There was barely a hair in it, but in the end it was second and third for Kiwis Clarke Johnstone and Madison Crowe in the Bucas CCI4*-L at the boutique Wallaby Hill International 3 Day Event in Robertson, New South Wales.
Clarke and Balmoral Sensation led the dressage and cross country but an early rail in the showjumping handed the win to his mate Shane Rose aboard Easy Turn who had sat right on his heels the whole way through. Shane was the only rider to come home clear and inside time in the showjumping to finish on 30.1 penalty points, with Clarke the only other rider to be inside time on 30.5. Just .4 of a penalty point separated the two.
Madison and Waitangi Pinterest were just another .1 off Clarke after adding 0.4 of a time penalty to her dressage score to finish on 30.6 and remain in the third spot she controlled from the start.
Laura Wallace, the only other Kiwi in the field, finished in 17th spot aboard Van Heck on 92.
Clarke, who successfully gained his required qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games, was a little disappointed with the rail but otherwise a happy eventer. “Overall I am very happy to have Ritchie back at the top and feeling fantastic,” he said. “It is great to be back in Australia and it has been a really fun week.”
Both he and Madison congratulated Shane Rose for his win and those behind Wallaby Hill for putting on the event. “The team here have been amazing and so hospitable,” said Madison. She was rapt with her mare. “Lush was incredible,” said Madison. “I am so pleased with how she jumped and how she went. She is just a star.”
In the Otto Sport Australia CCI3*-L Amalia Rowley and Mexico II added time and jump penalties to finish in 13th on 86.5 penalty points. The class was won by Stuart Tinney and Be My Daisy who led from the start to finish on 27.3.
THE HORSE DETAILS:
Balmoral Sensation – owned by the Johnstone Family
Waitangi Pinterest – owned by the Crowe Family
Van Heck – owned by the Selby Syndicate
Mexico II – owned by the Rowley Family
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Stephen Mowbray Photography