Sydney Olympic gold medallist Stuart Tinney has a narrow lead over his good friend and Beijing silver medallist Shane Rose after today’s cross country phase of the Australian International Three Day Event CCI4*.

Rose now occupies second and third positions after he forfeited the lead he established with CP Qualified in Friday’s dressage phase, after a small mishap at the first of two water obstacles in today’s cross country.

An unsteady landing almost ended the pair’s weekend but Rose hung-on and produced a remarkable save and the combination carried on with the job to arrive home with only a few time penalties.

“It sort of happened in slow motion and it didn’t feel that bad. The gasp in the crowd made me think that I must have been close to falling. Luckily I stayed on and we pressed on.

“It definitely sapped a little energy out of him,” Rose said.

Tinney and Pluto Mio’s precise round in the cross country put him in the top spot, with Rose’s more experienced mount Taurus finishing the course in the same time as Tinney which abled him to take second place.

Sam Lyle riding ‘Kaloona Grace’ in the CCI** cross country

Sam Lyle riding ‘Kaloona Grace’ in the CCI** cross country

Ali Foye riding ‘Kung Fu Panda GP’ in the CCI** cross country

Ali Foye riding ‘Kung Fu Panda GP’ in the CCI** cross country

A two time winner of Australia’s only CCI4* three day event, Tinney last won the title in 2011 and has the big competition experience to pull off a third crown.

“We all try to jump well, fast and leave them all up, that’s the plan, but we’ll see what happens,” Tinney said.

The stage is now set for a thrilling showdown to the Australian International Three Day event in recent years and with Australia’s most experienced riders holding the reigns, spectators can be assured of a close finale to the 2013 event.

There are only four penalties (1 show jumping rail) separating the top six combinations, including 2012 champion Craig Barrett, Olympians Sonja Johnson and Chris Burton.


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