Diane Gilder is buzzing after a seventh place finish in the CCI5* at the Adelaide Equestrian Festival last night.

It’s the second time she and her 18-year-old gelding Your Attorney have lined up in the only Southern Hemisphere 5* event, with their 2019 outing finishing with a sixth place.
“This is just our second 5* and to come over here and compete and complete it is something else. To do it twice and be in the placegetters both times is phenomenal,” said the Auckland boarding kennel and cattery owner.

“Your Attorney may be 18 but he never once felt his age at the event. He still has plenty of spring in his step, and he went around that cross country this year better than he did in 2019. I think he has at least one more in him.”

Diane and Your Attorney started their Adelaide mission with a personal best 28.9 penalty point dressage effort that saw them in fifth, followed by a clear with 15.2 time faults in the cross country which saw them hold onto fifth on the day however, another combination had a 20 taken off them which saw Diane slip to sixth heading into the final round.

They adored the “big, bold and beautiful” cross country. “The distances were perfect and it rode really well. He just nailed everything. He was on form and honest as the day is long, jumping everything perfectly. It never felt like he was going to faulter.”

The showjumping wasn’t quite as she would have liked, but Diane was still pleased to finish in seventh place on 76.1 penalty points. “Our showjumping was disappointing but at the same time I am rapt with him,” she said.

Diane was full of praise for the event and encouraged other Kiwi eventers to cross the Tasman to compete in the 4*-S or 3*-L. “The team here do a fantastic job and again they have pulled it together. It would have been hard for them to come back after three years to put the event on. A big thanks too, to Adelaide city who let us run through their parklands – it has been absolutely amazing.”

It wasn’t to be for Monica Spencer and Artist who led at the end of the dressage with a personal best 24 but parted company early in the cross country. “He was feeling so good,” said a very disappointed Monica. “I got the ride into the combination that I had planned and I am not too sure what Max (Artist) was thinking but he decided he was a unicorn and left in two strides instead of three from a mile away.

“We clipped the back rail on the way down. He just couldn’t make it and we fell.”

The fall is the first “black mark” on his cross country record – until now the horse had never even had a 20 let alone a fall. “I am gutted for us both. He was loving the ground here. I had that course plan down to the infinite details and I couldn’t have planned for this. It didn’t even cross my mind that he would try and leave in two. We went from hero to zero.”

But she was philosophical and said they would now refocus. “Onward to the next thing. We will make a plan B and redirect somewhere else for those Olympic qualifiers we need.”
The Kiwis will truck to Melbourne this evening before flying home on Wednesday.
The day delivered an early 50th birthday present to Aussie Olympian Shane Rose who won aboard Virgil with a score of 28.5, and also placed fourth aboard Be My Daisy on 44.8. Sam Lyle on BF Valour was second on 38 and Sophia Hill with Humble Glory third on 40.9. It was Shane’s third Adelaide victory.

This was the first Adelaide event after a three-year hiatus with a change in date thrown into the mix, however there were a record 37,000 through the gates over the four days. Adelaide City is incredibly proud of being the only event of its type worldwide that is held in the heart of the city with the cross country through its parklands.

Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation were the last Kiwis to win the 5* in Adelaide, back in 2017.


By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison