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The Rock-itt : October 2011
By Rachel Smith Photos by Rachel Smith at www.furdography.com.au Visit www.northsideridingclub.org.au for more information The Sunrises on the Sydney International Three Day Event Competition in the famous Sydney Three Day Event began on Friday 9 September in soggy conditions at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre, the venue where Australia won Eventing gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic gam es. Tim Boland from Wyong NSW on GV Billy Elliot held the lead after a beautiful test scoring 70.13% (44.80 penalties). Sydney 2000 Gold m edalist Stuart Tinney from Maraylya NSW on his new ride Pluto Mio was just behind in 2nd and two emerging talents, Victoria Luxford from Galston NSW and George Sheridan from Wilberforce NSW, shared equal third place, both delivering precise tests in the wet conditions. The clouds blew away on Saturday with cold winds that kept temperatures down for cross country. Emma Dougall from Tamborine QLD was first out on the course, built by International Course Designer Ewan Kellet, coming in clear with 3 seconds to spare on Kelecyn Ice Age and showing the rest of the class it could be done. Six of the 13 riders went clear over the 35 obstacles within the tim e. Three riders had problems at the huge brush into the Equestrian NSW water with =3rd placed George Sheridan from Wilberforce NSW being eliminated on Woznme after an earlier refusal at the first water. Tim Boland was over optimum time adding 2.4 penalties to his score and dropping him to third. Up and coming young rider Victoria Luxford from Galston NSW moved into 2nd with Perfect Encounter and Stuart Tinney moved into first place with the fastest tim e of 8.53 minutes on Pluto Mio. Sunday's weather was perfect and Channel Seven's Sunrise was there to film the glorious blue skies and the large crowd gathered for the final phase of Show Jumping. Competitors entered the arena in reverse order adding to the excitement for the spectators and the pressure on each rider was intensified with the commentary from race caller Matt Hill. After the first three riders collected a number of poles on the John Vallance course, Emma Dougall again showed that a clear round was possible with Ice Age. Christine Bates rode into the ring in 5th position and completed a precise, clear round. With just 3.40 penalties between 5th and 1st she would move up a place every time a rider ahead of her dropped a rail. Next into the arena was Craig Barrett from Branxton NSW who recently won the Melbourne 3* on Sandhills Brillaire. Despite his prestigious victory in Victoria a rail came down and Craig moved below Christine in the places. Tim Boland and GV Billy Elliot were picture perfect, jumping off the ground beautifully, but again time proved the trouble and Tim added 2 more penalties to his score also dropping him below Christine by .20 penalties. Victoria Luxford's round ended in spectacular fashion when Perfect Encounter stopped at the last fence unseating Tori who desperately tried to get back in the saddle. The crowd's encouragement wasn't enough for her to clamber back up and she stepped off in the mud resulting in elimination. Stuart Tinney was the final rider out on course and whilst he is a seasoned professional used to high pressure situations his new ride wasn't quite up to scratch and Pluto Mio had 2 rails down moving them to fourth and giving Christine the victory in what was a thrilling three day event. Tim finished second and Craig was third. John Vallance's show jumping track also played an important role in the final places of the Tarraleah Park 2*. Natalie Blundell from Harden NSW led after dressage on Just A Blonde picking up the bonus $250 prize from