Enormous thanks to our broadcast sponsor Bimbadeen Park, Shane and Niki Rose. Thanks also to Pine Park Farrier Services, Paul Slattery, farrier and eventer for supporting the Tipping comp.
Kicking off the event Lindsey “Nairny” Constable and I took our possie at the end of the runway for Thursday afternoon “trot up”. If you haven’t witnessed the runway at MI3DE, it’s an interesting affair, 2 runways side by side. This year with a high mesh fence in between, makes for a very tennis match style of watching!
A chilly breeze but a bright sunny day, made it an absolutely spectacular setting to start the MI3DE broadcast. Lots of the horses had their tails up. Special mention to Napoleon and Trevalgar 2, both horses doing their rendition of the “canter up”. All the young ladies looked stunning and the boys trotted out their finest suits. Sir Stuart (so christened on cross country whilst piloting Sir Pepper around) went with a very fancy 3 piece suit and very dressy Akubra style of hat, as flash as a rat with a gold tooth!! There were a couple of re-presents which both Nairny and I thought coincided with the lack of warm clothing on the young ladies holding the reins, we weren’t sure if that was a thing or not!
Pictured above at the trot up on Thursday, Team Tinney, father daughter duo Gemma and Stuart Tinney. Winners of the best dressed were N.S.W riders Jessica Rae and Rascal, CCI3*; Hannah Klep and Reprieve, CCI2* Team Bimbadeen rider, what a gorgeous jacket! And a young lady from Victoria – Stephanie Ivanovic and Mighty Tosca, CCIJ1. Let’s say the common theme for these winners was a stunning fashionable warm jacket!
Friday was the first day of dressage and the typical Werribee clouds rolled over and rain was all around but luckily a small shower or 2 was the only weather to speak of. The renovated main dressage arenas were a huge improvement. In previous years we’ve watched all the tireless volunteers hop into ring 1 with buckets and shovels to bale out the puddles to start the day. No such process this year!
CCI 1 star were the first to strut their stuff, kicking off with couple of NSW young ladies posting great early scores. Jane Wilcox with Quantico and Tori Doak riding Girl With A Curl throwing down the gauntlet early on and the stunning Easy Turn with Shane in the saddle putting forward a great score to go into 7th. There were big grey ones and tiny grey ones and all the other colours in between. All 82 of ‘em for 2 days of dressage!
CIC 3 star competed Friday in ring 1 and Amanda Ross with “the black bat” Koko Popping Candy really swinging around the arena! It’s very exciting to see this combination proving to be a formidable partnership! Virgil of course looked a power house and was in his comfort zone in the square dancing.
Day 2 of dressage dawned a bright sunny day. Needless to say the weather was a’ top of everyone’s conversation. How bloody amazing it was for more than 2 days of reasonably nice weather at Wezza!!
The CCI 2 star was completed with the final 17 horses to compete. The new scoring had a range of 10 penalties spread over the top 24 placings. The CCI 1 star had 10 points spread over the top 49 placings!! This isn’t going to come down to a dressage competition, the jumping phases now have much more of an influence over the final results.
After lunch sit tight went to air for the CCI 3 star. A couple of visitors popped into our cosy commentary position being Courtney Fraser and Jackie Wright. Good mates riding in the CCI 2 and 1 star respectively. A fairy-tale story for both Victorian young ladies. Courtney riding “Rockin It”, a stock horse gelding she took the reins of 2 years or so ago after the tragic road accident both herself and Emma Booth were involved in and Jackie being the jockey of the 13.2HH white flash Lakevale Toyman. After a brief chat we set the cat amongst the pigeons with a plan for Tori Doak and eventing buddy Hannah Klep (thanks again Team Bimbadeen) to get some live interviews from the riders after their CCI 3 star dressage tests. Which sounds fairly innocent but in their high vis, Sit Tight Radio logo covered vests, the intrepid reporters set sail toward the riders as they barley stepped out of the arena. Talk about get the scoop girls! Until the ladies with the FEI vests on had a quiet word to ask the girls to let the riders do the official part of their competition before the red hot scoop was brought to our listeners!
