Articles Written 2
Article Views 2,935

Alexandra Doumany


Become an Eventing Nation Blogger

About Alexandra Doumany

Latest Articles Written

Mark Todd Secures Top Honours at Western Australia’s Equestrian in the Park

Mark Todd & The Diamond Thief. Photo by Ammon Creative, courtesy of Equestrian in the Park.

Eventing legend Mark Todd rode away with the top honours at last weekend’s Equestrian in the Park, on board his catch ride off-the-track  Thoroughbred The Diamond Thief. The 8-year-old gelding, owned by Kate Joyce, wasn’t the most experienced of Mark’s rides, but under his expert guidance came out to give two fast and flawless rounds over the challenging course to secure the win and the brand new Ford SUV.

Of the event, Mark was hugely impressed by the course and atmosphere. “When you get invited to an event like this, you never quite know what to expect, but I can promise you that it far exceeded any expectation that I had,” he said. “I can honestly say this is one of the most special, spectacular events of its type anywhere in the world.”

Mark Todd & The Diamond Thief. Photo by Ammon Creative, courtesy of Equestrian in the Park.

Mark Todd & The Diamond Thief. Photo by Ammon Creative, courtesy of Equestrian in the Park.

The elite Grand Prix eventing competition, held on the riverbanks of Perth’s inner-city, proved to be an electric atmosphere with a crowd of 3,500 people. This, combined with the challenging course designed by Alan Campbell and the competitive field made up of Olympians and top local riders, made for an adrenaline-filled day of equestrian sport. The weather was just what was ordered, sunshine without too much sting that was kind on the horses and the all of those who were frocked up in their finest.

The top five placegetters were decided by a fast-paced jump off which was a new addition to the format this year, and while Mark Todd led from Round 1, the placings saw some changes. The water complex was an influential line, made up of a wavy board show jump heading down into the water, which not only caused trouble throughout the day, but proved unforgiving in a jump off where tighter lines were taken. This was not so for Mark Todd and Kirsten Twining however, who both jumped clear, meaning it all came down to the clock, with Mark storming into first on a blistering time to win by four and a half seconds.

Grand Prix class results:
Rider / Horse / Awards / Prize-Voucher
1. Mark Todd / The Diamond Thief / Highest Placed OTTB / Ford Eco Sport — $29,900
2. Kirsten Twining / Newhope Sparks Fly / 2nd Highest Placed OTTB / Solar Gain Voucher — $7,500
3. Emily Gray / Jocular Vision / Highest Placed Warmblood / Bates Voucher — $5,200
4. Michael Dagostino / Kinnordy Gatow / Kentaur Voucher — $4,500
5. Lucy Atty / A Bit Taboo / Southern Stars — $3,400
6. Kate Ingham / Asti Aspirations / Saddles Plus – $1,900
7.  Emily Gray / Rio Tonto / Jump for Joy – $1,300
8. Kirsten Twining / Max Almighty / Ovarit Jumps — $800
9. Sophie Warren / Hazid Road / Milne Feeds — $600
10. Mia Mercuri / ESB Irish Nymph / Highest placed Junior / Saddles Plus — $500

Olivia Shore & Eliva Massimo. Photo by Ammon Creative, courtesy of Equestrian in the Park.

Thoroughbreds shone again in the 105cm Diamond Class, making up half of the horses in the 40 strong field, which was taken out by Olivia Shore on her own off-track Thoroughbred Eliva Massimo.

Olivia, who is 15 years old, not only won herself her first car, but was awarded the highest placed junior and the award for best performed Off the Track horse. In addition to her win, she placed 8th on Legal Star, who had previously won the Grand Prix event and Adelaide 4* with owner Jess Manson.

Olivia Shore & Eliva Massimo. Photo by Ammon Creative, courtesy of Equestrian in the Park.

Olivia Shore & Eliva Massimo. Photo by Ammon Creative, courtesy of Equestrian in the Park.

She also overcame some tough competition from Australian Olympian Sam Griffiths, who took out 3rd and 10th place on two of his rides for the weekend. There were many tricky lines in the class, with tight cross country doubles jumping towards the crowds, and the wavy boards into the water still proving troublesome, making a clear round tough to achieve.

Diamond Class results:
Rider / Horse / Awards / Prize-Voucher
1. Olivia Shore / Eliva Massimo / Highest Placed OTTB & Highest Placed Junior / Ford Escape — $24,590
2. Michael Dagostino / TMP Razzle Dazzle / 2nd Highest Placed OTTB / Equissage Unit — $5,500
3. Sam Griffiths / Kendlestone Park Elite / 3rd Highest Placed OTTB / Horseland — $4,500
4. Kenya Wilson / Sandros Salute MW / Highest Placed Warmblood / Kentaur — $3,000
5. Emily Early / Clear Distinction / Bates Saddles — $2,500
6.  Isabella Draper / Quality Street / Milne Feeds — $1,400
7. Riley Lyall / GI Warzone / Thompson Redwood – $900
8. Olivia Shore / Legal Star / Ovarit Jumps — $800
9. Emma Cumming / Just Reilly / Thompson & Redwood — $500
10. Sam Griffiths & Holy Roller / Horseland — $500

More pics from the eventing classes:

In addition to the brilliant eventing action, the day saw the running of the Inaugural West Coast Vets Showjumping Classic, a 125cm class, which showcased some of Western Australia’s best jumping riders and horses. In a thrilling second round, it was Rebecca Donovan who took out the major cash prize on her super mare Carpina.

