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Full report and photos from Day 3 at Adelaide International

  All 4 feet off the ground - Megan Jones and Kirby Park Allofasudden  - Adelaide - Jenelle Christopher

All four feet off the ground - Megan Jones and Kirby Park Allofasudden 

Photo Credit: Jenelle Christopher

Click here to view the photos from Day 3
 
By Amanda Ross
 
Well what a day! As per usual, there’s no rest for the wicked at Adelaide CCI, so it’s no surprise Jenelle and I have only just returned to our digs to blog/upload/argue with our technology… only to be faced with the movie ‘Grease’ on TV…which I am now trying not to join in with!
 
My day began with a walk/run around the 2*, assessing the course and adding my audio comments to the XC App. As a general overview, it would be very wise to have practised ditches… a lot!! The 2* had some interesting questions, including a rather ominous keyhole shared with the 4*, which will make for some variable sights tomorrow! Even though I have a PHD in keyholes (thanks to the now-reformed William), it still made my skin crawl!
 
Eleanor Osborn and her Highborne Rocker going through the last moments of mindset before producing a cracking test to be 3rd on 49.50
Photo Credit: Jenelle Christopher
 
The final riders in the 2* completed their tests this morning, with yesterdays leader Christine Bates (Kung Fu Panda) remaining narrowly ahead of Megan Jones (KP Invader/aka Freckles) on 47.5 & 48.5 penalties. Third placed Eleanor Osbourne (Highborne Rocker) was the only other sub-50 score on 49.4, in a big field of 53 starters. 
 
 
This years 4* is a small class of 14, which often happens the year of a WEG/Olympics when our top combinations aren’t contesting for a team spot. It’s also a good opportunity for those up and coming combinations to throw their hat in the ring, and grasp a share of the limelight.
 
Take a bow - Christine Bates and Jimmy O'Riely
Photo Credit: Jenelle Christopher
 
After watching every test (I’ve never done that before, lol!), I came to this conclusion - trying to do dressage on a horse who has been designed and trained to gallop, is like doing ballet in a pair of work boots – it’s possible, just not ideal, and doesn’t quite offer the same degree of finesse! Our eventers are so brave, such amazing creatures to gallop and jump the things we face them at, so I don’t dare degrade them in any way, but it seems that there are a number of variables, which make judging the damn things quite difficult! 
Keeping an accurate, consistent frame was in my opinion, the number one factor. Looseness through the body and a supple jaw gave more expressive movement and the ability to achieve the required angles and transitions is also key. 
 
Top cat for todays effort went to the seasoned KP Allofasudden and local hero Megan Jones (51.5), showing off his trump card extended trot. Belinda Isbister from WA produced what could potentially turn into a super impressive test, riding the headturning chestnut Holy Bruce (56.8…watch this space) into second. Third place to the only bloke in the class, Seumas Marwood riding his horse of a lifetime, Wild Oates, who showed some super work in the changes, and medium/extended canter with a beautiful uphill and expressive pace. Isabel English sits in 4th on Feldale Mouse, with a polished test from this young rider, who will no doubt be giving the XC a red hot crack come tomorrow!
 
Hold me tight - what a relief and what a great job - Hubby and wife share a moment after Megan's 4 Star test on her Kirby Park Allofasudden
Photo Credit: Jenelle Christopher
 
At the conclusion of the dressage, I set off to the start of the XC to meet Shane Rose, Chris Burton and Will Enzinger (my official course walk tour guide partners), to be welcomed by an absolute sea of people! In what was possibly the longest course walk known to man (just under 3 hours), we managed to pied-piper our keen crowd around from start to finish, taking it in turns to describe how and why we would jump each fence. I enjoy these occasions, because I always learn something, and get to pick the brains of my peers! The 4* has that typical Adelaide twist and consistent small undulations, always making tired horses and time hard to get. Some seriously tight apex’s, ditches galore, the skinniest arrowhead out of the coffin… tomorrow will be an interesting day!
 
How flexible and fit are you - Well - Amanda Ross is both - and has a gorgeous range of gear that you can purchase as well
Photo Credit: Jenelle Christopher
 
At this stage I had well and truly lost Jenelle, but as the day was still alive, it was off to help the Flexible Fit team move into their Rymill Lake pop-up shop for tomorrows XC. A trade standers life is never dull, and the rumours of next weeks Equitana madness were starting to make sense! My OCD started to kick in as all items had to be arranged in sizes, hung in symmetry, with complimentary colours and appropriate Feng Shui. Well I may be yet to conquer this last concept, but whats not to like about crocodile leather feng shui I ask?!
 
OK, it’s bed time for this little black duck, as tomorrow will be a big day on XC.
 
Reporter Ross, Over and Out.
 
Click here to view the photos from Day 3
 
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