Well the 2016 Melbourne International 3DE was blessed with the best weather I can remember from all the years of competing and Sit Tight’s last 2 years of broadcasting.
Sit Tight Radio kicked off the Horseware Australia coverage at the first horse inspection on Thursday afternoon when the weather probably threatened the most but Madison Simpson’s grey gelding out did the weather when trotting beside Madison was not in his playlist for the afternoon. My co-commentator Lindsey (Nairn) Constable took off with the earphones on to try to prevent Tiraumea Coachman’s escape, reinacting the scene from my Big Fat Greek Wedding, you get the picture!
The first day of dressage got underway with the army of volunteers with buckets, rakes and mops trying to make the main arena for the 2 and 3 star slop free and with a few clouds on the horizon it seemed that their efforts may have been short lived but the weather gods shone down for the day, so away we went into a bright mostly sunny day of competition. Jade Findlay rode in her top hat but said topper wasn’t held down well enough and tried to do a similar manoeuvre as Tiraumea Coachman by taking flight. Jade took one hand off the reins to catch the flying topper which gave Oaks Cordelia a fright big enough to make any barrel racer proud by spinning one handed in a five metre wheely! Which was mighty disappointing because the big mare was looking very fancy up till there.
Cross country day at the Werribee Mansion even if the weather is typical of Melbourne, brings out every Victorian that’s ever patted a pony and it’s their chance to wear their Jodphurs! That being said, the going was the best I’ve seen it, the sun was in attendance even if the temperature stayed in the low teens and the Sit Tight Radio commentary gazebo lasted the whole day with doing what Jade’s top hat wanted to do! The top ten of the 1 star was a condensed version of the top 20 from the dressage and even then only 8 were without time penalties. There were a scattering of refusals and a couple of horse and rider separations here and there, the seventy-four strong field depleted to fifty-five. The junior class took on the same track and early in the track, fence 6 was the first of the water complexes and we saw the best rendition of “sitting tight” by Rose Stacey riding Gunns Monty. An extremely athletic regain of the seat, thanks to Gunns Monty being the kind hearted soul waiting for Rose to climb back in the plate to avoid a wet pair of jods. Unfortunately, their round was brought to a halt later in the round at fence fifteen, the second water complex.
The sun kept shining the rest of cross country day similar to the fabulous yellow colours of Nina Clarke riding L.P Boudin in the CCI 2 star to take the overnight lead from Sam Jeffree, Jaybee Calypso and Deon Stokes’ Crime Time both picking up a refusal. CCI 3 star ran fairly smoothly but Stuart Tinney with both Warhawk and Carlchen being held on course right before the most influential part of all the courses “the Hollows”, only a rider with Stuart’s experience allowed him and his horses to restart totally unfazed.
In the CIC 3 star, a field of 9 horse and rider combinations would take on the course late in the day, sadly Megan and her 2 rides History and Kirby Park Impress were unable to read the “fish” in the middle element of the last water complex, fence 18B, so Megan chose to call it a day. Shane, Stuart and Sonja just made the whole track look seriously easy, which will only give the selectors more to chew over between now and June 29th when the final short list will be named.
Sit Tight Radio added some new members to the commentary team which really kept the vibe pumping for the event. Lindsey Constable and Jo Brady held the reins for the sand dancing. Roger and K.A. Whyte did an amazing job out amongst the elements Sunday cross country. Show jumping day Catherine Davies and Seumas Marwood did a great job in the commentary box right at the edge of the ring. Thanks guys!
Many thanks to Horseware Australia, check out their online store, click here for the link www.horseware.com.au
Now to the awards
Silk purse award
Goes to Janet Houghton and the band of merry peoples that made the Melbourne event the best yet, I’m not sure they had control of the weather but if they did they got that pretty right too
A weird quirky family affair
How many horses and riders were family?
Mel Mayer riding Don Skipcello who is the sire of Chocoholic, ridden by Murray Lamperd, as was Don Skipcello!
Soigne Jackson’s 2 rides, Warrego Collaterol Damage is the sire of Ultimate Velocity
Then there’s the Tinney triangle, let alone that father and daughter were winners (wow amazing stuff!) Annapurna and Pluto Mio have the same dam
And then of course there’s something in the water in Werombi but we’ve discussed that before
The Coaches’ Delight Award
On Saturday we saw the CCI Junior class doing dressage and during an intermittent lapse into true Werribee weather (sideways rain and a howling gale!) Hannah McLean competed Incy Wincy Spider. The little dappled grey Warmblood cross arab/ riding pony never missed a beat, to say Hannah was focused is nearly an understatement. Their cross country round was foot perfect but the show jumping on Monday is where they won the prize. Hannah cantered into the arena and she definitely got the memo to keep your reins short, it was after fence 3 when every coach in the crowd sighed in awe of said rein length. Let alone riding skills, Hannah and Incy Wincy Spider are a delightful combination.
Thanks for listening everyone the next broadcast will be Quirindi International, 8th,9th and 10th July.