Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding have aced the Adelaide course, but it took some time before they were announced the leaders after cross country, as there was a lot of officials pouring over the video footage deciding whether or not she and other competitors deserved 50 penalties or not.
With a feeling of déjà vu, we are again this year in the media centre re-writing the story about the leaderboard after the cross country.
Amanda had been awarded 50 penalties for jumping outside the flag at 9C as had Hazel Shannon with Willingapark Clifford at the same fence. However on further investigation, the Ground Jury took the penalties off again in both cases. Ground Jury reviewing video footage is standard practice, they were not responding to any protests.
But before those changes were made, the press conference had already been held with Emily Gray (Jocular Vision), Sonja Johnson (Misty Isle Valentino) and New Zealand’s Jessica Woods (Just De Manzana) in attendance as the top three, completing numerous interviews talking about their experience. Now the top three are Amanda, Hazel and Emily.
Jess Woods had been awarded 20 penalties for a run out at fence 20, the Mitsubishi Stag Corner but even with this, it was still good enough for third initially. Jess was going to question the 20 penalties, as she didn’t think she crossed her track. “She ballooned out over the B element so I went to plan B, and did a keyhole manoeuvre. I am 90% sure I didn’t cross my tracks.” Unfortunately for Jess, while she did lose the 20 penalties (initially awarded at Fence 20) after the press conference, she instead ended up getting awarded 50 penalties for missing a flag. According to the Fence Analysis which has just been made available, this was at fence 16, the Mitsubishi Lake Brush. An enquiry was made about this, but unfortunately the 50 penalties remain going into the show jumping. We feel for Jess who did a cracking round, and now is in 10th place.
This chaos is a repeat of last year’s debacle when we had all sorts of alterations with 50 penalties being added, put back on and taken off for various people. (here’s the link if you want to read about the issues last year!). It is good to see Hazel hasn’t had to have two years of incurring the 50 penalties, as she really looked good going around the course, that Clifford is a cross country machine! They won this event here in 2016.
Emily Gray and Jocular Vision had a dramatic rise up the leader board having been well last after dressage, doing well to keep the horse in the arena, with her score some 9.9 penalties behind the 23rd (second-to-last) placed competitor. She now sits in third place.
Renee Faulkner and Rubinstar HH had a couple of issues, but should be proud of their efforts. They certainly nailed the tricky corners at Fence 9, looking the best of the day through the combination that caught out so many.
Mike Etherington-Smith’s CCI four-star cross-country course asked many questions for the field of 24 horses and riders that started the cross-country phase of the event today, with half of the field not having the answers and seeing them exiting the competition with elimination or retirement.
This included New Zealanders Bundy Philpott, Donna Edwards-Smith (on both horses), Emily Cammock, and Hayley Frielick on My Happiness.
Hayley is fifth on her other horse, Class Action LP after putting in a great round.
In the Horselands CCI2* class earlier in the day, New Zealand’s Lucy Turner had a run out at a combination, but finished the course, and is currently sitting in 20th place.
The class is being led by Young Rider Samuel Jeffree and Jaybee Calypso, a horse previously campaigned by Chris Burton.
Shane Rose and Ultimate Velocity is leading the RM Williams CIC3* class.