Trevalgar 2 with Katie Taliana were the first combination to compete and all that were either listening or watching had an expectation of a cracking good score. Well, Marco had other plans! Out of the first shoulder, Marco sprang off into nigh on a medium canter. It was looking more ominous than Werribee weather for some stormy stuff to come! As Katie exited the arena Tori and Hannah pounced. Katie re grouped after feeling as though Marco should have gone straight to the start box of cross country. Tori and Hannah were away!!
Annapurna and Gemma Tinney have an interesting way of preparing for their dressage test. They make their way around the outside of the arena on a lovely loose rein, casually meandering around before the bell sounds for them to enter the arena. But it works! Annapurna produced a lovely test and the girls couldn’t wait to interview their buddy!
The Kiwi rider Jessica Woods piloted Just A Manzana with super confidence and some very impressive flowing movement to take the lead! No one picked it! Not even Matt Bates, the red hot STR tipster! (also a Kiwi!) Jessica and the mare certainly got everyone’s attention!
The 16 horse CCI 3 star field wrapped up as the afternoon chill was enveloping Wezza, a clear night meant a brisk start for cross country Sunday morning.
Sunday morning, as the CCI 1 star were in the warm up area, I was wishing my little hand warmer pillows came in a full size suit. Prue Barrett set out on course as roving reporter. I didn’t really let on that the field was probably at least 90 horses! Needless to say we had a ball. Prue took to commentating with aplomb! She lowered the lane rope for the dunny driver and the crash crew to go through, with or without a grateful wave! We both were extremely excited to watch Lakevale Toyman the white flash with Jackie in the saddle. All in all, the CCI 1 star was a good standard with over 50 clear of jumping faults, approximately 40 riders only collecting a handful of time faults. There were a few fabulous stand outs, of course Shane Rose on both his rides. Easy Turn, the lovely brown mare part owned with Angela Shacklady. Without a doubt this partnership of Shane and Ange has success written all over it as Ange was part owner of All Luck who competed in the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Shane also piloting the chestnut Finch Farm Spruce to a lovely double clear. Great to see our top riders with exciting young horses. Including Sophie Adams on her the thoroughbred gelding Touch Heaven, wow what a star of the future. Stuart Tinney unfortunately picked up 20 penalty over where Prue was watching on Sir Pepper, or was it Sir Stuart riding Pepper Tinney? Plummeting them from 4th to 52nd, ouch!
At the end of 1 star cross country Prue took a break. At which point we tagged in Michelle Hasibar to the roving course commentator position for CCI 2 star.
44 competitors in the CCI 2 star were all set to take on the course with young Sam Jeffree and Jaybee Calypso holding down the top spot after dressage, in front of some big names, Shane, Sir Stuart, Tim, Amanda and the formidable tiny tot Maddy Wilson. 14 of the field went clear and under time but the leader board was changed by Jaybee Calypso picking up 20 at the final water complex. Celebration ridden by Sir Stuart and Amanda’s RLE Poynston Will were amazing with super star clear rounds. Rating an honourable mention goes to “Pumpkin Tits” Jess Grossy Grossmann. Big Spenny “Equus Spencer” had a woopsy in the warm up area and down went the ship. Grossy being the toughest chic Tooma has ever known, drops into see the medic, waves see ya later to the starter and flies home clear and under time!
Off we went CCI 3 star cross country! Prue was out roving again on course with the second of her phones in use and Andrew Barnett joined me in the STR tent. With 16 horses to run, Katie and Trevalgar 2 lead them out. I really don’t think there was any doubt in any of our minds that Marco was going fast, even Marco knew it! Annapurna, Oaks Cordelia and Rascal were outstanding, even from a bias New South Welshman’s point of view! A moment of sit the hell up happened when Jamie Stichel did some whispering in Image Blue Ice’s ears, praying with a “please mate don’t see a blade of grass now” moment.
