The Sport of Eventing
Eventing is essentially an"equestrian triathlon" combining three phases of "Dressage," "Cross Country" and "Show Jumping."
This exciting international and Olympic sport has evolved from its origins as a military test of skill to a popular spectator attraction. Eventing is unique in its demad for the partnership between two minds and two bodies. The relationship between horse and rides is paramount.
The grace and elegance of the Dressage, the speed, power and endurance of Cross Country, and the agility and precision of Show Jumping make Eventing High Caliber Entertainment.
The Dressage phase begins every Eventing competition. The term "dressage" comes from the French word meaning simply "to train." The dressage test consists of a set series of movements performed on the flat in an arena. The degree of difficulty of the dressage test increases with each level of competition. The purpose of the dressage test is to demonstrate communication and harmony between the horse and rider, and display the obedience, power and grace required to perform each movement with balance, suppleness and rhythm in all three gaits. A correct dressage foundation is important in the development of the event horse. Dressage training is necessary to build the communication, muscular strength and suppleness needed for jumping and galloping phases of the event.
Cross Country, usually the second phase of an event, tests the house and rider over varied terrain and obstacles, including water, ditches and banks. This cross course which must be negotiated within a time limit, is a test of obedience, jumping ability, bravery, and fitness. The speed required and the length and difficulty of the course increase with each level of competition. A rider's knowledge of pace is essential in order for his horse to finish within the time limit and to use only as much of his horse's energy as necessary. At the more difficult levels, the horse must be capable of increasing demands on his endurance and agility. At the highest levels the total distance covered in the endurance phase can be close to 20 miles.
The Show Jumping Phase is generally the third and final phase of competition. Horse and rider must jump a course of colored rails and obstacles in an arena, in front of thousands of roaring fans. Obedience, jumping ability and harmony between horse and rider are necessary for this phase. After two previous phases of competition, including a physically grueling cross country course, horse and rider must complete this last jumping test while trying not to incur additional penalties.. This is a test of true stamina, as well as amazing agility and precision.
In both the 1976 and 1984 Olympic Games, the U. S. Three Day team won gold medals, as well as individual gold and silver. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, The U. S. Three Day team won the silver medal and the individual bronze medal. At the 1999 Pan-American Games the United States won the team gold medal, and the individual silver and bronze medals. In Sydney in 2000, with an Olympic record breaking score, U. S. Team member, David O'Connor won the individual gold medal. At the 2002 World Equestrian Games, the U. S. Eventing Squad captured the team gold medal. The U. S. will be fielding a competitive squad this summer for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
The World Equestrian Games will be hosted in 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky. This event will bring hundreds of thousands of spectators to the United States and to Kentucky. It will be the largest equestrian event ever held in the United States. This highly anticipated event will offer sponsors remarkable opportunity for corporate visibility and image enhancement.
Clark Montgomery is part of a long legacy of riding and training. Since 1999, Clark has trained full-time with Olympians David and Karen O'Connor. Clark has gained invaluable knowledge, experience and notoriety. Poised as the next generation in this line of equestrian greatness, with the necessary financial support and ongoing experience, Clark hopes to continue this legacy.
Clark was named to the 2008 United States Equestrian Federation Eventing Winter Training List. As one of only 18 riders in the country he will have the opportunity to train with Chef d'Equipe, Mark Phillips and Laura Kraut, a member of the US Show Jumping team, in preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics.