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Athanasoff wins the 2011 Australian Jumping Championships
Paul Athanasoff was crowned 2011 Australian Jumping Champion yesterday at the Equestrian Australia National Jumping Championships in Dubbo.
43-year-old Athanasoff of Dungog, NSW, rode two sensational clear rounds on Wirragulla Nicklaus on Sunday to take out the Breeders’ Plate National Title ahead of 21 competitors.
“He was great all show,” said Athanasoff, “I am thrilled with him and the result.”
It was a triumphant return to competition for the 14-year-old stallion Wirragulla Nicklaus (by Falkrich) which had been sidelined from injury since early 2011.
The pair campaigned in Europe in 2010 and gained valuable international experience. Jumping National Performance Director Stephen Lamb commented on the performance. “They won convincingly and looked sensational jumping a double clear in Sunday’s Grand Prix. It is great to have this pair back on the circuit,” he said.
450 horses and 240 riders competed in 2030 classes over the four days of competition at the Dubbo Showground.
“The show ran very well,” commented Event Director Edwena Mitchell. “The surface was a little disappointing as it was too hard at the start of the show that is something that needs to be addressed. Some overnight rain helped the going. Otherwise the facilities were fabulous and for our first time hosting the championships we were very pleased.”
The Australian Junior title was won Tom McDermott of Wagga Wagga, NSW. This is McDermott’s fourth consecutive junior title. 18-year-old McDermott, a recent winner of the Adelaide World Cup qualifier, will again be competing against Australia’s best senior riders at the Equestrian Grand Final to be held at EQUITANA, Sydney, 10-13 November.
Evie Buller from Darkan, WA won the Australian Young Rider title. Buller who finished her HSC last year has been based in NSW since April competing at shows across the eastern seaboard. Buller, who plans to make her World Cup debut in 2012, says the Championships were a great event. “It was a great atmosphere and well run. The event organisers were very supportive and helpful,” she said.
Stephen Lambadded that the Australian Jumping coach Gilbert Böckmann commented on the ‘improvement in standard of young rides and juniors’, indicating the positive development of the sport in Australia.
Following the championships a squad training clinic will be held with Böckmann for National Squad Jumping and Eventing riders. This is to be held from Thursday to Sunday this week in Sydney
RESULTS are below as an excel file, to move between classes click on the tabs at the bottom of the worksheet.
NOTE: A Talent Identification Day for the National Futures Squad (5, 6 and 7 year old horses) will be held on Wednesday 12th October at Dubbo Showgrounds. Nomination forms available HERE.
350 riders and 600 horses from across Australia will converge on Dubbo showground 13-16 October to contest the 50th annual Australian Jumping Championships.
41 classes will be held over the four days of competition. As well as determining the Australian Junior, Young Rider and National (Senior) titles, the championships also offer a range of ‘height classes’.
With more than 25 competitors expected in the National title the field will be the strongest in some years. This year the feature class has been supported by ten performance horse breeding studs and is aptly named the Breeders’ Plate National Title. The largest prize pool ever offered is up for grabs. Athletes will compete for $10,000 across the three National tile classes.
John Vallance, Australia’s highest ranked course designer, will set the challenge for the three championship divisions, Junior, Young Rider and the Breeders’ Plate National Title.
Standards will be very high. The first round of the Breeders’ Plate National Title final on Sunday 16 October is an MES (Minimum Eligibility Standard) which provides riders an opportunity to gain partial qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games. Riders must gain their full MES to be considered for selection in the Australian Jumping Team for the London Olympics. The 2011 Australian Jumping Championships is one of six events this year to offer an MES class.
2010 National Champion, George Sanna from Glossodia, NSW will not be defending his title. Sanna has taken last year’s winning horse CP Aprilla to compete in Europe.
Young super star Tom McDermott from Wagga Wagga, NSW, will be among the starters. McDermott stole the show last year winning the Junior and Young Rider titles - he also finished runner-up in both divisions. 2010 was McDermott’s third consecutive junior title. Now aged 18 he is eligible for all three championship divisions (Junior 12-18 years, Young Rider 16-21 years and the National title which is open to riders aged 18 and over). However, a rider may only compete in two divisions. With recent success including winning the Gawler World Cup qualifier, McDermott may challenge the older riders for the Breeders’ Plate National Title.
This is the first time that the event has been held in Dubbo and Event Director, Edwena Mitchell, hopes it will be the home of the championships for a few years to come.
“We need a really big venue and Dubbo showground provides an ideal site,” explained Mitchell.
“It is great to take these big events to the rural areas, riders enjoy it and it is great for the local community.
“We have been well supported by the local Pony Club and Dubbo Eventing and Showjumping Association and ideally, Dubbo will be the location of this event for a number of years.”
The national championships are a feature event on the competitive Australian jumping circuit. Australian horses and riders have made an impression on the international scene over the last 12 months. Home grown horses have produced world class results as demonstrated by Vivant (=7th at the 2010 World Cup Final), Ashleigh Drossel Dan (winner of the 2011 Global Champions Tour of Doha CSI5*) and ASB Conquistador (recently placed 7th at the CSI-W Grand Prix of Showpark in California).
World number one female jumping rider, Edwina Alexander, cut her teeth on the Australian jumping scene. Australia’s future international jumping stars will undoubtedly emerge from the dust of Dubbo.
For event specific information please contact Edwena Mitchell at email@example.com
or phone 0419 64 2053.