A great result for the Australians at the CSIY-B in Singapore 3-5 February. Zoe Boulton (Sale, Vic) won the individual competition whilst Johnathon Smith (Birregurra, Vic) finished third.
Pascale Young (Mosman Park, WA) finished 12th. The team finished 4th overall. The Aussies were on borrowed horses and competed against riders from Singapore, Thailand, Korea and Chinese Taipai.
Congratulations to all.
CSIY-B Singapore, Raffles style…
By Rory Hovell
From 2 sides of Australia, 3 now internationally experienced riders including Zoe Bolton, Jonathon Smith and Pascale Young, Stephen Lamb protégé Chef d’Equipe Rory Hovell, chief camera operator Shelley Bolton and official liaison officer & food taster Patricia Young descended upon the tropical and air-conditioned shopping land of Singapore for the CSIY-B Singapore Competition (Young Rider on Borrowed Horses).
We were well met at the airport by an official driver and escorted to our Hotel, the Raffles Town Club, which was all at the Singaporean Organising Committee’s expense. Somehow the boys ended up in the Jasmine Suite room, while the girls received a regular room. Now although the girls’ room was very comfortable with nice sitting area, comfortable beds and separate bathroom, it lacked what everyone would really crave in the hotel room, which was the aquatic health spa that the boys found themselves in. The room mainly comprised of a huge hot tub with a great view of the TV, Turkish steam bath, as well as a Sauna, separate shower, oh and 2 single beds pushed into a corner! The Singapore tour was a real Asian cultural learning experience, which started the first night where the Victorians learnt about Japanese cuisine “Sushi”. It was also the start of the challenge of how to nourish yourself in Asia if you have a Gluten allergy, which also prohibits eating anything cooked in Soy Sauce. This was no easy feat but a successful challenge none-the less!!!
We were given a sleep in on the Friday morning, with a 7:30am pick up. It is only light in Singapore year round between 7am and 7pm, so getting up anytime before that really feels like the middle of the night. The Competition was held at the new National Equestrian Centre (NEC), which was only a 5-minute drive from our hotel and also adjoins the very impressive Singapore Polo Club. The NEC was originally built as the quarantine and training facility for the 38 horses imported for the Singapore Youth Olympics (YOG). It wasn’t finished in time however, so horses went to the Singapore Turf Club instead. The NEC is a very smart complex with very well ventilated stables, an 80 x 80m sand/fibre arena, with also a new Veterinary Centre to come. We had our official briefing at 8:30am where all introductions were made. We were one of five teams competing that also included Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Republic of Korea, and Thailand. We then drew our order of go for the Team competition and also drew our pool of horses. There were 18 former YOG horses available for selection, 5 groups plus 3 reserves. The Bukit Timah Saddle Club, the Singapore Polo Club and the NEC had donated these horses to the competition. They also included a few of our Australian four-legged friends that had been brought over by the Hamood family.
Our riders then had 30 minutes to test ride our 3 horses, which were: Damiro – Jonathon Smith, Foxdale Villarni – Pascale Young, and Stoneleigh Eddie – Zoe Bolton. Each horse was allowed a total of 8 jumps, with cross-rails being unlimited. We stuck with these original combinations, as they all seemed to click. Once this was done our day was then over by 9:30am! We were given a guided tour of the Polo Club followed by a buffet lunch at the NEC stables, before returning to the hotel for a free afternoon.
Friday night was our first social engagement, which saw the riders very unsuccessfully take on the Chefs/Coaches in Ten Pin Bowling (again all part of our hotel, situated next to a theatre!). It was a good icebreaker for all. Jonathon Smith showed that what one may lack in accuracy could certainly be made up in power and speed. This doesn’t necessarily help his score but certainly made him feel better (his right shoulder may disagree!). Patricia Young was also awarded the best Newcomer Bowler award. We were all very much put to shame however, by the President of the Ground Jury and International judge Ms Monique Heah who threw a perfect game. We thought that it was in fact her idea to go bowling in the first place!
Saturday was our Team competition day, and had us picked up by 6:45am for an 8:00am show start time. Our team didn’t pull up too badly after the previous night’s strenuous bowling. The weather in Singapore had been quite wet in the afternoons so the idea was to start early and be done before it got too hot and the rains came. The show itself was mainly just the main arena with a small undercover grandstand, with also a small amount of food, drink and CSIY-B clothing for sale. We had a team course walk over a relatively straightforward course built at 1.00m. The event was to run as a two round Nations Cup format (Article 2184.108.40.206). However, as there were only 3 riders in each team all riders’ scores would count and any elimination would incur the highest score of any rider plus 20 faults.
