NEWS > Eventing
Posted by Equestrian Australia on 09/06/2014.

Rose wins Melbourne CCI3*

Shane Rose Shanghai Joe 2014 MIHT winners


Olympic silver medallist Shane Rose has won the Melbourne CCI3* aboard a horse which he says could take him to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Rose was sitting in third following Sunday’s cross country but he moved up in the placings after an injury to Stuart Tinney’s Pluto Mio forced the overnight leader to withdraw.

Tinney's withdrawal also opened the door for Sonja Johnson who was in second place after cross country but she and her chestnut Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison knocked two poles in today’s show jumping and they remained in second position at the end of the event with a score of 54.20.

A clear round to Rose and his thoroughbred Shanghai Joe saw the pair finish on their dressage score of 52.40.

An emotional Rose was lost for words by the performance of the young horse which was bred at his New South Wales property.

“I guess it’s like one of your kids doing well at school.

“He’s a good little horse. From the first time we took him out he was amazing.

“He’s got a great attitude. For a seven year old to come here and beat the other horses in this field is pretty good. I didn’t expect it really,” he said. 

Rose is currently in contention for Australia’s three day event team for the upcoming World Equestrian Games with his squad listed horse CP Qualified, which won the Sydney CCI3* in April.

Rose says his winning mount from Melbourne also has the potential to one day represent Australia.

“He’s headed towards Rio if he can hold it together and beat the other horses that I’ve got.

“He has an amazing temperament and he just gets better and better,” he said.

Johnson also finished in third place aboard her second horse Belfast Mojito which also finished on its dressage score of 62.60.   

Meanwhile, Australia was declared the winner of the Oceania Championships for Young Riders after the New Zealand team was reduced to two combinations. With teams requiring three scores and Kiwi Sarah Young eliminated on cross country and Bonnie Farant eliminated at the second horse inspection, the Australian team was guaranteed victory before taking to the show jumping phase.  

Maintaining the form they had shown throughout the competition, the team each produced clear rounds in the show jumping phase. Team members Gabrielle Pither and Teegan Ashby also enjoyed success in the individual placings with Pither winning the CCI2* class and Ashby finishing in third. Remaining team members Jaimie Stichel finished 10th while Michaela Martindale was 16th.  

In the CCI1* it was local combination Will Enzinger and Paihia Wilhelm who won from Megan Jones and Jayay Dom Perignon. Enzinger also finished in third with Bellhaven Sanskrit.

Full results from the event are available at the website

8 June 2014

Tinney Leading Melbourne CCI3* after Cross Country

Sydney Olympic gold medallist Stuart Tinney is the new leader in the Melbourne CCI3* following today's cross country at Werribee Park.

Tinney and his horse Pluto Mio were faultless around the Werribee parklands course and their clear round has given them the edge leading into Monday’s deciding show jumping phase which they will start on their dressage score of 46.01.  

Early frontrunners Sonja Johnson and Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison are not far off the pace and they trail the leaders by less than one penalty point.

Johnson forfeited the lead after her thoroughbred chestnut suffered a small mishap at one of the water jumps.  The pair is currently on a score of 46.20

“There was a little moment in the third water. He jumped in and he didn’t know where he was supposed to go.

“The time is very frustrating but we’ve already worked out what to do about it because we know what it was caused by. We’ve been trying some different things with his feet and he needs more stud,” she said.

Tinney last won the Melbourne CCI3* in 2000, just prior to the Sydney Olympic Games where he famously won gold as part of Australia’s three day event team.

“Sonja’s horse is a good jumper and there are quite a few horses in that top group that are good jumpers so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

“He jumped really well today. The time was tight so I had to keep manoeuvring all the time but he was great,” said Tinney.  

Olympic silver medallist Shane Rose is now occupying third position after also producing a clear round on an up-and-coming horse Shanghai Joe and will carry 52.40 penalties into Monday’s show jumping phase.

The only other clear in today’s CCI3* was produced by Johnson on her second horse Belfast Mojito which sees them move from 18th into 4th position.

Meanwhile Australia’s Young Rider Team has retained its lead over New Zealand in the Oceania Championships after all four combinations successfully navigated their way around the CCI2* course.  The team’s score will remain unchanged from the dressage phase after three combinations returned home without penalty (the three lowest individual scores will count to the overall team result).

