Shane Rose and CP Qualified lead the field after dressage in the Adelaide CCI4* on a score of 42.1, which gives them a comfortable seven-point margin over second-placed Katja Weimann and BP Flamboyant as we look ahead to cross country.
While Shane felt like he left some marks on the table, he said after the test that he was very pleased overall: “He’s a different horse from two years ago, and I would have been disappointed if I was not in this position today. I am confident he is going to do a good job in the next two days.”
CP Qualified, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Shane and Felicity and Elizabeth Wischer, placed seventh in the CCI4* at this event last year with a clear cross country round, though on a different designer’s course. This year Mike Etherington-Smith has taken over the track, which weaves in and out of the city of Adelaide.
“It is a really nice track and the going is good,” Shane said. “It is a typical Mike Etherington-Smith track. There is not one individual fence that looks difficult, just a consistent test all the way around, and the time will be a factor, as it always is at Adelaide.”
Click here to see a full preview of Mike’s course, including his commentary on each fence, courtesy of our friends at CrossCountry App. With the time difference in Australia, EN readers in North America can watch cross country live on FEI TV starting at 10 p.m. EST tonight.
Looking to the rest of the leaderboard after dressage, Katja Weimann and BP Flamboyant sit in second place on a score of 49.1. This combination completed Adelaide CCI4* two years ago, and Katja will once again look to pilot her 12-year-old Hanoverian/Thoroughbred gelding to a clear cross country effort.
BP Flamboyant has bounced back from an injury that kept him sidelined for much of the 2014 season, and Katja said after her test that the horse “feels very fit and strong” and that she is looking forward to “chasing Shane all the way” on cross country.
New South Wales rider and trainer Christine Bates and Adelaide Hill, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred/warmblood gelding, round out the top three on a score of 49.4. This pair has twice completed the Adelaide CCI4*, both times in 11th place, and now Christine is well positioned to improve on that final placing.
“I have been working hard with eventing dressage trainer Gareth Hughes, and Adelaide Hill was the most relaxed and rideable he has ever been and he gave me 110 percent out there, even though the marks did not reflect that,” Christine said. “I’d be very disappointed if I am not sitting in this position or better tomorrow evening.”
As for her thoughts on cross country, Christine added: “It is a track that tests the communication you have with your horse. You really need to know your horse.”
Tune in to FEI TV at 10 p.m. EST to watch CCI4* cross country live, and stay tuned for more from Adelaide.