Warm up this time was 20 minutes and 8 jumps. Australia drew second to go and Jonathon Smith was first out for us and had 1 rail plus 1 time, so 5 faults. Pascale Young was out second and ended up with 9 faults. Zoe Bolton was last to go and jumped a fantastic clear round. The second round over the same course saw a huge improvement from our riders with both Jonathon and Pascale jumping clear, unfortunately however Zoe dropped 2 rails for 8 faults. Australia finished on a total of 22 faults, which was equal with Korea, however Korea went ahead on time from the second round. Overall Team results was Singapore 1st (8 faults), Thailand 2nd (12 faults) and Korea 3rd (22 faults). After the team presentations we then had another draw of horses and order of go for the next day’s Individual competition. So new horses and a clean slate for all. This was followed by another buffet lunch at the NEC, then back to the hotel for a refreshing swim and shopping in town.
On the Saturday night we were all invited for drinks and dinner at the house of Equestrian Federation of Singapore-President, Mrs Melanie Chew. Our team all dressed up well in our Australian Team Blazers, with the boys in EA ties and the girls in scarves. We all enjoyed a lovely night with great food, sipped on Dom Perignon champagne and very good French wines before heading back to the hotel in time for the Team imposed curfew.
The final Individual day again started in the pitch black with a 6:45am pick up with the show start time of 8am. Australia had good draws of the 16 riders with Pascale mid field and Jonathon and Zoe towards the end. We had drawn some good horses and our riders were really out to make amends after the team competition. Today’s course was a little more testing with fences at 1.10m, again a 2 round competition judged under Article 273.3.3. Warm up for these new horse/rider combinations was again 20 minutes with a total of 6 jumps allowed. Pascale rode the Thoroughbred gelding “Buzzword”, coming in under the time but with 4 faults. Jonathon rode next on another thoroughbred “Unicorn” for a great clear round. Zoe was very lucky to be drawn on the Singapore YOG Gold medal winning warmblood gelding “LH Titan” for another great clear round. There were a total of 6 clears from the first round, with all riders returning for round 2, but in reverse order of merit.
The second round was against the clock over a shortened course. There was only the one main option of a tight inside turn to the penultimate oxer, with also a possibility of leaving out a stride to the last. Pascale was again out first for Australia, and with nothing to lose went out and added 8 faults in 43.25 seconds finishing with a total of 12. Jonathon was second last to go and rode a very quick and stylish round doing both the inside turn and leaving out a stride to the last to jump clear in a time of 39.67 seconds, which put him into 2nd position, with Zoe still to come. So Zoe had the sit and let LH Titan do his stuff, again turning inside to the second last and leaving out the stride to be the overall winner, jumping double clear in a time of 34.85 seconds.
Our Australian riders definitely finished strongly placing 1st and 3rd in the Individual to win impressive trophies, medals and flowers. Munsika Piyavittayakarn, from Thailand finished in 2nd, again double clean with a time of 38.47 seconds. It was nice to see 2 Australian flags being waved on the podium and our Australian National Anthem blasted out over the speakers. Our riders were definitely the most polished of the field. They got the job done but looked stylish and had the horses in great balance. Unfortunately they needed the 1st round of the teams to get the rust off. The horses that they rode in the teams’ event also had much better results for them than the other riders who rode them in the individual competition.
Following the presentations we had our last lunch, again put on by the organisers, swapped gifts with the other teams and said our thank-yous and farewells to all involved in the competition. The organising committee again showed their amazing talents in having our saddle blankets wash, dried and returned to our hotel by that afternoon. So job done, we went back to the hotel for a swim, and did some more of that much needed shopping?!?
As this was our last night we ventured up to Skypark at the top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel for a celebratory drink and amazing view of the city, harbour, and light show, followed by a team dinner downstairs in the adjoining mall. After 3 days of purely Asian food we were all ready for a more western meal and dined on some great steak and seafood, not to mention also trying, but not recommending some Gluten free bread. The West Aussies flew out first thing the next morning, with the Melbourne flight the following night.
This CSIY-B event was a fantastic experience, as it really gave the riders a taste of riding for a team. It also gave them the opportunity to get on completely new horses, find the right balance and get the best result. The organising committee went way beyond the call of duty to look after us and ensure that our trip was both well organised and enjoyable. Our thanks really goes out to the Singapore Organising committee especially Audrey Njoto, Patricia Quek, and Monique Heah, and also to Michelle Battams from Equestrian Australia for all of their help and support. With these Asian countries on our doorstep, together with New Zealand we really look forward to be able to reciprocate in running more of these events, Aussie style, in the future.
10 January 2012 - Team selected for the CSIY-B in Singapore
Congratulations to the following riders who were selected to compete in the Australian Team at the CSIY-B (borrowed horses) in Singapore, 3-5 February 2012:
Ben Blay is the reserve team member.
The team will be accompanied by Rory Hovell as the Chef d'Euipe, and will compete in classes of 1m-1.10m in height on borrowed horses, against teams from Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Chinese Taipei and Singapore.
Best of luck to our riders and we will provide results and a report after the competition.