Despite a burst water main on course, nothing could dampen Shane Rose’s performance riding his two four-star horses today. Rose demonstrated his talent by taking first and second place after an entertaining Cross Country. Although somewhat hesitant at the start, CP Qualified got into a good rhythm and jumped superbly to come home with the addition of just 3.2 time penalties, good enough to hold the lead by 5.5 penalties.
“Qualified is a horse I have got to get on the pace from the get go”, declared Rose. “He is not the galloper that can catch up on time, and I lost it really over the first three fences”. Rose’s closest opposition was himself as he posted one of only two under time rounds riding Virgil, that is out of a Thoroughbred mare and perhaps that was what gave him those extra seconds. “Virgil was really up on his time throughout the course; he is a super horse. I have two really nice horses and I am lucky to have them.”
Although New Zealander, Clarke Johnstone was not happy with his 50.10 dressage score, his performance today would have boosted his Rio bid with his four-star debutante, Balmoral Sensation. With the jumping phase tomorrow, Johnstone confirmed “it’s not over yet” and certainly the final Jumping day has shattered many dreams.
Johnston attributed his four time penalties to being a bit over cautious, but they certainly looked a major championship combination today. They moved up from fifth to a podium position, but the most impressive move of the day was the not unexpected advance of Sonja Johnson and Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison. The greyhound-like little Thoroughbred is certainly not lacking heart and came home with just the addition of 1.2 time penalties. You know the time is tight if Sonja has time penalties. Their Cross Country effort saw them move from 15th after the dressage to a lead threatening fourth, and Sonja is strong in the final Jumping phase.
Katja Weimann and BP Flamboyant let their grip on second place slip despite an impressive round today. With the addition of 11.2 time penalties they sit in fifth place, but again they are proven performers on the final day. Megan Jones improved her place by two to hold sixth place with Kirby Park Allofasudden. The Rustic Amber gelding is another proven final day performer.
Andrew Cooper is just out of Young Rider competition, however he produced a sophisticated and slick round riding the Crested Wave Thoroughbred, Black Crest, posting the only other under time round of the day. Cooper’s efforts saw him move up 20 places to seventh.
Trailblazer, Stuart Tinney, added 1.6 time penalties riding Pluto Mio to move from 24th after the Dressage phase to hold eighth position. Hazel Shannon is well pleased with her first four-star performance riding her Thoroughbred gelding Clifford. She moved in to the top ten holding ninth place heading in to the final Jumping phase. Soigne Jackson’s Gold by Opera Prince demonstrated the courage and talent of the Thoroughbred by coming home with 4.8 time penalties to round out the top ten.
It was a glorious day in the Park Lands, and no doubt FEI TV viewers in the Northern Hemisphere would have been envious of the beautiful 23 degree Adelaide Spring day.
The course rode well and Shane Rose commented: “Mike Etherington-Smith did a really good job. He presents fences that look simple, but he is so good at putting question upon question. If you or the horse makes a little mistake, his course just catches you out. He doesn’t try and trick you or trap you, it’s all about being good enough and if you are, he is happy to say you are too good”.
Of the 30 horses to start, 24 finished including globetrotting Alice Dunsdon and Fernhill Present (19th), who sadly got momentarily lost on course which in the Parkl Land setting is easy to do. It was however costly on time, and despite jumping clear she incurred 39.6 time penalties. Four horses were eliminated on course and one retired.
Shane Rose is over two fences ahead of the opposition - is it enough to claim the Adelaide leg of the FEI Classics™ 2015/2016 series?
Adelaide International 3 Day Event - Cross Country leaderboard
1 Shane Rose (AUS)/CP Qualified 45.30
2 Shane Rose (AUS)/Virgil 50.80
3 Clarke Johnstone (NZL)/Balmoral Sensation 54.10
4 Sonja Johnson (AUS)/Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison 59.40
5 Katja Weimann (AUS)/BP Flamboyant 60.30
6 Megan Jones (AUS)/Kirby Park Allofasudden 61.60
7 Andrew Cooper (AUS)/Black Crest 65.20
8 Stuart Tinney (AUS)/Pluto Mio 65.70
9 Hazel Shannon (AUS)/Clifford 66.60
10 Soigne Jackson (AUS)/Gold 67.40