Bromont, QC, August 23, 2022 – In the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Eventing Nations Cup™ held at the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park from August 19 – 20, 2022, the Canadian team of veterans and newcomers, Colleen Loach, Kendal Lehari, Jessica Phoenix and Jamie Kellock combined for a final score of 158.3, earning second place honours on home soil.

With perfect weather in Bromont throughout the weekend, spectators witnessed horse and rider combinations from Canada, the United States and Australia, competing in divisions from open training to 4* level in courses designed by Brody Robertson (Show Jumping), Jay Hambly (Cross Country) and Derek di Grazia (Cross Country).

Two-time Olympian Loach of Dunham, QC, lead the Canadian charge with FE Golden Eye, a 10-year-old bay Hanoverian gelding (Goldfever 3 x Contendro I) that she co-owns with Maureen Lemay, Peter Barry and Amanda Bernhard, earning a score of 33.1 in the dressage phase to begin the weekend. The duo would improve their score with zero faults in show jumping and complete the cross country stage with 12.0 time penalties to finish with a final score of 45.1 for third overall individually in the CCI4*-S.

“Pretty pleased with how the event went, it was a great last run; in terms of the cross country and great course designed by Derek,” said Loach when asked about the FEI Nations Cup™ in her home province. “We tried some new things in dressage, so I think it was a great learning curve before going into the final run.”

Loach and FE Golden Eye competing in the cross country course
Photo Credit: Cealy Tetley

Lehari of Uxbridge, ON, competed on her first Canadian team aboard her own nine-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding Audacious (Iron Man x Rumlum Star), beginning the weekend with a score of 41.7 in dressage, the pair would jump clear in show jumping to move up eight places to 16 and finish strong with a cross country time penalty of 14.0 to finish in eighth place.

“It was a fantastic experience; I’ve had a great season on Audacious and it was part of my goal to be here. When I received the phone call to be part of the Canadian team, I was very excited,” Lehari said. “It’s such a great group of girls I was competing with, Colleen and Jessie bring a lot of experience to the team and understanding the team atmosphere benefits me hopefully in the years to come.”

Lehari and Audacious
Photo Credit: Cealy Tetley

Following Lehari in the standings was Phoenix of Cannington, ON, and Wabbit, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred (Line of Departure x Great Gladiator) that she co-owns with Jim Phillips. The duo began the weekend with a score of 40.3 and tied for 16th position, then had two rails and a time penalty of 1.6 in show jumping for 20th place. With a strong cross country run, the duo recorded the best running time of all competitors adding just 7.6 for a final score of 57.5, moving them up to finish 9th overall.

“The first Nations Cup on home soil at such an incredible venue shows our sport at the highest levels, the terrain, the courses they put together prepare the horses for the world stage,” Phoenix said. The three-time Olympian added, “it’s an incredible opportunity for our team unified and supportive of each other, second place, pretty amazing.”

Phoenix and Wabbit
Photo Credit: Cealy Tetley

Kellock of Cedar Valley, ON, and her own Summer Bay, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding competed on their first Nations’ Cup team. “It was really amazing to be included in the whole team experience,” she said. The weekend began for Kellock with a score of 41.5 in dressage and 0.8-time penalty in show jumping, unfortunately the pair were eliminated from cross-country after a fall in the water at 18b, with horse and rider leaving the course unharmed.

“The weekend didn’t go as planned but being alongside team riders I’ve followed forever, that was amazing, I felt ton of support and my horse and I grew from it, I learned a lot and gained a lot of experience,” Kellock said.

Kellock and Summer Bay
Photo Credit: Cealy Tetley

Bromont is a venue well known in the eventing world for its four annual events including the popular MARS Bromont CCI and its landscape that has been coined an ‘eventers’ paradise’. The Quebec location was this year’s host of the only leg in the Americas of the 9 stop FEI series that runs between May and October in other key international eventing venues including Pratoni, ITA, Houghton Hall, GBR, and Le-Pin-au-Haras, FRA.

The 2022 event was successful in the eyes of competition organizer Sue Ockendon, with some caveats. “The Nations Cup went well; we were able to have three countries, but we have a long way to go to re-build the 4* of the Nations Cup in Canada.”

Ockendon, who has been a force of nature in Bromont since 1987, said, “Bromont has the structure to build the 4*, if the riders come, we could provide some good teams next year.” She added, “it has to be a 4* or else it won’t be competitive enough to the rest of the world and that’s what Bromont is.”

Canadian Chef D’Equipe and Eventing Olympian Bruce Mandeville was pleased with the course as well as the all-female team that Canada put forward to contest against the Americans and Australians. “It’s a beautiful location, beautiful course,” Mandeville said. “The team was fabulous, supporting each other; worked well together and helped each other, it was great to be involved.”

For more information on the FEI Nations Cup Canada in Bromont, QC, please click here.

For more results on all Canadian performances, please click here.