In the heat of the sun, on the final day, Champions are made. It came down to the closest of margins, where errors are measured in the smallest of detail and one lack of concentration can be the difference between winning and losing, getting on the podium or simply just getting back in your truck.
The CCI4* ended with New Zealander Clarke Johnstone continuing his phenomenal form securing 1st place with a clear round in the Jumping. All weekend Johnstone has lead from the front showing complete class with his wonderful mount Balmoral Sensation. They have not missed an opportunity to shine throughout the weekend and they embraced the pressure, turning in text book performances to be crowned the CCI4* Champions.
On his victory, Johnstone added,”I have said this before, he is an amazing horse and I am very lucky to be riding him. He has been focused all weekend. I always knew he was a great jumper and I am proud of what we have achieved over the last 3 Days. I would like to thank the event organisers for putting on a wonderful event in the beautiful Adelaide Parklands and I hope to come back next year to defend my title.”
Megan Jones also had a great weekend finishing as only the second person to have a clear Jumping round. Having not been out of the top three at any stage, Kirby Park Impress has been a reliable and trustworthy horse, delivering the goods when needed.
Stuart Tinney and War Hawk came from fourth after the cross country and despite knocking down two rails, still managed to get on the podium for 3rd after Sonja Johnson with Misty Isle Valentino, (who had also been in the top three after the first two phases), knocked three rails down and dropped to 5th, with Andrew Cooper and Tasman Park Ovation moving up to fourth (and taking 1st place in the Thoroughbred Racing SA category.)
In a tense finish in the Horseland CCI2* Emma Mason and Warrego Marco Polo took out the title with a final score of 55.30.
With only 2 combinations out of a field of 20, (who were eligible to compete after the cross country yesterday), managed to get a clear round. The lead changed places as the combinations took to the arena for the final showdown, but it was Mason who held her nerve to only knock down one rail and take the CCI2* title.
“Marcus and I are a relatively new combination and I am thrilled with how everything came together this weekend. He is a wonderful horse with a fabulous temperament and he showcased his potential in front of an energetic crowd. The Aus3de is a wonderful event and is a pleasure to be part of. After being in 5th place following the dressage, I knew we had to have a strong cross country, over a challenging track and to back this up in the Jumping. Marcus performed really well and I am proud of the way he managed all the phases and I am over the moon to get the win.”
The leader going into the Jumping, Chelsea Priestley and her horse Skansen Purist, knocked down 2 rails pushing them into 2nd position on a final score of 59.20, with the last spot on the podium going to Matthew Gaske and his mount, Thymes Too, finishing on 59.80 after dislodging only one rail.
In the CIC3* Christine Bates continued the magnificent form that has seen her top the Leaderboard after every day of the three phases this weekend to take home the win. Finishing on a score of 61, she had one rail in hand as she claimed the title ahead of Australian Olympian Shane Rose and Swiper who finished 2nd on 65. In a very close run for 3rd place Andrew Cooper and Lagoes Choice held on by only 0.10 to get on the podium.
Christine was delighted with the performance of her horse all weekend and said “Adelaide had some time off eventing, focussed on dressage and I was not sure if he was going to get back into the three phases. He is a remarkable horse who has the skills and determination to be able to adapt himself to any situation. When we decided to enter the Aus3de, we came to win and I knew he had the capability to do so. He had a great dressage, a solid cross country and although he is not the best at Jumping, he did an amazing job. I’ve had a great weekend and am delighted to have got the win.”