Sunday, November 25, 2012

Eventing: Adelaide: HSBC FEI Classics™ 2012/2013: Craig Barrett and Sandhills Brillaire make history in Adelaide - By Anna Sharpley

Craig Barrett wins second leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™ in Adelaide with Sandhills Brillaire and takes home the HSBC Training Bursary as the highest placed rider never to have previously completed a 4* event. (Jenny Barnes/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), 25 November 2012

HSBC FEI Classics™ 2012/2013: Craig Barrett and Sandhills Brillaire make history in Adelaide

By Anna Sharpley

New South Wales professional Craig Barrett, leader after the Cross Country in Adelaide (AUS), produced a classy performance with Mr and Mrs Keith Osborne’s Sandhills Brillaire in today’s final Jumping phase to clinch the title at the second leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™ 2012/2013.

This was Craig’s first 4* event, for which he earned the HSBC Training Bursary, which is awarded at every leg of this prestigious series to the highest placed rider never to have previously completed a 4* event. It is the first time that the winner of the HSBC Training Bursary has been top of the line-up.
Craig Barrett riding Sandhills Brillaire winner of the Australian International Three Day Event , Adelaide 2012.
The mare Sandhills Brillaire and its parents were also bred and produced by the Barretts. Craig bred the sire, Staccato by Salute out of a Thoroughbred mare by King of Babylon, and Craig’s wife, Prue Barrett, Australia’s Eventing coach, bred the dam that is by Galveston. Twenty-year-old Staccato, a former number one WBFSH/FEI Eventing Stallion has now sired two Adelaide 4* winners, including last year’s winner Panamera. “I don’t know if that has ever been done before”, commented Craig. “I have a paddock full of them; I’m not sure if they are as good as Brillaire, but we have to look at purpose breeding horses.”

Barrett is now second in the HSBC FEI Classics™ 2012/2013 standings behind New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson. “I think it is a fantastic initiative from HSBC and the FEI to do this. It really encourages young riders to get to the level they need to get to. I’ve had a couple of goes here, but this is my first completion and I’m very happy to be in the winner’s seat and take home the first-timers award,” declared Craig.

Murray Lamperd riding Under The Clocks overall 3rd position.
Barrett and the 10-year-old Sandhills Brillaire were fifth after the Dressage and just kept improving from there. They produced an almost perfect Cross Country run over Wayne Copping’s testing track, with the terrain in the Parklands adding to the difficulty.

The grandstand was full of enthusiastic and knowledgeable spectators for today’s Jumping test, with the crowds keen to witness first-hand the battle for HSBC FEI Classics™ glory. The 4* field was reduce by one when John Twomey’s ride Highly Recommended did not make it past the Sunday morning veterinary inspection, which was disappointing for this popular combination. But there was still plenty of excitement to come in the head-to-head between Craig Barrett and Natalie Blundell with her talented Thoroughbred, Algebra, so called because as a young horse he was difficult to work out.
Natalie Blundell riding Algebra overall 2nd place.

Barrett had two fences in hand, but that advantage can disappear only too easily during the final Jumping phase. Course Designer John Vallance set a strong track, with the tall HSBC planks the last fence after a seven-stride distance from the penultimate oxer. The planks claimed all but one combination. Blundell and Algebra gave Barrett more breathing room with two down. They were however the only combination to come home under the time allowed.

Craig Barrett riding Sandhills Brillaire winner of the Australian International Three Day Event , Adelaide 2012 receives his HSBC training bursary from Brendon Green of HSBC.

One of the toughest Eventing tests is being able to control your horse’s and your own nerves. With National Jumping Coach Rod Brown to help with the warm-up, Barrett and Sandhills Brillaire produced a perfect round, until the HSBC planks. “I got to a sweet spot and just took my leg off her,” declared the always self-effacing Barrett. The planks were down, but it wasn’t enough to remove Barrett and the mare from the top spot to claim victory by a good margin from Blundell, and with Murray Lamperd and Under The Clocks in third. “She was super, an absolute standout. She has only just turned 10 and I think she really stepped up and looked to go to the next level this week.”

