Words courtesy of Equestrian Australia. Photo by Stephen Mobray
The greatly anticipated Sydney International Three-Day Event certainly lived up to the high expectations with a beautiful sunny day providing a picturesque setting for the dressage competition on day one. Almost 500 combinations took to the arena at Sydney International Equestrian Centre for the opening phase of the competition.
The event precedes the biennial Oceania Challenge that will be held in Taupo, New Zealand on May 10-12, and offers a wonderful preparation opportunity for the three who will represent Australia in New Zealand.
The Macarthur Automotive CCI4*-L is also an Olympic qualification event for Australian based riders vying for a spot on the team at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Sam Lyle dominated the dressage arena with two horses in the class, BF Valour and Superclass, to finish in first and second place respectively.
“I was really pleased with both horses. There are still a few things that I need to work on to get better and better, but overall I came out really pleased with how they went today” said Sam. Oceania Senior team reserve combination Annabel Armstrong and Quaprice are currently sitting in third place.
The hotly contested Bates Saddles CCI4*-S saw fierce competition for the top spot with 0.8 of a penalty point separating first and fourth place. Tim Boland riding Napoleon is sitting in first, Amanda Ross and Dicavalli Diesel in second, Stuart Tinney on Celebration in third and Lauren Browne on Sky’s Da Limit is nipping at their heels in fourth place.
It is clear that the Oceania Team combinations are in peak form with the top five places in the Bates Saddles CCN4* occupied by team members. Emma Bishop and CP Issey Miyake are currently in the lead with Emma Mason on Warrego Marco Polo in second, Jessica Rae on Rascal in third, Jade Findlay on Oaks Cordelia in fourth and Madeline Wilson on I’m Bruce sitting in fifth place.
Tomorrow riders will tackle the beautiful cross-country course, designed by world-renowned course designer Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR), which spans across 5.8km of the venue, including the Olympic arena.
“This year we head in and out of the main arena which is an exciting and positive development. The intention with this is to use the main arena on each day of competition and to create a focal point without the need to walk a long way to see some of the action,” explains Mike.
For full results from day one visit: https://www.nominate.com.au/equest/nsw/results/SYD0419.htm