Second title for Hazel and second for Amanda at Adelaide!

The 2018 Adelaide CCI4* title winners are Hazel Shannon and Willingapark Clifford. (Image: Libby Law Photography)

Australian Hazel Shannon on Willingapark Clifford claimed her second Mitsubishi Australian International 3 Day Event CCI4* this afternoon in Adelaide. The combination have made Aus3DE history by winning the CCI4* class for the second time since its inception in 1999*. They won the event in 2016.

“It feels great, as good as the first time, I’m still in disbelief,” Hazel said afterwards. “He loves Adelaide.”

Hazel with her new car thanks to Mitsubishi’s sponsorship. Well actually it isn’t the car she gets to keep, she picks up her new car from Sydney, which sorts out the issues of having to get this one home to Newcastle! (Image: Libby Law Photography).

Amanda Pottinger on Just Kidding went into the show jumping in pole position but unfortunately the poles came down – four of them – and she had to settle for second place. “At the end of the day, I was pretty happy,” she said afterwards. “I am over the moon but obviously also disappointed, more because he had four rails down as he has never done that before in his career.”

Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding in today’s showjumping (Image: Aus3DE)
(Image: Libby Law Photography)

Amanda had three rails in hand as Hazel and Clifford had two down in their round, which is unusual for the consistent horse. Hazel put that down to the lack of runs he had before the event. Willingapark Clifford also took home the Off The Track Thoroughbred award.

No horses jumped clear in the show jumping in the CCI4* class which was held at what may have been the hottest part of the day. Adelaide had certainly put on a wonderful weekend of weather, with Sunday definitely being the hottest, well over 30 degrees.

Hazel Shannon and Willingapark Clifford during the Showjumping (Image: Libby Law Photography)

Amanda is already vowing that she will be back again next year to have another go and hopefully get to that next step up on the podium.

Western Australian Sonja Johnson moved up into third place on Misty Isle Valentino who she said is the complete package. “If he was a human, I might marry him,” she joked afterwards. The pair had two rails and three time faults in the showjumping.

Sonja Johnson and the lovely Misty Isle Valentino. (Image:  Libby Law Photography)

Emily Gray and Jocular Vision had a tumultuous competition, being well last the dressage, temporarily in the lead until the Ground Jury had time to review video footage and take away Hazel and Amanda’s 50 penalties from their cross country scores, and then were in third place going into the show jumping. Having two down and five time faults bumped her down behind Sonja to be in fourth place at the end of the competition.

Queensland-based New Zealander Hayley Frielick was delighted with her Class Action LP. The pair finished fifth in their first four star. “I was going to sell him as a school master, but I’m rethinking that, I really love him.” Hayley hopes to bring through some more young horses to compete at this level.

Hayley Frielick and Class Action LP, a great performance (Image: Libby Law Photography)

Gemma Tinney, daughter of the Australian Olympian Stuart, was having her first four-star start on Annapurna, and she had a very credible finish in 6th place. Her father retired on cross country so she certainly has boasting rights in that family for a while!

Jessica Woods was still getting over the disappointment of having 50 penalties awarded to her for jumping outside the flag over one of the brush fences in the water yesterday. She was still adamant she was within the flags, but the Ground Jury disagreed. Just De Manzana didn’t have her best show jumping round, finishing with 28 jumping faults and four time penalties to leave her in tenth place, but the pair obviously have potential. Their round yesterday was very impressive.

Jessica Woods – not the finish she wanted with Just de Manzana but they have finished their first four-star in 10th place (Image: Libby Law)

Rounding out the finishing riders today was Renee Faulkner and Rubinstar. The pair have finished on their first attempt at a four-star, with Renee’s cross country riding impressing many. They finished with 20 show jumping penalties as well as 6 time faults to be in 11th place.

The only other rider in the four-star competition who completed the cross country was Andrew Cooper and Hunters Hill, but they withdrew overnight.

Renee Faulkner and Rubinstar HH, notching up some valuable international experience and an 11th place finish in their first four-star event (Image: Libby Law Photography)

This is the first time that there has been an all-female top ten in a CCI4* event across the world.

The organisers reported that the attendees at the event were in excess of 28,000 people. 15,000 of these were there for cross country day, which really is very special with main roads closed off, right in the middle of the city. The crowd certainly provided a lively atmosphere for the event, with the riders all saying that the atmosphere was like no other. Sonja compared it to Badminton and Burghley where the crowd was very well behaved, whereas here at Adelaide there was always so much happening just outside the arena, from kids hooning on bikes to ardent eventing fans. This didn’t always agree with some horses, Just Kidding being one of them who even managed a big spook at the pot plants next to the very last cross country fence which was in the main arena.
Champagne-soaked winner, Hazel (left) with Amanda and Sonja (Image: Libby Law Photography)

So while the New Zealanders’ fortunes varied, it was great to see them test themselves on what was described as true four-star cross country and show jumping courses. There is certainly a lot of homework to do, but a good base is there, and the experience will undoubtedly benefit them all.

In the Horselands CCI2* class, Canterbury’s Lucy Turner finished 20th, and fifth in the Australian Junior Rider Championship on her trusty horse Carbon. While she was disappointed with her one run out yesterday on cross country, she certainly learned a lot. The highlight of Lucy’s first international event was “just the whole event!” She said it was all amazing. “It opens your eyes up a bit that what we have in New Zealand isn’t quite as big as this and it really makes me want to come back next year and just be able to go well at one of these events as they are so amazing.”
Lucy Turner and Carbon – had a great time competing in the Horselands CCI2* class in Adelaide. (Image: Libby Law Photography)

Olympian Shane Rose won not only the 2018 Horseland’s CCI2* on Easy Turn, but also the RM Williams CIC3* class on Ultimate Velocity. Olympian Stuart Tinney on Leporis was 2nd in the CCI2* to Shane, with Emma Mason and Aramatai Fox 3rd. Callum Buczak from Victoria riding Matavia Cheval finished in 2nd place in the CIC3* with Victorian professional rider Andrew Cooper third on Oaks Onyx.

Next year Adelaide will be a five-star event with the new classifications FEI announced a while ago. The Adelaide organisers are already talking about the improvements that will be made, including that the cross country course will change, with the start and finish in different places, and the main arena having a more testing fence for the crowd to watch. Mike Etherington-Smith is staying on for a couple more years as course designer, and is already talking with organisers on what he wants to do. Decisions and discussions continue on whether Adelaide can keep its elite status along with Burghley, Badminton, Kentucky, Luhmühlen and Pau, and ultimately it comes down to the event being able to fit the criteria needed. Decisions on that criteria are being made at the General Assembly which is on in Switzerland at the moment, but Adelaide has at least a couple of years grace to transition to the higher level expected. Let’s hope that it can remain at the top level, as it certainly gives our New Zealand riders, and the Australians, the sort of experience they need, without having to travel to the other side of the world.
Note: *Shane Rose, Wendy Schaeffer, Stuart Tinney and Chris Burton have all won the event twice, but not on the same horse.