Australia’s Young riders shine as New Zealand takes senior honours at Oceania Championships

Australia’s Young Rider team cruised to a comfortable victory in the CCI2* Young Rider leg of the 2017 Oceania Championships at the Melbourne International 3 Day Event.

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The team of four including Gemma Tinney, Shenae Lowings, Olivia Barton and Tayah Andrew went into the final show jumping phase with a dominant lead and they maintained their strong position right until the very end to win by 65 penalties.

Three of the four riders jumped clear in front of a packed crowd at Werribee Park and proved they each have exciting futures and could one day grace the world stage for Australia.

“We are really proud of the guys not only today but all this week. Under the leadership of Will Enzinger the team including reserves have prepared really well as a group.”

“All three phases have been a standout and a real testament to the future talent of eventing in this country,” said Equestrian Australia’s High Performance Director Chris Webb

“Off the horse the guys have become a really close-knit group and this has translated to their performance in the saddle.”

“The group has been extremely well supported by their families and support networks who have all rallied together,” said Webb.

Gemma Tinney (45.70) finished the competition on her dressage score and secured second in the overall standings behind NSW rider Andrew Barnett (41.90).

Tinney gave huge credit to her Warmblood x Thoroughbred mare Annapurna for the result.

“The mare has been so good. She still surprises me every event and we have a great partnership and I enjoy every moment I sit on her,” Tinney said.

Shanae Lowings was 4th placed overall (51.60), Olivia Barton 5th (51.90) and Tayah Andrew finished 11th (59.30) on her talented grey gelding Silver Force that travelled all the way across from Western Australia.

New Zealand’s senior eventing team broke a decade-long drought today when they won a hard-fought Oceania Championships at the Saddleworld Melbourne International Three Day Event.

Jock Paget and his former racehorse Angus Blue won the individual CCI3* crown, finishing on their dressage score of 46.9 penalty points, with Samantha Felton (Matangi) and Ricker Ridge Pico Boo second on 49.2, Ginny Thompson (Kaukapakapa) and Star Nouveau fourth on 53.1.

All four of New Zealand’s Equestrian Entries Senior Team completed the event, while just two of the Australian team made it through to the showjumping, and Stuart Tinney and War Hawk the best of the team placing fifth on 53.6.

The Kiwis had an 18.2 penalty point buffer ahead of the Australians heading into the show jumping. Felton was also clear and inside time, with Thompson taking a single rail and adding two time penalties, and Andy Daines (Kumeu) aboard Spring Panorama adding nine to their tally.
Just five of the 18 combinations in the showjumping were clear and inside time.

For Paget, the victory was a very special one.

“It is special for lots of reasons,” said the London Olympian. “It was just great to ride with the other guys in the team and for me, a good way to come home.”

It is the first time he has even ridden in the Oceania competition. And he was chuffed with his lovable Angus Blue.

“He really got up didn’t he,” he said of the nine-year-old horse who while is a New Zealand thoroughbred, moved back from the UK with Paget last year.

New Zealand team manager Eliza Riedel was ecstatic with the win. “These results are a tribute to our performance programme and the work its leader Penny Castle has put into establishing it,” she said. “It is a credit to the team and those around them. The culture within the team throughout the whole campaign has been fantastic. Everyone has contributed to the result. It is just wonderful!”

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