th Edition of the International Bromont forges ahead on Sunday July 25 with many competitions, including the Hunter Classic. The highlight of the day and of this first week of competition will no doubt be the much awaited $65,000 BonjourQué World Cup Qualifier set to start at 2 :30, where the cream of the crop will step onto the course. Jump into the action and witness a page of equestrian history! 35th Edition of the International Bromont, from July 21st to August 1st, 2010. Information: Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, 450 chemin de Gaspé, Highway 10, Exit 78, 450 534-0787,,
1st Christine McCrea / Twister – 119’32
2nd Yann Candele / Carolla Z – 120’68
3rd François Lamontagne / Unik Circa – 124’80
4th Errynn Ballard / Fun 2 Fly – 126’11
5th David Arcand / Tarzan – 128’38
6th Jonathon McCrea / Viktor VDL – 134’03
7th Kaila Robert / Rojak – 135’15
8th Mélissandre Lincourt / rainy Day – 136’86
9th François Lamontagne / Arise Z – 141’42
10th Mélissandre Lincourt / Wicoca – 146’76

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