Off Sit Tight Radio trotted to Sydney International 3DE and although the CCI (which in old speak would be a long format 3DE) was under subscribed, the CIC classes helped the event feel much bigger. One does ponder what the committee needs to do to draw the big numbers to support this event, the venue is purpose built for this style of event and maintains its grandeur 17 years down the track.
Our live broadcast commenced on Thursday afternoon for the first horse inspection. Just the 21 horses from the 3 classes presented, Shaun Dillion and myself situated at the end of the runway. No wardrobe malfunctions in sight. Even Shauno trotted out the smart casual look to take up the microphone. Winners of the best dressed CCI 1* – Rob Palm & Clara Palm. CCI 2* – Andrew Cooper & Kenya Wilson CCI 3* – Maddy Wilson & Jess Grosmann, as there were no fellas in this class Grozzy, sporting a very fashionable polka dot dress, won the boys prize.
Friday dressage with co- commentators Zanna “dressage queen” Northam, Chris “Hoppy” Hopkins, we took position on the blue lounge, the test ride by Christine Bates and Spooks (Adelaide Hill) set the bar high and got the crowds flocking to the main arena. CCI 2 star class got the party started and Hunters Hill looked the goods from the square dancing. As did Justine Streeter riding Warrego Marco Polo, who went into the lead. CIC 3 star and Katie Taliana was on form from the get go, Friday Street up with the big kids. Tim Boland’s Napoleon is a Sit Tight fav even without Ollie in the saddle and of course Billy Elliot is a great horse. CCI 3 Star, Kirby Park Impress certainly impressed the crowd and the judges, the big fella Jirrima Yorkshire and diminutive Tania Harding put in a very solid test for 2nd. Another Sit Tight fav I’m Bruce with Maddy (let’s keep the tiny tot jokes to a minimum!) Wilson, producing some nice work. Along came Grozzy with Tooter, Belmont Backstage, got stage fright and promptly put himself in the bad books. Enough said really!
Whilst CCI dressage going on the southern side the CIC 1 and 2 star where in full swing and the young event horse classes were happening on the grass on northern side. Lovely young horses of note were – Niki “Chappas” Rose jumping off plane from Badders and straight into saddle to win and place 2nd in 4yo class. Stuart (busier than a one-armed wall paper hanger) Tinney won the 6yo and overall champ on gorgeous chestnut Celebration. One to watch for sure as this was a back to back winner, 1st Equestriad in 105, and a repeat performance here as well as the YH.
Saturday cross country day starting off with the CIC 1 star and trailblazing was Maddy Wilson on the first of her 3 rides, Mumbo Jumbo picking up a couple of seconds for time was a good positive start for the day. The very stylish Celerity Park Faberge with gorgeous Grace Kay right up amongst them after dressage (no surprise there), kicking on up the hill approaching fence 5, whoopsi slipped on the flat between fences, oh no there went many punter’s hopes for the tipping competition! Not many horses later poor Justine Streeter’s young Monte Argo parted company so meant the end of the competition for Justine’s CCI 2 star Warrego Marco Polo, double dam! Only 6 clear of time and jumping meant the leader board took a bit of a pounding. Great to see Christine Bates take the lead with Jimmy O’Reilly, only picking up 1.6 time and clear show jumping to add.
The 1 star long format, CCI, handled the course much better with only 2 horses picking up a handful of time faults, being Jaybee Vibrant and Fairview Rembrandt with young gun Thea Horsley piloting both her rides to really classy clear jumping rounds. It was a shame that another young’n Jamie McElroy took an unscheduled dip at the water jump, this pair have been on the improve all season with a handy run around Equestriad in the 2 star under their belt, we will be keeping an eye on HH Hawke at the upcoming Melbourne 3DE.
With only the 2 horses setting off around the CCI 2 star the day was getting serious, the spectators were building around the hilly track and the sun was shining. Unfortunately, Barrabadeen Apsire’s day at the office, Kenya Wilson’s mount, ended with a sad face emoji, walking home from the water jump. Hunters Hill and AC ate it up the track like a kid with birthday cake.
The CIC 2 star handled the jumps without too many hiccups but the time seemed elusive and then along came Golly Barton on APH Bertie Bad, in their nonchalant way just seemed to make doing the time look seriously easy, don’t know what the big deal was all about! Andrew Barnett set sail with APH Sparky and it’s was obvious sparks were flying outta Sparkie and made the zeros come up and won the class with double clear from the show jumping earlier in the day.
