Shane Rose, pictured with CP Qualified. (FEI/Julie Wilson)
Lausanne (SUI), 22 November 2015 – Shane Rose (AUS) created history today by taking first and second places at the Adelaide International 3 Day Event, second leg of the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016 series.
Holding on to first place with his Dressage leader, Felicity and Elizabeth Wischer’s CP Qualified, and testing the owners’ nerves by using up his fence in hand, he claimed victory for them with a 1.50 penalty lead.
He then jumped clear on Michelle Hasibar and Brett Jones’ Virgil, and it was this round on the Vivant gelding that seemed to please him the most. “The only way to win is to have horses that don’t knock the poles down,” declared a delighted Rose. Disappointing Dressage scores aside, Rose has challenged the Rio 2016 Olympic Games selectors to ignore him at their peril. He intends to take both horses to Europe next year with a run in the Aachen CIC three-star on the radar as a hope-to-be Rio warm-up.
New Zealander Clarke Johnstone also came to Adelaide with Rio on his mind and his third place and classy performance riding Balmoral Sensation, that jumped clear in the tough final Jumping phase, put a shot across the bows of the UK-based Kiwis. Johnstone, who campaigns the talented grey in 1.50m Jumping classes, intends to head to the UK in April or May next year.
We predicted that Western Australian Sheep farmer Sonja Johnson would be in the hunt in the end, and indeed she was. Johnson was in two minds to come, as her horse suffered a bad overreach not long before it was due to travel to the event. “He really had a poor preparation, as I have only been able to ride him for a few days.” But once on the start list they both gave it their best shot, and Dressage aside the slight in stature, but big in heart Thoroughbred produced one of just four final phase clears to move from 15th place after the Dressage to fourth. Sonja Johnson and her tough little Thoroughbred will not be far from the selectors’ minds when it comes to making Rio team decisions.
Michaela Martindale (AUS) again proved the benefit of a clear stadium Jumping round, and moved from 16th, to 12th and then to fifth riding her Queensland-bred Hanoverian, Kinnordy Gatow by Gymnastik Star. Katja Weimann (AUS) would have been disappointed with her two fences down aboard BP Flamboyant, which left her in sixth place after such a promising start.
All 24 who completed the Cross Country phase passed the final veterinary inspection and it was also pleasing to see how well international traveller Fernhill Present (stable name Hilly) looked on the final day. Alice Dunsdon (GBR) was well received by the crowd that certainly appreciated her effort to get to Adelaide and Hilly lowered one fence to finish in 16th place.
The sun shone again on the final day at Victoria Park Grandstand with a best-ever crowd attracted to the event. Children were admitted free this year and non-horsey families were given a wonderful introduction to horse sport.
Shane Rose said it for everyone: “This is as good as any event in the world – we are proud of it and I love coming here.”
Use hashtags #FEIClassics #Eventing.
By Anna Sharpley
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