Story by Equestrian NSW – Photos by Stephen Mowbray

Christine Bates and Adelaide Hill won today’s Bates Saddles CCI3* class (35.20 penalties) at the Sydney International Horse Trials repeating the feat they achieved at the same event back in 2011.

Whilst they have recently been in stellar form at 3* level, it has been a long and at times bumpy road for the pair over the years. The 16YO chestnut gelding is commonly known in Eventing circles as “Spooks” due to his frequent tendency to shy at things. As a young horse, he proved almost impossible to break in, bucked Christine off and nearly found himself in the too hard basket on a few occasions.

“He’s been foot perfect the whole three days here. I’ve put so much time, effort, trust and hopes and dreams into this horse and this week I feel like he’s rewarded that.”

“Adelaide and I are like a good wine we get better with age,” said Christine.

Adelaide Hill was given a year off Eventing in a bid to improve his focus. Christine opted to compete him in high-level dressage and jumping and that decision proved a masterstroke today.

Victorian rider Robert Palm finished runner-up in what was a remarkable rise up the standings. He was 12th after Dressage, then elevated to fifth position following a stunning cross-country round yesterday. He jumped clear this afternoon to finish in second position overall (35.50).

In the CNC3* class Shane Rose and Virgil were dominant winners (40.80). The strong performance was another important step in their journey towards a potential berth on the Australian Eventing Team at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018in September.

NSW rider Tim Boland made it a clean sweep of the Coprice CCI1* and Tarraleah CCI2* classes. He won the CCI2* on his grand campaigner Napoleon ((31.20) and produced a serious talent of the future, Menlo Park, in the CCI1* (29.70).

This year’s edition of the Sydney International Horse Trials was lauded a great success by competitors and spectators. CCI3* winner Christine Bates paid tribute to the event organisers in her victory speech.

“Wow, a great event I think it’s the best event yet,” she said.

View the full results HERE.