It was a day to remember for Shane Rose, who is ticking the boxes on his quest to represent Australia at Rio next year. He certainly gave the selectors plenty to sit up and pay attention to in the final phase of the Adelaide CCI4*, jumping clear aboard Virgil and lowering one rail with CP Qualified to take first and second overall.
Shane did have a fence in hand with CP Qualified, who led through the entire weekend, and needed to use that during his round. Nonetheless, his final score of 49.3 was enough to clinch the win (over himself) and the only score in the 40s to end the weekend. CP Qualified is a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Felicity and Elizabeth Wischer — this is his third CCI4* start, second placing within the top 8 or better, and his first win at the level.
Virgil, a 10-year-old gelding owned by Michelle Hasibar and Brett Jones, finishes up his first CCI4* start on a final score of 50.8 after seeing much success at the three-star level prior to his move up. It’s apparent now that Shane has a couple of different tools in his arsenal as he continues his Olympic campaign.
“I knew Clarke would be really hard to beat and we have about six Aussie guys that are here that I knew would be up there,” Shane said after his win. “I think both horses have performed very well and it would have been great to jump clear on Qualified but to run first and second in this field is what I was hoping I could do.”
“Before the event I said I would be pretty disappointed if I didn’t finish in the top four. I have very competitive horses and I felt if I did a good job that we’d be close. Coming down here I openly said here that this is where I wanted to qualify and get selected for Rio.”
Holding on to third place following show jumping is Clark Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation, an 11-year-old New Zealand Warmblood owned by the Johnstone Family, who also made his debut at the CCI4* level this weekend. Clark is also on the Olympic radar and will head to the UK in the spring to continue his quest to be named to the New Zealand team.
Sonja Johnson, a sheep farmer by day, moved up from 15th into fourth on cross country day and didn’t let go of that placing in the final phase, jumping double clear Parkiarrup Illicit Liason to finish on a three day score of 59.4. This horse evidently had an overreach coming in to the event, which put Sonja on the fence on competing him.
“He really had a poor preparation, as I have only been able to ride him for a few days,” she said. She certainly pulled it together for the weekend though and will be another one for the selectors to keep their eyes on as the next season begins.
It’s been a great weekend of eventing from Down Under, and we’d like to thank the FEI as well as the Adelaide press office for keeping us up to speed on the happenings — almost as good as being there ourselves!
We’d also like to take a moment to wish Kiwi photographer Libby Law all the best as she suffered a rollerblading accident and landed herself in the hospital before this event. We’re sad to not see her beautiful photos coming from Adelaide, but we hope to see her back in action soon!