Riders in the northern hemisphere may have packed up for their winter break, but it’s all go at the other side of the world as competitors prepare for their premier event, Australia’s International 3 Day Event in Adelaide, the second leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™ 2012/2013.
The Australian event offers them a chance to get a foothold on the leaderboard for the valuable HSBC FEI Classics™, in which last year’s Adelaide winner, Stuart Tinney (AUS), secured fifth place in the overall standings for the 2011/2012 season.
This year, Tinney, an Olympic gold medallist in 2000, rides the 14-year-old grey Pluto Mio, recent winner of the Goulburn CIC3*.
Two members of Australia’s 2008 Olympic silver medal team are competing: Shane Rose, who rides APH Moritz, second behind Pluto Mio at Goulburn and a recent winner of Berrima CIC3*, and Megan Jones.
Jones rides the veteran Kirby Park Irish Jester, the horse on which she won her Olympic medal, and also a team bronze at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games™ and four FEI World Cup™ Eventing competitions. The diminutive grey gelding is now 19.
There are seven CCI4* first-timers, one of whom will take home the HSBC Training Bursary worth US$1,000 for the best CCI4* début. One of the group is Craig Barrett, husband of the Australian team coach Prue Barrett, riding Sandhills Brillaire and Wendela Jamie.
The all Australian field will come before a Ground Jury led by Christian Landolt (SUI) as president, who is joined by Marilyn Payne (USA) and Vicky Brydon (AUS). Alec Lochore (GBR), who directed the Eventing competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games, will act as Technical Delegate.
The event, directed by double Olympic gold medallist Gill Rolton, literally stops the traffic, as the Cross Country takes place in the city centre, in Victoria Park, where Course Designer Wayne Copping is sure to have built another spectacular thriller.
HSBC FEI Classics™ 2012/2013 Standings
1 Andrew Nicholson (NZL) 15 points
2 Jonathan Paget (NZL) 12
3 Michael Jung (GER) 10
4 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 8
5 Nicolas Astier (FRA) 5
6 Caroline Powell (NZL) 3
7 Richard Jones (GBR) 2
8 Gemma Tattersall (GBR) 1
HSBC’s Training Bursary
At the centre of HSBC’s sponsorship is a commitment to the development of the sport of Eventing at every level. As part of its support of the HSBC FEI Classics™, HSBC has introduced a Training Bursary. This is a unique award which is presented to the highest placed rider never to have previously completed a 4-star level event. The winning rider receives a training voucher to the value of US $1,000 to be spent on sessions with a trainer of the athlete’s choice approved by the FEI and National Federation.
HSBC FEI Classics™ 2012/2013 calendar
1 Les Etoiles de Pau CCI 4* (FRA) - 24-28 October 2012
2 Australian International 3 Day Event (AUS) - 22-25 November 2012
3 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (USA) - 25-28 April 2013
4 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR) - 3-6 May 2013
5 Luhmühlen CCI 4* (GER) - 13-16 June 2013
6 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR) - 5-8 September 2013
Photo caption: Andrew Nicholson (NZL), current leader of the HSBC FEI Classics™ 2012/2013, is pictured here with Nereo at the first leg of the series in Pau (FRA) last month. (Image: Kit Houghton/FEI)