Next we had the big guns blazing with the CCI 3 star out on course for 10 mins, 7 starters, 1 clear, go the tiny tot, 3 with 20 of jumping and sad to report 3 including another fav Megan and KP Impress doing the long walk home.
My voice went up 5 octaves as Katie and Friday Street were getting closer to the start box, the CCI class had shown it was a tough track and with most of the major tests still in their track I was cursing being so far from the nearest loo! Away they went and Friday Street was up to all the questions asked of him and being one of the lesser experienced horses in the field, this seemed to settled all who were watching allowing them to enjoy the competition. Rob Palm rode the very impressive big mare Halcyons Dark Secret very well picked up a few time penalties but this mare has international horse stamped on her that’s for sure. With the toughest combination, the big Olympic water only a couple of fences from home, Katie and a couple of the others deciding to take a packed lunch to do the long option, where it was either a big angle brush drop down into the water, straight on to a hugantic apex and the up the bank, 1 stride to the angle duck.
Feature image is Maddy at the hugantic apex in the water.
Emma Bishop and Issey Myake didn’t get all their ducks in a row and the duck was where it was all over red rover for them. Another sad face emoji inserted here. Clifford was in fine form posting the fastest time with 6.8 penalties and Tim with Billy got their moneys’ worth taking their time but coming home clear.
The 60th birthday bash on Saturday night, celebrating 60 years of Sydney 3 day event. Bunty Thompson told us tales of going overseas with horses on boats for many many weeks making us all feel like light weights in the modern era, all those flash trucks with pop out living areas and air conditioning, positively soft in comparison! The “yes glucosamine and green lipped mussel powder does actually work” award goes to the 1997 Australian Young Rider team who chose the Saturday night shindig to have an impromptu reunion. The Gen X eventers of today were nowhere to be seen as these guys and gals dusted off their dancing shoes and cut a rug. Lucky none had to trot up the next day or possibly even the next week.
Sunday morning trot up was reasonable quick with about the same amount of horses being presented including the CIC 3 star. Up in the main arena the 105 class were completing their event with the show jumping kicking off at sparrow fart 8am. The coffee wagon got a good workout and a little bit of cruising the tradestands before the CCI 1 star got underway at a very civilised 11.30am. Doubled Vision and AC took the top award, Thea Horsley won the Rod Winchester award for the Best & Fairest Young Rider Trophy. The CCI 2 star had 1 horse to jump but all class Andrew Cooper finished on his dressage score with Hunters Hill, great work AC and his team.
CIC 3 star next out into the arena, 12 horses to jump, 3 of the riders had 2 to ride so they came into the arena a little jumbled in the reverse order but once we got into the final 4 they were in placing order. To say Katie Taliana rode beyond her years is probably an over statement but it’s no mean feat for all your plans to fall into place but that’s exactly how it went. A good clear round for Friday Street would give a great feel for the course. However the cards fell for Trevalgar 11, would be accepted, as his form in show jumping is not you would call a sure thing. Well ya wouldn’t bet the house on him jumping clear, but bugger me, Katie rode him just right and WOW they won! There were tears on the blue lounge and up in Moonbi with Sharmayne listening in, I even saw hubby Nic wipe away a sneaky tear of joy!
Settling down for the final class as some threatening clouds started to gather (insert here thanks to Tamworth Horse Transport for the weather update) with just the 4 horses to jump, all eyes stayed glued to the arena till the end. All the horses looked bright and still fresh for the jumping, a rail or 2, nothing too worrying. Into the arena I’m Bruce cantered, looking dappled and splendid, nice jump over fence 1 and the curve to fence 2 and …… a slight miscommunication, ooops! … no more of those Maddy! Jumped the rest of the course really well after that big wake-up call and won the class, well done, phew!
We here at STR like to hand out awards when a particular standard of competition excellence has been achieved. Its not very often that the CCI 3star winner also gets the “sit tight” award but Mads Wilson was a worthy recipient after looking all but goooone at fence 2 in the showjumping.
A huge thanks to Smit and Tony from Brighton Saddlery proud supporters of the tipping competition and well done Katie Taliana winning BOTH the fabulous $100 gift vouchers for tipping the CCI winners and the CIC winners, of course by tipping Trevalgar to win! “Gotta back yourself!”
Here’s the link to the Brighton Saddlery website.
…and by the way Sit Tight Radio has a new page, the “Get Tipping” page where you’ll find all the links, entrants and winners.
Stay tuned for our next broadcast Melbourne International 3DE, from trot up day Thursday afternoon 8th June. I hope you are listening and get into the tipping comp. a lil secret I can let you in on….. Harcour gear are the prizes!!!