The World Cup qualifiers are well under way in Australia, and The Royal Adelaide Show hosted the 7th qualifier so far. The event presented a first class arena for Australia's leading horses to contest the 2012 World Cup qualifying round. The grass surface provides as good a jumping surface as anywhere in the country and the horses and riders showed their appreciation with some excellent jumping over the course designed by FEI International Peter Holmes of Canada.
Sixteen combinations started in the competition with five horses having their first start in the World Cup competition. Peter Holmes hit the spot with a balanced track which encouraged the new talent as well as ensuring an exciting class for the patrons of the Adelaide Royal. There were five clear rounds, one on a time fault and a further four on two faults.
West Australian Alison Rowland jumped two super clear rounds riding her and Nicol Taylor's nine year old mare Bickley Brook Bella to win the qualifier. Second place was filled by fellow West Australian rider Rory Hovell on his imported stallion Yalambi’s Val D'Isere VDL with a two round total of just one fault. It was only the stallion's second World Cup start. Third place went to South Australian home crowd favourite Kristy Bruin on Belcam Cosmic.
The course consisted of 15 fences with a double and a treble. The fences were solid enough with the vertical, one stride oxer, one stride vertical treble up early in the course at number 5. Six of the sixteen starters incurred a fault at the treble, and mostly these were green mistakes from those stepping up to the higher level. The track then turned back to a vertical five stride line to an oxer and eight or nine strides to a 1.60m vertical. The oxer, two stride vertical double at number 10 also claimed a few faults as did the final 1.60m vertical. The five clear rounds were a fair result for the class.
The five clear rounds came from Alison Rowland and Bickley Brook Bella, Kristy Bruin from Mt Gambier with Belcam Cosmic, Tim Clarke riding his 16hh 10 year old warmblood grey mare Caltango, Young Rider Nicole Bruggemann on Bluesta in only her second Qualifier, and Paul Brent from Coldstream in Victoria with his own and Neil Clinton's imported Animo stallion, Animate. Rory Hovell on Yalambi’s Val D'Isere VDL jumped a very good clear round but incurred a single time fault.
Three of the young horse first timers who showed some good promise were former Olympian Russell Johnsone and Borealis Centurion, Luxenburg ridden by Russell Hearn, and the full sister to the eventual winner Bickley Brook Bianca, also ridden by Alison Rowland.
The second round track was full of options with a gallop to the last fence across the arena. Rory Hovell set the pace with a steady but careful clear round leaving him with a score of 1 which put the pressure on the successive clear rounds. Alison Rowland was the first clear to attack the course and finished with a clear round but beatable time. Both Kristy Bruin and then Tim Clarke found a faster time but were victims to the final fence gallop. Paul Brent on Animate and Nicole Bruggemann with Bluesta each had one rail but slower times.
1st Alison Rowland, Bickley Brook Bella
2nd Rory Hovell, Yalambi's Val D'Isere VDL
3rd Kristy Bruhn, Belcam Cosmic
4th Tim Clarke, Caltango
5th Paul Brent, Animate
6th Nicole Bruggemann, Bluesta
7th Adam Prime, Saddle Up Darn Good
8th Johnathon Smith, Sanskrit Park Vision
As the halfway point in the season is reached Evie Buller remains well in the lead in the FEI World Cup Australian League Leaderboard with 70 points and is followed by Kristy Bruin and Alison Rowland. Jumping now moves to Victoria and the Australian Showjumping Championships on 20-23 September at Werribee, where International Course Designer Franz Madl from Austria will determine who will be the 2012 National Champion. Click here for the standings.
The FEI World Cup Australian League series also serves as a qualifier for the Equestrian Grand Final - Jumping, with the top 15 ranked riders following the conclusion of the Mlebourne CSI-W to automatically qualify for the final which is to be held at EQUTANA Melbourne on Thursday 15 November. EA will award a further three wild card entries which will take the start list to 18.
Text by Peter Cooke, Equestrian Australia.
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