The last class to run cross country was CIC 3 star, the shorter of the courses for 3 star level. The trail-blazer being the young rider, Thea Horsley with Fairview Rembrandt. This class cut off the trip around the polo fields and other parts of the course where the long format class had room to gallop along and make up time. Consequently, the riders found it hard to catch the optimum time. In fact, only Golly Barton came close with only 1.2 penalties to add. All the STR commentary team noted that APH Bertie Bad looked faster than his casual way of going! During this CIC 3 star there was a hold over the course. We all held our breath for Sam Lyle when his horse Super Class found the distance between the apexes a little difficult and our favourite coach of the year parted company with Classy. It’s a bad news good news story as Sam was unable to ride BF Valour for the CCI 2 star show jumping on the final day, after having a cracking round cross country. Sam did feel fine enough to drive the big ole Foxhill Farm team truck home on Tuesday. The good old boys are made of sterner stuff and the STR team send best wishes to Sam as we don’t bounce like we used to.
Monday morning was an early start, especially for those who may have been still on the dance floor till the AM. Enough said about that! The final trot up kicked off at sparrow fart. The bloody sun doesn’t appear in Wezza til close to 7AM. A bit of encouragement was needed but not enough for the hash tag #dontdoanollie!
Nina Clarke reported for duty into our commentary position at the edge of the arena. With the heater going and the door closed our possie was the bee’s knees!
The CCI 2 star were the first into the arena. This class got going before the CCI 1 and Junior class had completed the trot up and the last couple of 3 star were just finishing theirs too. Sit Tight Radio was getting set for a full day of show jumping and was unable to watch all the horses being presented.
No surprises that the show jumping can really shake up the leader board and the arena at this event has some interesting influences as well. The trees in the arena are often used by course designers to make the riders choose inside lines or not and the shadow of these trees can really make a difference to the horse’s reading the fence.
Luckily, we had the 3 star classes in the middle of the day, the CCI 1 star and CCIJ classes were the final classes to show jump. The weather was threatening, the wind picked up, the car park along K Road was growing! NSW won the teams event and the weekend of eventing at Wezza was drawing to a close. STR would like to say an enormous thanks to Janet Houghton and the crew they are a pleasure to work with, Melbourne International 3DE, hats off to you all.
Enormous thanks to our broadcast sponsor Bimbadeen Park, Shane and Niki Rose. The services offered at Bimbadeen Park are unsurpassed for both performance horses and young racehorses. Both Shane and Niki produce and sell great young eventers, fabulous purpose bred thoroughbreds with lines like Another Warrior and some lovely Warmblood lines on offer too. At Bimbadeen Park not only do they train and produce competition horses the staff have an opportunity to train with Shane and Niki to pursue their eventing dreams.
Keeping the gratitude going for Pine Park Farrier Services, AKA Paul Slattery. Paul is a rider, a farrier and loves the sport of eventing. See his facebook page and the Slatts story on our STR website.
Thanks Slatts for sponsoring the Tipping Comp, well done Matt Bates for the win tipping Oaks Cordelia, Celebration and Cushavon Mission.
Now for the AWARDS!!
The “Tits Up” award goes to the one and only Jess Pumpkin Tits Grossmann for a superb recovery in the cross country warm up arena.
The “Shoulda went to spec savers” award for Michael Dagostino, he was looking super in CCI 3 star cross country and unfortunately jumping the wrong or missing out the 3rd last fence.
The “chewy on ya shoe” award goes to Jamie Stichel and Image Blue Ice at the hollows fence in the CCI 3 star, Jamie was not coming off!
A newly appointed title the “Jonelle Price” award goes to Olivia Golly Barton for being fastest woman cross country in the CIC 3 star. I will support this award being bestowed as not at anytime of the round did any of the spectators’ gasp or hold their breath.
The “Sir Edmond Hilary” award goes to Jade Findlay and Oaks Cordelia for finally achieving the top!