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2 Equitana – 10-13 October Horse lovers from all over Australia and around the world headed to Sydney November 10th – 13th to be part of the biggest and most exciting equine spectacular in the southern hemisphere – Equitana Sydney. Equestrian Australia joined forces with Equitana to develop and run a national annual Grand Final for dressage, jumping and express eventing with qualifying events held throughout the year all over Australia. Beijing Olympic silver medalist Shane Rose won the inaugural Exhibition Eventing Grand Final title in front of thousands on Sunday night held on the Sydney Showground main arena. 3 Thousands cheered on some of the country’s best stars in action with plenty of excitement including a few spills, a few near misses and overall red hot competition. The arena based format known as Exhibition Eventing captures the elements of eventing including dressage, jumping and cross country with the key to secure the least amount of penalties in the fastest time. Rose riding Il Vici, won the $15,000 class ahead of Craig Barrett riding Sandhills Brillaire and Dominic Karina Ingvall riding Corambo. While Rose admits that exhibition eventing will never replace the traditional three-day event, he said it has the potential to help grow the sport. “By providing a taste of what the sport has to offer hopefully this (exhibition eventing) will open the sport up to a new audience and excite them enough to come along to our major events,” said Rose. “It was really fun out there and the atmosphere was fantastic. It was loud and you could hear people getting behind you.” It was a star studded field with UK based Australian riders Clayton Fredericks (Beijing silver medallist), Paul Tapner (winner Badminton Four Star) and Sam Griffiths (World Games representative) all riding borrowed horses which added an additional level of excitement to the night. “It’s always challenging riding these courses at the best of times let alone on borrowed horses, so I think those guys did really well,” said Rose. For Fredericks his new partner tested his horsemanship skills with the “joker” fence becoming their undoing when 4 he fell from the horse and was eliminated. He wasn’t the only one to succumb to the joker fence, with Tim Boland also eliminated due to a fall. The exhibition eventing bought to a close the inaugural Equestrian Grand Final that was held as part of Equitana Sydney. Jenny Sheppard 47


Equestrian_NSW_Yearbook_2011
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