Rio Olympics bronze medallist Shane Rose has been crowned 2018 Australian Eventing Champion following his victory at the Equestrian last weekend.
Riding Virgil, Rose topped the TRM CIC*** class with 38.4 penalties, also taking second place with Swiper (41.5 penalties). The results proved he is on target for the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon.
Rose, who is one of three riders on the Gold High performance Squad for Australia, spent 2017 based in the UK and he believes Virgil’s recent international mission helped furnish him into a better and stronger horse.
Afterwards he commented: “I was really happy with both of them. Virgil is just starting back at his first competition run since Scotland last year. I wanted to make sure that he’s come back and performing like he was last year and he’s certainly on track for WEG at this stage. The trip overseas was good to gauge where he’s at against the rest of the world. Through time he’s got stronger and becoming more established. He’s always been a good jumping horse and worked hard on dressage. The improvement there has been gradual and we have seen a progressive reduction in his penalty scores. If I can take that form into WEG he can be extremely competitive individually. He’s a realistic chance of Olympic medals in Tokyo. If he continues to improve the way he is he’s capable of being the best horse I have had.”
Rose was also full of praise for his younger prospect, the rising ten-year-old Swiper, adding: “He’s getting better and better and hopefully he will go well at Sydney Three-Day and be back up for Virgil at WEG.
Amanda Ross and Koko Popping Candy rounded out the top three with a score of 56.6.