The Australian Stock horse is known as “the breed for every need” and Jessica Manson’s grey gelding, Legal Star, came to the fore when needed today on cross country at the FEI Classics™ in Adelaide.
The 13-year-old Stock Horse Thoroughbred by Ringwould Legality kept his feet in deep footing coming out of the Rymill Lake, producing the round of the day and ensured the pair added just 2.8 time penalties over Wayne Coppings’ technical course, rising from sixth place to head the leaderboard after an eventful cross country.
Despite being just 22, Manson from Millendon in Western Australia has had a great deal of success with Legal Star. They were fourth at the FEI Classics™ in Adelaide in 2012 and 15th last year. All being well tomorrow, they are poised to take the Adelaide trophy back to Western Australia, which has a strong eventing tradition. “Sonja (Johnson) was on the telephone when I finished the course”, declared Manson.
The course was stopped for about 20 minutes to repair the footing coming out of the lake and during that time the skies opened, making life even more difficult for the second half of the field.
Dressage leaders, Megan Jones and Kirby Park Allofasudden copped the worst of the weather and despite a couple of dicey moments, Megan dug deep like the champion she is to come home with the addition of 19.2 time penalties. There is just over a fence between first and second place, which will make for an exciting finish tomorrow.
The 23-year-old marketing student and CCI four-star debutante, Elizabeth Lowrey from Kenthurst in New South Wales, is ecstatic with her Thoroughbred gelding, KL Kismet by Hurricane Sky. “He was amazing and I am thrilled to be in this position at my first four-star,” she said. Lowrey moved from 13th place to third with the addition of 14.4 time penalties.
Belinda Isbister and Holy Bruce, second after the dressage, sadly parted company at the Channel 7 Logo fence at the top of the Rose Garden. The two stride related brushes at fence 20AB caused some near misses, a rider fall and a run out, but by far the most costly section of the course was the newly-designed first third in the far reaches of Victoria Park.
There were a number of new, and technical fences there, the most challenging being the rather eventful, Eventful Life Corner Brush at 6AB. The corners were well up to height and the angle from A to B really testing the riders’ ability and the horse’s rideability. This technical corner was responsible for five run outs.
Tarryn Proctor considered her options during the 20 minutes being held aboard ESB Irish Quest just before entering the Rymill Lake for the second time and chose to retire. Local girl Jamie Stichel fell from Image Blue Ice at the Brushes at Stag Corner. Of the eleven to go through to the final jumping phase tomorrow, all bar two, Seumas Marwood and Wild Oats and Isabel English riding Feldale Mouse, who both fell afoul of 6AB, jumped clear but none came in under time.
Despite the turn in the weather a large crowd gathered and stayed to picnic and enjoy the sport. Not many events are run with a decided espresso scent in the air, but Adelaide is very much a café society occasion, with coffee drinkers alongside children in a playground as horses gallop by.
Adelaide results after Cross Country
1 Jessica Manson/Legal Star (64.60)
2 Megan Jones/Kirby Park Allofasudden (70.70)
3 Elizabeth Lowrey/KL Kismet (81.90)
4 Madison Simpson/Major James (83.50)
5 Tegan Lush/Tempus Fugit (85.20)
6 Soigne Jackson/Gold (87.90)
7 Keira Byrnes/Fox Hill (94.60)
8 Isabel English/Feldale Mouse (95.50)
9 Katja Weimann/BP Cosmopolitan (96.40)
10 Charlotte Price/Kinnordy Gambia (96.70)