Jag Shows Them How It Is Done In Melbourne
Homebush, NSW, Australia
Ringwould Jaguar proved that being the oldest horse in the class was not a problem at the Melbourne International Three-Day Event over the long weekend. Along with his rider/owner Sonja Johnson, he won the CCI3* class ahead of a strong field of horses and riders, many of whom are vying for selection for the World Equestrian Games to be held in Kentucky later this year.
'Jag' turns 19 later this year, which in horse years makes him a senior citizen, but you would never know it to watch him compete.
"It is just so wonderful when this horse proves just how exceptional he is," commented Sonja, who has ridden Jag for the past decade, including in 2008 when the pair helped Australia win the Eventing Team Silver Medal at the Olympic Games.
"He has his own fans, some people do not know who I am but they recognise Jag, it is so great that he is so loved by so many people," added Sonja.
Sonja and Jag will travel for the next five days and expect to arrive home to Western Australia on Friday. "Jag can have an easy few days when we get home, but not a holiday. I think keeping him ticking over is key to why he is still so good at his age," said Sonja.
Keeping Jag honest was a star-studded field of competitors, including fellow 2008 Olympic Medallist Megan Jones on her young star Kirby Park Allofasudden, 2000 Olympic Team Gold Medallist Stuart Tinney and 2000 Olympic competitor Amanda Ross. New Zealand was represented by four combinations.
Stuart Tinney finished in second place aboard Tim Game's Panamera a 10-year-old mare by Staccato. Stuart, from Maraylya in NSW, also placed 4th on his second ride Vettori.
Christopher Burton, also from the Hawkesbury region of Sydney, placed third on Holstein Park Leilani. A great result to back-up their win at the HSBC FEI Eventing World Cup qualifier in Sydney last month.
The best of the Kiwis was Clarke Johnstone on Orient Express finishing in 5th place.
With a list of great performances from riders based abroad as well as the strong domestic competition in Australia the National Eventing selectors will have some tough choices ahead of them when selecting the 6 combinations to represent Australia at the World Equestrian Games in the Eventing competition.
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