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2024 Adelaide Equestrian Festival

18-21 April 2024

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The Adelaide Equestrian Festival got underway with the Racing SA CCO 3 Star competition. In cool conditions 21 competitors were judged on their dressage tests.  Olivia Barton & APH Sodoku were in front at the end of the day on 29.9 just ahead of Jade Findlay & Piks Dancing Queen on 30.8 with Sam Woods in third riding SS Eight Count on 31.8   The highest placed of the five thoroughbreds in the class was Olvia Shore & Dreamcatcher on 32.4 who was registered to race as Florida Boy but didnt make the track while the highest placed of the raced horses was Luke Jones & Spirit (who raced as Muradeem) on 33.8.

Friday saw the 4 star competitors in action where 2023 winner Shenae Lowings & Bold Venture were in front on 27.8.  Bold Venture was bred in South Australia being by Devaraja for Perth connections and raced as Hell on Wheels.  IN second place was Oliver Barrett & Sandhills Special on 30.5 who won the 3 star competition in 2023 while Hazel Shannon & Willinga Park Clifford 3 time winner of the 5 star class was in third place on 31.4

The 5 star dressage was the focus of the afternoon where there were 11 competitors including two off the track thoroughbreds.  New Zealander Diane GIlder & Your Attorney (who was unplaced at his only start) led at the end of the day on 31.5 from Andrew Cooper & Hey Arnold on 33.7 with Gordon Bishop & Advantage Hill on 34.2 in third place.  The other thoroughbred in the class was Donna Edwards-Smith's DSE Mendoza who raced in New Zealand as Pompei Cat.

Saturday was cross country day and the weather was perfect for the horses to gallop around the Adelaide Parklands.  In the 3 star event overnight leader Olivia Barton & APH Sodoku went clear jumping but 2 time penalties which dropped them to second place on 31.9 as Sam Woods & SS Eight Count went clear to remain on their dressage score and take the lead on 31.8.  Olivia Shore & Dreamcatcher moved up after going clear to third place on 32.4.  The only other double clear on the cross country was Ellie Gough & Don J'Amee who moved up to 4th on 33.  Luke Jones & Spirit remained the highest placed of the raced thoroughbreds on 37.4 in 7th spot.

In the 4 star class Shenae Lowings and Bold Venture powered around the cross country course being the only combination to go clear in both jumping and time and retained their lead on their dressage score of 27.8.  In second was Andrew Cooper & Pepper Jack who moved up from 7th after a clear run over jumps and 2.4 time penalties to be on 39.6 with Oliver Barrett & Sandhills Special in third place after going clear on jumping but recording 11.6 time penalties for a score of 42.1.  Hazel Shannon & Willinga Park Clifford were 4th after clear on jumping but 16 time penalties for 47.4.

In the 5 star Olivia Barton & Hollyander in her first attempt at five star level powered up from 7th to take the lead on 36.2 after going clear jumping & on time being the only combination to remain on their dressage score while Diane Gilder & Your Attorney went clear jumping but recorded 14.8 time penalties for a score of 46.3 with David Middleton & WEC In The Money moving up from 9th after dressage for third on 47.8 after recording 8.8 time penalties.  Andrew Cooper had a refusal at a skinny fence in the middle of the Horseland Apex & Flower in the later stages of the course finishing on 62.9 while Gordon Bishop & Advantage Hill were withdrawn from the final day after a refusal at the water and 40 time penalties.  Donna Edwards-Smith and DSE Mendoza moved up to 4th with only 11.2 timepenalties for a total of 51.3.

Into the last day of showjumping and first up the 3 star event was decided with Oliva Barton & SPH Sodoku  going clear on time and jumping to win on 31.9.  Second went to Olivia Shore & Dreamcatcher who moved up with a clear round remaining on 32.4 while Gemma Tinney & PHS Hilton moved up to take third place on 36.2 with a clear round.  The Young Rider went to Olivia Shore.

In the four star event Shenae Lowings & Bold Venture had one rail down but held on to win with 31.8 with Andrew Cooper again runner up as in 2023 but this time riding Pepper Jack on 43.6 after also having one rail.  In third place was Oliver Barrett & Sandhills Special on 46.9 after one rail and 0.8 of a time fault. 

The 5 star class finished the day and the showjumping course proved a challenge with only one clear round.  David Middleton & WEC In The Money were the third last to go and put a faultless display to finish with clear on jumping and time and a score of 47.8.  This was David's second win in the event after winning in 2000 on Willowbank Jack.  Second place went to Olivia Barton & Hollyander HG after 4 rails and 1.2 time penalties for a total score of 53.4 while third place & highest placed thoroughbred went to Donna Edwards-Smith & DSE Mendoza from New Zealand on 63.3 after having 3 rails in the showjumping.

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