When it came down to the final jumping phase of the FEI Classics at the Australian International three-day event in Adelaide (AUS), Hazel Shannon (AUS) and Clifford could have knocked down three rails and still won. However, this powerful Thoroughbred added nothing further to his dressage score than 0.4 of a cross country time penalty.
“That’s Clifford to a tee,” said Hazel Shannon. “He is not extravagant in any phase - he just does his job and I can’t ask for more than that. There is a huge amount of training that has gone into Clifford, but his temperament is such that he allows you to train him. It is not just about raw talent, it is the heart and the mind of the horse that matters and this was just another day at the office for Clifford. He keeps trying and trying, and getting better and better.”
In the end, Hazel Shannon and Clifford cruised home to victory with 14.50 penalties ahead of their nearest rival.
After the cross-country, Will Enzinger (AUS) held on to second place despite a disappointing three rails down. He also rode Britannica MVNZ into fourth place with just the addition of a further four penalties.
“He was a bit off today, but I am over the moon”, said Will Enzinger. “Some of the more experienced horses are not here because of the Olympic Games, but we are here and all our horses have made great progress. For us, the Adelaide FEI Classics is the pinnacle of the sport and there is nothing like this in the world.”
Andrew Cooper (AUS) looked the part in the final jumping phase, but two rails down added a further eight to his score on Evergem Perfection, placing him third.
The FEI Classics now move to the United States for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (27-30 April), the third leg of this prestigious series uniting the world’s six four-star eventing competitions.
Adelaide FEI Classics Final Results:
1 Hazel Shannon (AUS) Clifford 52.50
2 Wilhelm Enzinger (AUS) Wenlock Aquifer 67.00
3 Andrew Cooper (AUS) Evergem Perfection 67.70
4 Wilhelm Enzinger (AUS) Britannica MVNZ 71.80
5 Rohan Luxmoore (AUS) Bells ‘N Whistles 94.80
6 Stuart Tinney (AUS) War Hawk 95.60
7 Tegan Lush (AUS) Tempis Fugit 114.30
8 Emily Gray (AUS) Jocular Vision 116.30
9 Shane Rose (AUS) Glenorchy South Park 129.10
10 Andy Daines (NZL) Spring Panorama 144.00.