Down under is where it is at this weekend – Adelaide CCI4*

Beijing 2008 Olympic Games team silver medallist Megan Jones with Kirby Park Allofasudden are all set for the FEI Classics™ at the Australian International 3 Day Event in Adelaide (AUS). (Julie Wilson/FEI)

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The charming South Australian city of Adelaide has put on its best “bib and tucker”, with Jacaranda trees covering the city in a beautiful pre-Christmas mauve haze, ready for the FEI Classics™ at the most prestigious equestrian event in the Southern Hemisphere, the Australian International 3 Day Event.

This second leg of the FEI Classics™ 2014/15, which starts with Dressage on Friday (14 November), makes the most of its unique urban location, as the course winds its way around the city’s Park Lands.

The event becomes more sophisticated and popular every year, helping to raise the profile of equestrian sport and Eventing in Australia, thanks to its incredible city location and a real party atmosphere.

The streets of Adelaide with the Jacaranda trees in bloom. Magical.

The streets of Adelaide with the Jacaranda trees in bloom. Magical.

A field of 14 athletes will start in Adelaide for the FEI Classics™. A few of the athletes contesting the four-star title include:

Megan Jones:
Beijing Olympic Games team silver medallist from Adelaide, Megan, is all set with her own and Alan and Stephanie Paulson’s Thoroughbred gelding by Rustic Amber, Kirby Park Allofasudden, known as Floyd in the stables.

Bred by Prim Cromwell from Mypolonga in South Australia, he was sold as a yearling at the Magic Millions Sales. His racing career did not go according to plan, and he changed hands a few times until he arrived at Kirby Park Stud for some re-education. He used to do all sorts of unexpected things, hence his name Allofasudden – “all of a sudden I was sitting on the ground.”

By far the most experienced horse in the field, Kirby Park Allofasudden was placed on the elite list and named as reserve for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and in the same year placed second at the Australian International 3 Day Event, his first four-star. After winning the Melbourne International CCI3* in 2009, followed by the Reynella CIC3*, he placed second again at the Australian International 3 Day Event in 2009 and won the Magic Millions Trophy.

Briefly on the London 2012 Olympic team before being side-lined, entered and withdrawn from Adelaide last year, Jones and “Floyd” last month cruised around Canberra’s CIC3* on Cross Country to take second place, so it is hoped that this rangy chestnut is back to his best.

Tegan Lush:
Tegan and Tempus Fugit, won the National Young Rider Eventing Championships at the Australian International Three Day Event in 2010, did not get to finish their first four-star the way they wanted when they had to retire at the 2012 edition of the FEI Classics™. This year, they are back with a vengance.

Jaimie Stichel:
Jaimie isfrom Charleston in South Australia with her Irish Sporthorse Image Blue Ice, winners of the Dublin National Young Rider Championship 2012 and who will be making their four-star début in Adelaide.

Seumas Marwood:
Seumaus has been competing in Eventing for over thirty years, has a strong chance in Adelaide this year with experience on his side and his wonderful Contango II mare Wild Oats, which has great jumping power.

Across country and city
Course designer Wayne Copping has set the 7,000 metre Cross Country for the FEI Classics™ with over sixty individually-designed, handcrafted obstacles based on the city sights of Adelaide.

Event Director Gill Rolton, pleased with the track, the water and preparation providing good footing, said: “We are really excited for the event this year with fantastic Aussie Eventing weather predicted. We have a few warm days in the 30s coming up, with some spots of rain and cool change on Friday for perfect Eventing weather – 20 degrees on Saturday and Sunday.

“The course looks stunning, with Adelaide City council working with us to produce a green irrigated track and an exciting Wayne Copping course.

“With the World Equestrian Games only a couple of months ago, many of Australia’s top combinations have not made it back in time to compete, but this opens it up to a bunch of new horses and riders chasing Australia’s biggest prize money, as well as FEI Classics series points with Rio in their sights.”

Weekend schedule:

Friday, 14 November – Dressage

  • 03:00 GMT – 06:06 GMT (04:00 CET – 07:06 CET)
  • 13:30 ACDT – 16:36 ACDT

Saturday, 15 November – Cross Country

  • 04:00 GMT – 05:30 GMT (05:00 CET – 06:30 CET)
  • 14:30 ACDT – 16:00 ACDT

Sunday, 16 November – Jumping

  • 04:20 GMT – 05:30 GMT (05:20 CET – 06:30 CET)
  • 14:50 ACDT – 16:00 ACDT

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Excerpted from FEI press release by Anna Sharpley

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