Sa Equestrians Strong Performers At Bates Sydney International Three-day Evente

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20th April 2008, 07:04pm - Views: 742

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20 April 2008

SA equestrians strong performers at Bates Sydney International 

Three-Day Event

After three days of tough competition, South Australian elite equestrians Megan

Jones and Wendy Schaeffer have taken out second and third places respectively at

the Bates Sydney International Three-Day Event, held this weekend at the Sydney

International Equestrian Centre in Horsley Park.

The event was a key component of the Return of the Horse equestrian series, which

is being held to celebrate the eradication of Equine Influenza and the return of

equestrian competition. The Three-Day Event was one of the last Olympic qualifying

events in Australia, and selectors including national equestrian coach Wayne Roycroft

were scrutinising every step. 

“Australia’s national eventing team is as good as it’s ever been,” Roycroft said.

“Equine Influenza has been a huge setback physically and psychologically, but our

equestrians are amazingly strong willed. There’s every opportunity for Australia to

win an Olympic gold medal at the Beijing Olympic Games.”

Sonja Johnson from Western Australia won the Bates Sydney International Three-

Day event riding Ringwould Jaguar, with total points of 49.6. Her win followed the

shock disqualification of event leader Shane Rose’s horse All Luck, which was ruled

unfit for the show jumping by the ground jury. Megan Jones riding Kirby Park Irish

Jester was placed second with total points of 56.1, whilst Wendy Schaeffer riding

Koyuna Sun Shine came third with 56.8 points. Wendy was also placed fourth on

Koyuna Sun Magic and fifth on Koyuna Sun Dancer. 

“This has been a really good competition, and I believe Australia will have a strong

chance of winning equestrian medals at Beijing Olympics,” Megan said.

Wendy added: “It’s been a privilege to ride at this event. We will have a strong team

at the Olympics.”

Megan and Kirby Park Irish Jester were members of Australia’s World Equestrian

Games team in 2006, and Wendy was a gold medalist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics

riding Sunburst. 

Rose Read, Return of the Horse event director said: “With just a few berths available

for the Beijing Olympic team, the Bates Sydney International Three-Day event has

been a thrilling competition. Australia has a strong record in eventing medals at the

Olympic Games, and our elite equestrians competing at The Return of the Horse

have given it their all.”

The Return of the Horse, a month-long series of equestrian events, encompasses 12

days of competition, attracting 1000 horses and 880 riders. The Sydney CDI 3-star

Dressage will be held from 1-3 May. 

The Return of the Horse equestrian series will also give Australia’s up and coming

young riders a chance to hone their equestrian skills at the EFA NSW / Mitavite

Interschools Championships as they prepare for the National Championships. 

“Rarely do all equestrian competition disciplines come together in one major event,”

says Read. “We’re celebrating the eradication of EI and it’s already proven to be a

huge success.”

For further information:

Lisa Llewellyn

Hedgie Gundry

Llewellyn Communications

Llewellyn Communications

m: 0419 401 362

m: 0400 316 718

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