Australian International Three Day Event

Husband and I got back from our holiday on Friday, and while I was thinking I would blog while we were away, it didn't happen!

The event ran 16 November to 20 November, with 2* dressage starting on Thursday. We flew out of Perth early on Thursday morning, landing in Adelaide with enough time to catch the end of the dressage in the afternoon.

We flew into a cold and wet Adelaide, very excited about the event. There were a handful of tests left to watch when we arrived on Thursday, and we watched a couple with a friend who we bumped into at the event, who also happens to be an FEI dressage judge. It was great to have her insight!

Really though, I was keen to hit the shops as I had a long shopping list and i was a little too excited to watch dressage. We scoped out what was there, started to compare products and just generally worked out what to spend money on. I think the only thing I bought was a hat, which was high on the list!

When the dressage was done for the day, we headed back to our house, ate dinner and played card games before going to bed early.

Friday was 3* and 4* dressage, and we were there first thing to catch all the action. It was another wet day and despite packing for cool weather, it was COLD so I had to buy a new jacket. Luckily Husband and i had packed ponchos and they turned out to be essential. Our giant purple ponchos were big enough to fit 2 people in, or to have 3 people sit on while still keeping the main wearer dry. Perfect for a cold, wet dressage day!

The dressage was very interesting to watch and see the variations in score from the judges. After a few tests we really got our eye in and could pick most of the scores. A lot of the horses were tense, mostly cause by the huge atmosphere. this is the biggest event in Australia and most horses haven't had the change to be exposed to anything like it before, except for the more experienced 4* horses.

Generally the WA riders did quite well, some were even sitting in the top 10 heading into cross country day.

At the conclusion of the dressage, we headed out to do the Course Walk with the Stars. Will Enzinger and Sam Griffiths shared their wisdom with us, pointing out the challenges and what the course designer was asking of the competitors. The fences were varied, with the first really big question coming early in the course at fence 8, an impossible looking line that would prove to be a jump that really dictated how the horses would go around the rest of the course.

The course was on par with other major 4* events around the world and it was so exciting to see Australia right up there with the likes of Kentucky (Rolex) and Badminton.

We spend the evening watching the World Cup Show Jumping Warm Up Class, before heading home to rest up for a big day of cross country.


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