Friday, November 12, 2010

Eventing: Adelaide: CCI4*: Can Ryan keep his lead in Adelaide?

Heath Ryan from Heatherbrae in NSW has taken the lead at the Australian International Three-Day Event in Adelaide (AI3DE) in the CCI4* class.

Heath Ryan and Mystery Whisper wowed the judges and the crowd with a breathtaking Dressage test scoring 42.3 penalties and taking the lead by nearly 10 points ahead of Emma Mason and F1 Pharinelli (52.0). Stuart Tinney (NSW) and Watermark Grayson are currently third on 56.7 penalties.

Last year Ryan and Mystery Whisper were leading after the Dressage phase but  were eliminated on the Cross-Country phase, Ryan says this year he is determined to finish the at the top of the leader board.

“Stuart Tinney is one of the best Cross-Country riders in the world, Emma and I will have to be on our game to stay ahead of him.   I will be giving it everything I have got!” said Ryan.

The Qantas Cross-Country takes place from 10:00am today with the Adelaide CCI**.  The Equestrian Australia CCI4* will take place from 12:30pm. The horses and riders will gallop for through the parklands jumping thirty-three spectacular obstacles, including jumping into the Rymill Park Lake. The final class of the day will be the Bates Australia CIC**.

“Qantas Cross Country Day is an excellent chance for people to get up close and hear the thunder of the horses as they race their way around Adelaide’s parklands and over challenging jumps and terrain,” explains Olympic champion and AI3DE Event Director Gillian Rolton.

Ryan, a veteran of the Eventing scene, suffered a stroke in 2009 and has been working his way back to the top. “To win at this level you have to be at your best.  Last year after my stroke I thought I was OK but I was not truly competitive, it has taken some time but I think I am back,” commented Ryan.

The AI3DE is Australia’s premier equestrian event and one of only six of its kind in the world and the only one in the Southern hemisphere.  The annual event covers three disciplines over three days - dressage, cross country and show jumping - and is the world’s only major equestrian event staged in the heart of a bustling city centre in the Adelaide Parklands.

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