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1 As Shane was cooling off Mortiz with his trusted Bimbadeen team, Natalie Blundell was buzzing round the course riding Julia McLean’s Algebra. The other combination that looked on flying form was Murray Lamperd riding Under the Clocks. Although Murray may have looked a little rusty as he negotiated his way around the course (and he admitted as much) the pair finished third behind Craig and Natalie at the end of cross country day, despite picking up 20 penalties at the B element of fence 17 – the Horseland Possum and Tail. After coming through the A element which was a keyhole approached on a sharp left hand bend up a short steep hill riders ran down the other side of the hill turning right to jump the B element and Under the Clocks just slipped out the side. At the end of the day the scoreboard showed that only eight of the 14 starters were still in the competition and only two combinations had gone clear (well done William). In a press conference at the end of the day TD Alec Lochore spoke about the problems at fence 13 saying “We haven’t really had time yet to look closely at all the footage but that is something that we will certainly do. But at this stage it appears that some horses jumped over the last bit of sand into the water and that just didn’t give them a good stride to the skinny brush fence. Those that just cantered back into the water seem to meet the fence on a better stride. Some people have suggested it could have had something to do with the horses going from shade back into the bright sunshine but there wasn’t that much time between the first horse going and the last so the sun wouldn’t have moved that much and some had problems while other didn’t. We will be going back and looking at the footage to learn from what happened today.” When the show jumping got underway with seventh placed Andrew Cooper it became clear he was not going to be finishing on his overnight score and by the time he came to the end of his round six rails were on the ground. Crystal Conning suffered a similar fate and despite her best efforts Marcus Aurelius just couldn’t leave the rails up. Although the cricket score of jumping faults didn’t look too good on the leader board it was certainly more to do with slightly weary horses facing another jumping test in the sun after a hot cross country day, as opposed to any bad riding. Keira Byrnes, who had taken several rails down at lasts years Adelaide, nursed Fox Hill around and although the jumping faults were less the time penalties added up. That said finishing fifth, as Keira did, in a CCI4* is a huge achievement whatever the final score. Both Jessica Mason and Murray Lamperd took three rails down and then it was left to the final two riders to bring the event to an exciting finale. With Craig already having two rails in hand it was vital that Natalie didn’t give him any more breathing space but when the first part of the treble came down along with the last fence Craig cantered into the arena with four fences up his sleeve. Sandhills Brillaire jumped the sort of round that most of us can only dream about. She was careful, she listened and I think all those watching put the last fence coming down in to the ‘I’ve just about made it’ category. The grin on Craig’s face said it all and the hug he gave his wife Prue (who he describes as his biggest supporter) confirmed that here was a man who was feeling on top of the world. “Not bad for a first timer!” laughed Craig. “I may have taken a while to finally finish a four star but to finish it and win is pretty exciting. I have to thank Sparkle’s wonderful owners, Julie and Keith Osborne who have been great supporters of ours for many years. The support I get from my family is so important and I think I’ve even manage to please my son Oliver this weekend – although he’ll probably tell me off for taking down the last fence. The girls, Jess and Gemma, who have looked after the horses this weekend have been fantastic … it’s a real team effort.” 1) Natalie Blundell and Algebra CCI4* at HSBC Adelaide 2) Stuart Tinney and Pluto Mio CCI4* at HSBC Adelaide 3) Keira Byrnes and Fox Hill, HSBC Adelaide CCI4* 4) Shane Rose and APH Moritz, HSBC Adelaide CCI4* 5) Shane Rose and CP Qualified cooling down after cross country 6) Craig Barrett receiving the FEI Training Bursary at Adelaide from Brendan Green of HSBC Images by ESJ Photo, JSL Photography and The Eventer 2 50


Equestrian_NSW_Yearbook_2012
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