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The Rock-itt : January 2014
Fur dograph y The first Jumping NSW Mini Prix Qualifier was set at 1.35m, with 46 combinations tackling the A2 course. Fourteen clears were produced and only a second and a half separated first from fifth. Tom McDermott took out top honours with his experienced partner CP Rolex, and fifth with his up-and-coming star Laguna Beach. Second went to Andrew Inglis riding the quick and careful Twins Quantum, with third and fourth going to Sydney Olympian Ron Easey who returned to the Olympic venue for the first time since 2000 with In The Red and Town Man respectively. In the second qualifier, held on Saturday in the Olympic Arena, eleven of the 45 starters were clear in the first round over the solid 1.40m track. There was a rare equal first after the jump-off, with Chris Chugg riding Diamond B Vegas and Jack Maunder on Cyra finishing on the same blistering time of 33.14 seconds. The Wentworth Saddles and Bob Brook Memorial Mini Prix Final on Sunday was set over a very technical 1.45m track. Palacios’s course proved to be a challenge for the field, with only three riders, a current and two former Australian champions -- Jamie Kermond, Ron Easey and Tom McDermott-- posting clears. Kermond came out first with Killeter Park Caracas and set a phenomenal pace from the outset taking the shortest possible track, he flew down to the last to post a clear and put the pressure on Easey and McDermott. Easey and Town Man set a quick pace to the first, however, a tight turn to the second drew a rail and a further two rails followed to put them out of contention. It came down to McDermott with the quick and scopey Laguna Beach to see if he could steal the win from Kermond. As he galloped to the last it looked like he had snatched the victory, but the clock showed he was .08 of a second slower to give the win to Kermond. Olympic course designer Palacios, based in Venezuela, described Sunday’s World Cup qualifier at the Summer Showjumping Classic as of an “international standard” and “one of the toughest classes in Australia”. Tom McDermott dominated the class from start to finish, jumping the only clear rounds of the class on SL Limerick. The Mulgoa-based 20-year-old was the last to go of the eight riders in the second round and entered the Olympic arena at Sydney International Equestrian Centre with three rails up his sleeve. He left the poles untouched around the tough Leopoldo Palacios- designed track to finish with just one time penalty, ahead of Queensland’s David Goodwin and the homebred Warrego Jericho and Victoria’s Tim Clarke on Caltango. McDermott finished runner-up in this event in 2011 on the same horse, making this year’s victory all the sweeter. Clarke’s third placing was enough to secure his exuberant grey mare Caltango the inaugural Ted Dwyer memorial award for the leading horse in the World Cup season. Jamie Kermond was officially crowned the leading rider of the 2013 Australian league of the World Cup, having come into this event with an unassailable lead. As usual Jane Frankum, John Vallance and their ar my of volunteers produced another show of world class standard and Australian riders thank them for the opportunity to jump over international level tracks, an invaluable experience in the lead up to the World Equestrian Games in 2014. Jamie Kermond Tom McDermott