West Coast Vets Showjumping Classic results: 
Rider / Horse / Prize-Voucher
1. Rebecca Donovan / Carpina / $2250 Cash, $750 West Coast Vets Voucher
2. Debbi Greenwood / Permission / $1,000 + $500 Voucher
3. Shawn Squire / Maxi Mouse / $500 + $250 Voucher
4 . Sammi Lamont / Glenwood Park Vatu / $250 + $250 Vouchers
5. Stef Tucker / Oaks Zena / $150 + $250 Voucher

To have an event of this calibre in Australia is a testament to the strength of eventing and the people that support it. Both Mark Todd and Sam Griffiths were hugely impressed by Western Australia’s close-knit, strong and supportive eventing community, something which is integral to the development and success of its riders. Equestrian in the Park, with the high standard of riders it attracts, the spectacular location and the incredible prizes on offer, is fast becoming one of the most exciting events of its kind anywhere in the world.

Eventers Face Off for a New Car Plus $10,000 at Western Australia’s Equestrian in the Park

Photo by Libby Law, courtesy of Equestrian in the Park.

All eyes will be on Perth, Western Australia on Saturday Dec. 1 when some of Australia’s best riders and an international Olympic legend will converge on the banks of the Swan River for Equestrian in the Park (EITP).

Perth is one of the most picturesque cities in the world, and its city skyline serves as the backdrop for this elite eventing Grand Prix and show jumping event. Presented by McInerney Ford and Channel 7, EITP combines challenging cross country obstacles with technical show jumping lines to create the 20/20 cricket equivalent of the equestrian world.

This year, Equestrian in the Park is very excited to welcome eventing legend Sir Mark Todd, who will be competing for the first time in Western Australia. Another first-timer to the Perth eventing scene will be Australian Olympic Bronze medallist and Badminton winner Sam Griffiths, and he and Mark confirm the already high standard of competition.

Sir Mark Todd rides McClaren at the 2018 Tryon World Equestrian Games. Photo by Libby Law, courtesy of Equestrian in the Park.

The event is made up of two classes, and the winner of each will walk away with a brand new Ford car from McInerney Ford. The cars are not the only incredible prizes, with each class boasting a prize pool of over $10,000.

The event, previously known as Eventing in the Park, was first run in 2013 and there are a number of well-known names on the honour board, with past winners including Chris Burton, Clayton Fredericks, Harry Meade and Jess Manson, and Bettina Hoy was runner up in 2016.

The event is a firm favourite on the Western Australian equestrian and social calendars where the excitement and action of the sport meets glamour and hospitality. There is a hotly contested Fashions on the Field, and the opportunity for spectators to walk the course and see the challenging obstacles up close.

The Grand Prix is the main class on the day, and Mark Todd will be very hard to beat having picked up the ride on two favourites: The Diamond Thief, owned by Kate Joyce, and the winner of the last event, Silver Force, owned by Tracey Diederich and ridden by Tayah Andrew.

Photo by Libby Law, courtesy of Equestrian in the Park.

He will have some hot competition from local riders including Emily Gray and Jocular Vision who will be returning from an outstanding 4th place at the tough Adelaide four-star. Winners of the Wooroloo CCI3*, Kate Ingham and Asti Aspiration, also have very good form in Grand Prix style eventing having competed at EITP in previous years.

In the Diamond Class, Sam Griffiths will be hard to beat on the proven performer Megapixel. Based in the UK, Australian rider Sam has been successful on the international stage and was selected for the recent World Equestrian Games before a withdrawal due to injury. We have also heard that Western Australia’s own Olympic Silver medallist Sonja Johnson, fresh from her 3rd placing in the four-star at Adelaide, will be catching a ride in this class to try and take home the car.

In addition to these talented and experienced Olympians, there are a number of young riders and up and coming stars who will be having their first attempt at this year’s event, including Olivia Shore, who has been highly successful at local events in the lead-up. She will be riding a horse who is no stranger to victory, Adelaide four-star winner and previous EITP Grand Prix winner Legal Star, and this combination is definitely one to watch.

Photo by Libby Law, courtesy of Equestrian in the Park.

Another rider who could be a real contender is Daisy Scott with Pico Bam, who have had success in both show jumping and eventing classes. This year will also feature a dedicated showjumping class with a starting height of 125cm, which is set to be one of the highlights of the day.

We look forward to watching Sir Mark Todd, Sam Griffiths and the talented local competitors battling it out at this prestigious event. Who will drive away with the title?

For more information on the event, or to purchase tickets visit