Emma Mason and Christine Bates were the other big winners at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Australian Three Day Event winning the CCI** and CIC*** respectively.
Madeline Wilson and Aces High led the Horseland CCI2* following the dressage. Her punch test earned a score of 46.4 which put her 1.3 penalties ahead of Emma King and DVZ Chevalier (47.7). Third after the first phase was held by Tegan Lush and Touchstone Felix with a score of 48.3 meaning it was all to play for on the cross country.
The challenging course proved to be the un-doing for some experienced combinations which lead to a complete change of leaders.
Dressage leaders Madeline Wilson and Aces High retired on cross country following two refusals, Emma King dropped down the order with DVZ Chevalier after a stop at Fence 14 and Tegan Lush was eliminated following two stops and a fall on her final attempt at Fence 16.
The day ended with Chelsea Priestly and Skansen Purist in the lead, having been sixth after dressage. The pair were one of three under the optimum time and they finished the day on 51.2. Emma Mason and Warrego Marco Polo were hot on their heels just 0.1 behind (51.3) with Matthew Gaske and Thymes Too rounding out the top three (55.8).
In a tense finale, only two combinations out of the final 20, managed to keep the rails up in the show jumping. But it was Emma Mason and Warrego Marco Polo who held their nerve to take victory. Despite knocking one rail down, it still put the pressure on overnight leader Chelsea Priestly, who knocked down two poles with Skansen Purist to hand Mason victory. The last spot on the podium went to Matthew Gaske and Thymes Too who finished on 59.8 after also dislodging a pole.
Afterwards Mason said: “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. This is a wonderful event and is a pleasure to be part of. After being in fifth 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.”
Courtney Stubberfield collected the Young Rider CCI** Award with Wallawest Kaos, finishing in eighth place overall on a final score of 83.0.
Christine Bates and Adelaide Hill led from start to finish in the RM Williams CIC***.
The pair had a commanding lead after the dressage, scoring 42.2 – 6.4 marks ahead of second placed
rider and Deon Stokes, who scored 48.6 with Crime Time. Deon also held third place following the third phase with Koyuna Levi on a score of 51.7.
Bates put in a solid round to remain in the lead following the cross country. She added 12 time faults to her dressage score to finish the day on 55.0 with her lead narrowing to two penalties. But when many struggled to get round the challenging course, she showed her class to weave her way around the parkland to stay on top.
Shane Rose, who recently returned from his oversea’s campaign in the UK, rose from 10th after the dressage to finish the day in second with Swiper (57.0) thanks to the fastest round of the day. They added just 1.2 penalties to their score. Deon Stokes collected 16.4 time faults with Crime Time but finished the day in third (65.0).
Again the show jumping proved a challenge with only one clear round in the final phase. Third placed rider Deon Stokes added 21 penalties to his tally dropping him down to fifth with Crime Time. Andrew Cooper added eight faults with Lagoes Choice but it was enough to earn him a place on the podium in third.
Shane Rose and Swiper also added eight faults to finish on a score of 65.0, giving Bates some breathing room as she entered the ring. They chanced one life when a pole dropped but the rest stayed up giving them victory on a final score of 61.0
Christine was delighted with the performance of Adelaide Hill throughout the weekend, commenting: “Adelaide had some time off eventing, focussed on the dressage and I was not sure if he was going to get back into all 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 Australian Three day Event, 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.”
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