Cross Country Day

Clarke Still Holds Top Spot after Qantas Cross Country Day

As the CCI4* Qantas cross country phase ends, Clarke Johnstone continues on top of the Leaderboard on 45.90 penalties. “It was right up there, a real 4*, it was hard.”

Talking about his 13 year old Balmoral Sensation, The New Zealander said “He is always pretty wild before the cross country. I could hardly control him this morning at the first warm up but once he gets out of the start box he is completely focussed, 100%. He doesn’t notice anything at all except what is in front of him. I am really lucky to ride that horse.”

It was obviously a very mixed day for Sonja Johnson. She is sitting in second position (60.70 penalties) with her young and talented Misty Isle Valentino but her long term partner, Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison (Ben) owned by Nikki Harwood, sustained an injury on the cross country course. “I think it was a pretty exciting run for a young horse and I wanted to do him justice and stayed focus but I must admit that my first question when I crossed the finish line with Valentino was “How’s Ben?” even though I knew there was nothing else I could do. He was in good hands with the Australian Team vet Nathan Anthony and his owner.”

Sonja posted on her Facebook Page: “Many thanks to everyone for their concern for Ben. He has ruptured the medial retinaculum. Which is a ligament in his hock as he galloped from the second last to the last on xc. The vets have been great. I have been told horses have recovered and gone 4* again.

The biggest turnarounds from the Pryde’s EasiFeed Dressage phase was Stuart Tinney riding War Hawk and Andrew Cooper riding Tasman Park Ovation, who were in respectively 15th and 16th place yesterday, but after a fabulous cross-­‐country round, finished the second day in 3rd and 4th place on 61.00 and 61.70.

The 4* was not without its challenges for some of the most accomplished of riders and the technicality of the course came to the fore again with a handful of combinations unable to complete.

With Johnstone and Johnson holding onto podium positions for a second day, the questions is can they hold their nerve and finish strongly tomorrow? The challengers will not go out quietly and the pressure is certainly on, so speed and precision will be needed to be crowned the 2017 champion.

The R M Williams CIC*** finished off an exciting day of cross country, with the sun still shining over the magnificent Adelaide Parklands.

Christine Bates and Adelaide Hill remain in 1st place after a solid round finishing the day on 55. When so many struggled to get around this challenging course, Bates and Hill continued to show their class as a partnership and weaved their way through the parklands to remain on top.

Christine Bates and Adelaide Hill

After the dressage test yesterday which saw Shane Rose and Swiper finish in 10th position, the combination came together beautifully to put in a remarkable round, posting the best result in the class, moving themselves into 2nd position on 57 penalties. Deon Stokes finishes the top three with his horse Crime Time on 65.

The challenging Horseland CCI2* course proved to be the undoing for some experienced horse and rider combinations. After an exciting day of dressage, there has been a complete change of leaders, with Chelsea Priestley and Skansen Purist now occupying 1st place on 51.20 points with Emma Mason and Warrego Marco Polo only 0.1 point behind on 51.30. Closing off the top three, Matthew Gaske and his mount, Thymes Too, had a wonderful round, coming from 13th place, currently sitting on 55.80.

Chelsea Priestley and Skansen Purist

With Johnstone and Johnson holding onto podium positions for a second day, the questions is can they hold their nerve and finish strongly tomorrow? The challengers will not go out quietly and the pressure is certainly on, so speed and precision will be needed to be crowned the 2017 champion.

The Horseland CCI2* show jumping is the first event on the Brand SA main arena commencing at 9.30am, followed by the RM Williams 3* at 12.30pm and the Mitsubishi Motors CCI4*concluding the Thomas Foods International Show Jumping day at 3.15pm.

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