Wendy Schaeffer and her nine-year-old mare Koyuna Sun Storm have won the Equestrian NSW CCI3* at Sydney International Three-Day Event.
It was a small class but never a boring one. After the Dressage phase last year’s winners Heath Ryan and Mystery Whisper were tied for 1st place with Victorian rider Georgia Clifford and It’s Monty. Marcia Williams was 3rd on the lovely grey Kalason. Stuart Tinney and Watermark Greyson did a good test for 4th place and Emma Mason and the Salute gelding F1 Pharinelli were next best in 5th place.
Saturday presented unseasonably hot conditions (30 degrees celcius) adding to the taxing nature of the hilly course. The two and three-star riders discussed with the ground jury about shortening the length of the course however it remained unchanged. The time on course therefore played a significant role.
Heath had a good cross-country round but not quick enough racking up 29.2 time faults whilst Georgia unfortunately incurred 20 penalties, dropping them to 5th and 7th. Stuart withdrew Watermark Greyson before cross-country due to the conditions.
Both Kalason and F1 Pharinelli were eliminated on course. Emma Armstrong and Vortrekker (6th after Dressage) retired on course.
In 8th place after dressage Wendy once again excelled in the jumping phases. She was the only rider to finish inside the time on the cross-country, next best was Sam Lyle on Brother who came home with just 0.8 time faults to move up from 9th to 2nd.
Amanda Howell and Koyuna Tora Bora improved their position from 7th to 3rd with just 6.8 time faults on XC.
The show jumping re-shuffled the standings once more. First to jump were Stephanie Bender and La Li Lu 2 who had 28 faults; things did not improve much for the next rider Sandy Lucas and Arissa who added 24 faults to their score. Georgia Clifford and It’s Monty were third into the ring and showed that the course was jumpable - a lovely clear round moving them back up the leader board to 4th place. Sally Rostron and Jasper’s Quest really struggled adding 44 penalties. Heath and Mystery Whisper again proved that they are a quality combination for a clear round and into 3rd. Kevin McNab gave Scribbly Park Sourcerer every opportunity but knocked three down.
Coming into the ring in 3rd place was Amanda Howell and Koyuna Tora Bora. A 12-fault jumping round would in most cases bid farewell to a top 3 finish but not this time, infact they moved up a place to finish 2nd.
Sam Lyle and Brother had a round that they would prefer to forget dropping them from 2nd to 6th
Wendy Schaeffer and Koyuna Sun Storm had plenty of breathing room as they entered the arena as the final combination to jump. However they were already in their comfort zone. They are an established World Cup jumping combination and the current reserve South Australian Show Jumping Champions and the reserve Mini-Prix champions at this year’s Sydney Royal.
The pair lived up to expectations and jumped a faultless round to win the class by 14.8 penalties.
Koyuna Sun Storm has now had three CIC 3* starts for three wins. This was her first CCI3*.
“She is not an extravagant mover so the tougher the cross-country course the better for us,” commented Wendy. “At first glance Ewan’s [Kellet's] course did not look as tough as Wayne Copping’s in previous years but I think there were quite a few questions asked and it was a good testing course.”
Wendy also finished 2nd in the CCI 1* and remarkably she hoped on a plane on Thursday and flew to Adelaide World Cup Jumping qualifier where she rode Koyuna Sunset to 2nd place!
Wendy now has four horses qualified for Adelaide CCI 4*. People get a little confused about all her "Sun" horses, her four-star eventing horses are…. 13-year old Koyuna Sun Magic (chestnut gelding by Magestic Supreme) 10-year-old Koyuna Sun Dancer (bay gelding by Brilliant Invader), Koyuna Sun Shine (10-year-old chestnut mare by Brilliant Invader) and the 9 year-old Koyuna Sun Storm a chestnut mare also by Brilliant Invader. Wendy is hoping that if they are all sound she will be allowed to run all four at Adelaide.
Stuart Tinney won the Tarraleah Park CCI2* on Olivia Bunn’s GV Billy Elliot (Olivia broke her arm in a fall a few weeks ago). Stuart led from start to finish remaining on his dressage score. 2nd place went to Lauren Balcomb and Kootamootoo. Sharmayne Spencer and Jaybee Star Celebrity finished 3rd
The Australian Sports Commission CCI1* winner was Claudia Graham and Park Street Vision, 2nd to Wendy and Kirsyl Sun and 3rd to Amelia Brydon and Carlyon.
Christopher Burton won the NSW Institute of Sport Pre Novice on Haruzac ahead of Rachael Lee and Baillieu. 3rd to Cassie Lowe and Contango Columbus.
Triple gold-medallist Andrew Hoy was a special guest of the event and together with Dressage guru Roger Fitzhardinge judged the Gwaihir Stud Young Event Horse classes. The overall champion was six-year-old Jenbern Monyana ridden by Emma Scott.
4-year-old Young Event Horse class
1st WP Midnight Oil - Jessamy Walsh (owned by Carol Chapman), 2nd Jaybee Alerich - Shane Rose (owned by Penny Ledner),
5-year-old Young Event Horse class
1st Aquifer - Bree Furze (owned by Bree Furze), 2nd Wisteria Lane - Niki Chapman (owned by Niki Chapman)
6-year-old Young Event Horse class
1st Jenbern Monyana - Emma Scott (owned by Wyn Scott) , 2nd Dal Santo - Penny Austin (owned by Jeanan Yasseen)
The Asia-Pacific Challange winner was Nidhi Dev (IND) riding Ferragamo.