Wire-to-Wire Win for Clarke Johnstone at Australian International 4*

Clarke Johnstone (1st), Sonja Johnson (2nd) and Stuart Tinney (3rd). Photo by Julie Wilson and Lauren Roberts, courtesy of the Australian International 3DE.

New Zealand’s Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation clinched a definitive win in the 2017 Australian International Mitsubishi Motors CCI4*, leading the division from start to finish. In today’s show jumping finale they left nothing to chance, turning in a textbook round.

“I have said this before, he is an amazing horse and I am very lucky to be riding him,” Clarke said of the 13-year-old NZ Warmblood gelding owned by the Johnstone family. “He has been focused all weekend. I always knew he was a great jumper and I am proud of what we have achieved over the last three days. I would like to thank the event organizers for putting on a wonderful event in the beautiful Adelaide Parklands and I hope to come back next year to defend my title.”

Megan Jones and Kirby Park Impress were the only other pair to jump clear around the course, securing them a 2nd place finish. Despite controversy about about a revoked 50-point cross country jump penaltyStuart Tinney and War Hawk rounded out the top three, moving into the spot vacated by Sonja Johnson and Misty Isle Valentino who were relegated to 5th after dropping three rails.

View CCI4* results here.

Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation. Photo by Julie Wilson and Lauren Roberts, courtesy of the Australian International 3DE.

The RM Williams CIC3* saw another wire-to-wire win in Christine Bates and Adelaide Hill, who finished on a score of 61. They had a rail in hand heading into show jumping today but didn’t need it, claiming the title ahead of 2nd placed Shane Rose and Swiper and 3rd placed Andrew Cooper and Lagoes Choice.

“Adelaide had some time off eventing, focused on dressage, and I was not sure if he was going to get back into the three phases,” Christine said. “He is a remarkable horse who has the skills and determination to be able to adapt himself to any situation. When we decided to enter the Australian International, we came to win and I knew he had the capability to do so. He had a great dressage, a solid cross country and although he is not the best at jumping, he did an amazing job. I’ve had a great weekend and am delighted to have got the win.”

View CIC3* results here.

Christine Bates and Adelaide Hill. Photo by Julie Wilson and Lauren Roberts, courtesy of the Australian International 3DE.

In the Horseland CCI2*, Emma Mason and Warrego Marco Polo took the title on a final score of 55.3. Show jumping was an influential phase, with only two out of 20 pairs jumping clear and inside the time. Emma had one rail down to switch positions with the leaders going into show jumping, Chelsea Priestly and Skansen Purist, who felled two.

“Marcus and I are a relatively new combination and I am thrilled with how everything came together this weekend,” Emma said. “He is a wonderful horse with a fabulous temperament, and he showcased his potential in front of an energetic crowd. Australia International is a wonderful event and is a pleasure to be a part of.

“After being in 5th place following the dressage, I knew we had to have a strong cross country over a challenging track and to back this up in the jumping. Marcus performed really well and I am proud of the way he managed all the phases, and I am over the moon to get the win.”

View CCI2* results here.

Australian International CCI4* Top 10: 

Australian International 3DE Links: WebsiteFinal ResultsFEI TV