“It was a bit unexpected,” Christopher Burton said of his history-making victory with Stephanie Pearce’s TS Jamaimo in the HSBC Adelaide CCI4*, second leg of the FEI Classics™ 2013/2014.
Burton only secured the ride on the Thoroughbred gelding less than a week before the event following the injury to Will Enzinger and created history, certainly in the modern era, by winning a CCI4* event on a catch ride and on a horse that was having its first 4* start. To make the feat even more impressive, the new partnership won on their Dressage score.
With less than a fence separating the top six going into the final Jumping phase, Burton’s masterful clear aboard TS Jamaimo set the standard, which none of those to follow could emulate. “The real glory”, continued Burton, “belongs to Will Enzinger and his team for preparing the horse. Will has been on the phone to me every day; all I had to do was get on. But I have to admit to sitting in my tack room on the morning of cross country day thinking why was I doing this, but I love Adelaide.”
Enzinger, who broke his leg in a fall with a novice horse the week before Adelaide, spent Cross Country day in surgery having his leg operated on.
Beijing team silver medallist, Sonja Johnson was eighth overnight with Rebecca and Simon Bell’s Australian Stock Horse and former polo pony and another CCI4* rookie, Belfast Mojito, but moved up to second with an assured clear round when jumping out of order. “He really stepped up to the mark and I am thrilled, but none of us come here to come second,” declared the sheep farmer from the West. Johnson’s other ride, Nikki Harwood’s former racehorse, Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison, lowered two rails over John Valance’s strong track riding to slip from sixth to eighth.
Johnson was not the only one to feel the agony of the final Jumping phase. Last year’s winners, Craig Barrett and Sandhills Brillaire, looked well on their way to a clear round when the very last fence fell, robbing them of back-to-back Adelaide HSBC CCI4* victories. They finished in third, but with Barrett still declared himself: “thrilled with her, I can’t ask much more than that.”
Shane Rose and Taurus slipped from second to fourth place two rails hit the ground, while Rose’s Dressage leader, CP Qualified went from third to seventh place with the addition of eight jumping and two time penalties, but it was a promising performance from another newcomer to four-star competition.
Last to go and much was expected of overnight leaders Stuart Tinney and Pluto Mio. Tinney is an accomplished jumping rider, but the bred to jump gelding slipped to fifth place with the addition of eight jumping and one time penalty.
Former Eventing team selector, Seumas Marwood moved from 12th after the Dressage phase to sixth overall thanks to a brilliant jumping performance from his Contango II mare, Wild Oats that added only 2.4 Cross Country time faults to their Dressage score. They were also awarded the ATCO Huts Prize for the best Jumping round in today’s final phase.
Soigne Jackson from New South Wales moved from 14th to ninth thanks to a good jumping performance from Gold, a Thoroughbred by Opera Prince. They were delighted with their first ever CCI* performance.
Katja Weimann had a disappointing Jumping round with 12 to add, but still slipped only one place from overnight ninth to complete the top 10 with BP Flamboyant, another pair in their first CCI4*.
Just three – the winners Christopher Burton and TS Jamaimo, Sonja Johnson riding her polo playing Stock Horse, Belfast Mojito, and Seumas Marwood with his Warmblood mare Wild Oats – were clear on the fences and the clock in today’s Jumping. And only the winners finished on their Dressage score, with runners-up Sonja Johnson and Belfast Mojito just shy of that with the addition of 1.2 Cross Country time penalties.
The event enjoyed great competition, beautiful weather and better than ever crowds and all the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 aspirants put in qualifying performances, but the weekend belonged to Christopher Burton and TS Jamaimo, the Adelaide HSBC 2013 champions.
FEI/HSBC CCI 4* Final Results
1. Christopher Burton/TS Jamaimo (AUS) 49.70
2. Sonja Johnson/Belfast Mojito (AUS) 51.40
3. Craig Barrett/Sandhills Brilliare (AUS) 52.80
4. Shane Rose/Taurus (AUS) 54.10
5. Stuart Tinney/Pluto Mio (AUS) 54.90
6. Seumas Marwood/Wild Oats (AUS) 55.60
7. Shane Rose/CP Qualified (AUS) 56.90
8. Sonja Johnson/Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison (AUS) 57.50
9. Soigne Jackson/Gold (AUS) 65.20
10. Katja Weimann/BP Flamboyant (AUS) 67.90
Full results are available here