Stellar Start to EQUITANA Melbourne

It’s been a day of thrilling competition and heart-stopping action at EQUITANA Melbourne. Thousands queued for the first of four days of horsey heaven at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Spectators at the opening day of EQUITANA Melbourne were treated to a host of top competition across the disciplines . . . and it is only going to get better as things ramp up over the coming days.

World Champs representative Chris Chugg was rock solid aboard his nine-year-old Selle Francais mare KG Queenie, taking out the 48-strong Horseware Australia 1.4m Jumping Prelude. Eleven combinations came back for the jump-off with seven of those finishing with clean slates.

Chris was fourth to go and laid a challenge the others just couldn’t match with his 45.2 second effort. Katie Laurie aboard Esteban MVNZ and James Arkins on Eurostar gave it a good nudge, coming home in 43.45 and 43.32 respectively but both had the fourth fence down.
Last to go, Tom McDermott and Alpha Activity also gave it their all but fell just short with their 45.49 second round to settle for runner-up with Clay Simmonds and Oaks Castanza were third in 46.03.

The IRT All Star The Way Of The Horse got underway and is already proving a winner with the crowds. Previous winners Adam Sutton, Bruce O’Dell, Ken Faulkner and Kiwi Tui Teka chose their horses from a herd of unhandled equines from the Mountain Creek Moriesian and Morgan Farm. It may only be day one, all are making incredible progress with each having placed a saddle on the horse and working on the fundamentals that will set them up for success in the coming days.

In the Off the Track Jumping, Jamie Winning and Who Knew made the most of being last to go in the opening round, going clear to take the class. Behind them four faulters Charlotte Flood aboard Collude with Me and Lily Invancic aboard Pronto E Allevamento filled second and third respectively.

Rio Olympian Susanne Hearn and her 16-year-old gelding Remmington claimed the EQUITANA Australian Open CDI-W Dressage crown with their 69.543% effort, edging out Lesley Anne Taylor aboard Amicelli Gold on 68.695% and Rozzie Ryan on Jarrah R in third on 68.304%. Today’s competition decided the order of go for Friday evening’s enchanting freestyle to music.

There’s a full programme of entertainment this evening at Full Flight, including the Fibre Fresh Speed Knockout Championship where the young guns take on the more experienced and the Full Flight Puissance where a compact field will try and break a 39-year-old 2.32m height record. For the brave soul who does, there’s an $80,000 payday.

Tomorrow is another full day of education, entertainment and competition including the Horseware Australia Grand Prix Showjumping, the second round of The Way Of The Horse and an incredible day of dressage culminating with the CDI-W Freestyle to Music.

Results –

Horseware Australia Jumping Prelude 1.4m: Chris Chugg, KG Queenie 1; Tom McDermott, Alpha Activity 2; Clay Simmonds, Oaks Castanza 3; Ally Lamb, Eagle Rock 4; Russell Johnstone, Dondersteen 5; Merrick Ubank, Warango Landidon 6.

Dressage, FEI Grand Prix CDI-W: Susanne Hearn, Remmington 69.543% 1; Lesley Anne Taylor, Amicelli Gold 68.695% 2; Rozzie Ryan, Jarrah R 68.304% 3; Katharine Farrell, Luxor 118 67.326% 4; Dirk Dijkstra, AEA Metallic 66.761% 5; Gitte Donvig, Sancette 66.087% 6.

Australian Stock Horse: Kate Schoen, Orlange MK Popcorn and Fiona Gordon, Gordonvale Cassnova 1; Sophie Bramucci, Todds Cassandra and Aaron Todd, Todds Billie 2; Jarod Healy, Jaylyn Downs Tex, Maddie Fullgrabe, Bulla Du Re Mi 3; Sally Beer, Waymere Oaks Legend, Fiona Beer, Parra Last Request 4; Imogen Mills, Gee Bee Pyper, Ashlee Carrigan-Walsh, Kardinia Jackman 5, Jason Fry, Condamine Liberty Belle, Cassidy Fry, Tyranook Steely Dan 6.

Off the Track Jumping: Jamie Winning, Who Knew 1; Charlotte Flood, Collude With Me 2; Lily Invancic, Pronto E Allevamento 3, Kacey Ledger, Prince Calaf 4; Esperance Fyfe, Tenacious Red 5, Adam Prime, Saddle Up Smudge 6.

For full list of results CLICK HERE