Final Results at Australian International 3 Day Event (AUS):

1 Craig Barrett/Sandhills Brillaire (AUS)  51.0 + 0.8 + 7 = 58.8
2 Natalie Blundell /Algebra (AUS)  54.2 + 5.6 +8 = 67.8
3 Murray Lamperd/Under The Clocks (AUS)  50.7 + 34.8 +16 = 101.5
4 Jessica Manson/Legal Star (AUS)  62.2 + 44.4 +15 = 121.6
5 Keira Byrnes/Fox Hill (AUS)  67.5 + 54.8 + 40 = 162.3
6 Crystal Conning/Marcus Aurelius (AUS)  61.2 + 80.8 + 34 = 176.0
7 Andrew Cooper/Guest of Honour (AUS)  62.0 + 95 +28 = 185.0

Full results on

The HSBC FEI Classics™ 2012/2013 Standings will be available at

Jumping: Australia: Sydney: GCTHistoric victory for equestrian’s Tops-Alexander

25 November 2012
Historic victory for equestrian’s Tops-Alexander

Australian Show Jumper Edwina Tops-Alexander has notched up a historic victory overnight, winning the Global Champions Tour (GCT) championship for a second consecutive year.

The 38 year old, who grew up in Sydney and now resides in Europe, has led the 2012 season from the outset and was one of only two riders in contention for this year’s title heading into the overnight season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Edwina’s victory is a historic win as it is the first time that a competitor has won the world’s most prestigious show jumping competition two years running.

The two-time Olympian attributed the momentous victory to her 16 year old chestnut stallion Cevo Itot du Chateau.

“I am very happy, my horse Itot been fantastic.

“He was amazing last year and this year he was even better. It has been a long year and I have to thank my horse as he has been so consistent,” Edwina said.

Going into the 12th and final leg of this year’s series Edwina was on equal points with Swedish rider Rolf-Goran Bengtsson. Both riders encountered difficulty at the same fence in Saturday’s Grand Prix and incurred four jumping penalties. With the riders tied for points the title was awarded to Edwina on a count back. Her victory in the opening round in Doha, Qatar proved to be the difference.

Edwina has yet to decide if her pint-sized partner will return to defend the title in 2013.

“With Itot the last two years of his career have been the best, so you never know.

“I am fortunate I have a lot of other very good horses coming along that can help Itot. This year was a very big year. On top of the GCT he had the Olympics but there is no reason to stop when he is going so well,” she said.

Along with the title, Australia’s top ranked show jumper picks up €294,500 in prize money boosting her GCT earnings to over €2 million.

Eventing: Adelaide: Barrett bags his first CCI4* HSBC FEI Classics in Adelaide

Barrett bags his first CCI4* HSBC FEI Classics in Adelaide

Craig Barrett has taken out the 2012 CCI4* HSBC FEI Classics Australian International Three Day Event in front of sell-out crowd at Adelaide’s Victoria Park.

Please find this information attached as a press release. Image: Craig Barrett and Sandhills Brillaire. Photo credit: ESJ Photo

This is Barrett’s first win at this level and only the second time he has entered the four star event.

A beaming Barrett couldn’t wipe the smile from his face and credited his young horse for showing fast pace during Saturday’s cross country phase which saw many top combinations prematurely end their campaign for the title.

“Every win is special but this is the biggest win of my career and I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.

“Traditionally she hasn’t been the fastest horse in the world, but yesterday the thoroughbred kicked in and she just kept going, just kept galloping,” 

Barrett and his 10 year old thoroughbred mare Sandhills Brillaire had a two rail buffer leading into today’s show jumping phase. Their advantage was extended to four rails after second placed combination Natalie
Blundell and Algebra incurred two rails down.

The pair went on to produce a near faultless show jumping round and were unfortunate to knock down the final rail.

“It was a tough fence that last fence and I don’t think anyone jumped it clear – that’s a real show jumping fence. I think I relaxed coming into the last fence, I knew I was ok so I probably sat a little still.”

“I wasn’t interested in what Nat did, it’s no good to worry about what she did or didn’t do. You’ve just got to do your plan, stick to your plan and ride to that plan that’s the best way to do it.

“You shouldn’t worry about what others do because you can’t change it and at the end of the day it shouldn’t change what you’re doing,” he said. 

Murray Lamperd and Under The Clocks rounded out the minor placings.

Earlier, Victorian rider Will Enzinger (Flowervale Maserati) took home the CCI2* in a nail-biting finish which saw the young rider hold onto the lead and win the class by less than a fraction of a penalty. 

The Adelaide International Three Day Event is the second leg of the 2012/2013 HSBC FEI ClassicsTM – a six series competition made up of the world’s only four star event competitions. The AI3DE is the only four star event in the southern hemisphere.

Full results from the Australian International Three Day Event can be found HERE