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Posted by Equestrian Australia on 25/10/2012.

Leading riders to take centre stage at the Be the Influence Equestrian Grand Final

Some of equestrian sports finest are set to be challenged by a host of young rising stars when world class riders gather to compete in Australia's premier multidiscipline event.

Equestrian Australia today confirmed finalists for this year’s Dressage, Jumping and Exhibition Eventing Grand Final events - held at EQUITANA Melbourne from 15-18 November - will include three Olympic medallists, two London Olympic representatives and a number of young hopefuls who will be out to upstage their experienced rivals.

2012 London Olympic Games representative Sam Griffiths as well as 2010 Badminton CCI4* Champion Paul Tapner will make a special appearance in the Exhibition Eventing final and go head to head with Australian based favourites Olympic gold medallist Stuart Tinney and Olympic silver medallists Megan Jones and Shane Rose.

Four time Olympian Mary Hanna will go head to head with husband and wife duo Heath and Rozzie Ryan. Heath will look to retain the Dressage Grand Final crown he won last year in Sydney in front of the packed arena.  Number one qualifier David Shoobridge and fellow top performing Australian based rider Maree Tomkinson will be among the 18 person field looking for their shot at the title.

Among the finalists in the Jumping competition is the current Australian Show Jumping Champion, 18 year old Tom McDermott, who will take on 2011 Australian FEI World Cup series winner Jamie Kermond as well as the leader of the current season, Evie Buller.

Equestrian Australia also confirmed this year’s event will be known as the Be the Influence Equestrian Grand Final.

The naming rights sponsorship is part of a broader two year partnership between EA and the Australian Government’s Australian National Preventative Health Agency which was announced in June this year. The partnership will promote the Government’s new campaign Be the Influence: tackling binge drinking.

There will be 18 finalists in the dressage final and 15 in the jumping  and 15 in the Exhibition Eventing finals. Exhibition Eventing is an adaptation of traditional eventing that starts with a dressage phase and ends with a combined cross country and jumping component which takes place within an arena.

“The Be the Influence Equestrian Grand Final is Australia’s premier multidiscipline Equestrian event which brings together Australia’s leading competitors in Dressage, Jumping and Eventing for one spectacular showcase of Equestrian sport and the chance to win more than $70,000 in prize money,” said Equestrian Australia’s CEO, Grant Baldock.

“Thanks to our naming rights sponsorship arrangement with Be the Influence, presenting partner EQUITANA and our supporting sponsors Horsezone, IRT and Gow Gates, we are able to present a professional world-class event which is good for riders, exciting for spectators and through the securement of a national broadcast is also positive for the growth of equestrian sport in Australia,” he added.

“As well as providing our riders with the opportunity to compete in an exciting top class, televised event on home soil, the Be the Influence Equestrian Grand Final gives fans of equestrian sport the chance to support our riders watch the sport’s best battle it out for a supreme title,” he added.

The Be the Influence Equestrian Grand Final will be televised on the Nine Network on Sunday 27 January 2013 at 12.00pm.

In addition to awarding wild card entries, finalists for each discipline were determined through a series of qualification events which were run in conjunction with some of the country’s leading equestrian events.

The Be the Influence: Tackling Binge Drinking initiative is a sponsor of 13 National Sporting Organisations - enabling their sporting events to be alcohol promotion free thereby reducing the exposure of alcohol marketing to young people involved in sport.

View the full list of finalists HERE

The Equestrian Grand Final will take place from 15-17 November at EQUITANA Melbourne at follows:


CSI1*-W Thursday 15th November, 7pm - 10pm, Grand Pavilion

Exhibition Eventing      

Friday 16th November, 4pm - 7pm, TuffRock Arena     


CDI-W Grand Prix: Friday 16th November, 9.15am - 12.15pm, Grand Pavilion (qualifier for the CDI-W Freestlye, top 12 progresses through)

CDI-W Freestyle: Saturday 16th November, 7pm - 10.15pm, Grand Pavilion

Representatives of media organisations wishing to attend this event should download complete and return the enclosed EQUITANA media accreditation form to EQUITANA’s media coordinator Adele Ormando - [email protected] prior to 9 November 2012.  


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