New Zealand’s best performing combination in the dressage phase, Sarah Young and Regal Romar, were eliminated for a fall but horse and rider were able to walk home.

In the individual standings the top three placings remain unchanged with Australia’s Young Rider Gabrielle Pither holding onto the lead and Teegan Ashby retaining third place. Will Enzinger is in second position.  

For full event information, scores and more please visit the website


7 June 2014

Johnson leads Melbourne CCI3* after Dressage

Olympic silver medallist Sonja Johnson leads the Melbourne CCI3* after today's dressage phase at Werribee Park.

The West Australian has made the trip to Melbourne in a bid to impress selectors ahead of team selection for the upcoming World Equestrian Games which begin 77 days from now.

With her chestnut thoroughbred Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison, Johnson was cool and calm in the dressage arena, receiving a score of 44.60 from the judges.

It gives her a slender lead over Olympic gold medallist Stuart Tinney and his grey gelding Pluto Mio who are in second place after they were awarded a score of 46.01.

Fellow Olympian Amanda Ross and her mount William Wordsworth are in third after they received a score of 46.40.

Although she has the early advantage, the day didn’t all go according to plan for Johnson. Her second horse Belfast Mojito had an unsettling moment in the arena and finished down the order.

“The little chestnut (Illicit Liaison) knows his job which is the difference between him and Mojito. He thought that eventing was about entertainment so he decided to entertain,” Johnson said.  

With sunshine making way for heavy rain, competitors braved the elements at Werribee with many, including Tinney, receiving a drenching.

The Melbourne International Horse Trials continues Sunday where riders will take to the cross country ahead of Monday’s deciding show jumping phase.

For full results and event information please visit the website  


5 June 2014

Johnson eyeing more than just victory at Melbourne

West Australian Sonja Johnson has more than just victory in her sights at this weekend's Melbourne International Horse Trials.

Johnson has travelled across the Nullarbor in a bid to impress national selectors in what will be the final Australian based observation event for event riders ahead of the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games which are just 79 days away.

In April the Beijing silver medallist embarked on a 41 hour journey from Albany, to complete in the Sydney International Horse Trials on her two WEG hopefuls Belfast Mojito an Australian Stock Horse and Parkiarrup Illicit Liaisonan ex-racehorse.

Johnson had two standout showjumping rounds and placed in the dressage, but she had a costly uncharacteristic refusal on cross country day which left her out of the top placings. 

“I was worrying about the dressage and showjumping so much prior to Sydney, so I was working on them a lot.  I got to cross country and I had been so focused on everything else that I thought ‘thank god it’s the bit that I enjoy and am good at’.

“I certainly won’t be going into it this weekend with that attitude,” commented Johnson.

Although her journey to Werribee featured a run in with an extraordinarily large kangaroo, Johnson has returned to the east to make her mark. In the past the 2010 WEG representative has done well at Melbourne, including a 2nd placing last year on Mojito and a win in 2010 on her Beijing Olympic mount Ringwould Jaguar.

Although Johnson is well aware of the importance of this weekend she keeps it all in perspective.

“My aims for this weekend are to finish the 3* with two completely sound, happy and healthy horses and with a jockey that has learnt a hard lesson from her mistakes in the cross country at Sydney.

“A 36 hour trip home across the Nullarbor isn’t nearly as long if you have the right coloured ribbons hanging across your dashboard,” she said.  

Meanwhile, following today’s first horst inspection at Werribee, the Australian Young Rider Team for the Oceania Eventing Championships between New Zealand has been announced.

  • Gabrielle Pither & Max Almighty, WA
  • Teegan Ashby & Rockingham No Reason, NSW/VIC
  • Michaela Martindale & Kinnordy Gatow, WA
  • Jaimie Stichel & Image Blue Ice, SA

Remaining squad combinations Emily Gray & Deltry Invader, WA and Naomi White and Mighty Tosca - VIC will compete as individuals. The Young Rider clash between Australia and New Zealand was last held in Christchurch in 2012 and was won by the host nation so the Australian team will be out to break the three year winning streak of the Kiwis. The event will be held as part of the CCI2* competition.

The 57th Melbourne International Horse Trials will commence Friday and conclude on Monday. For more information please visit the event website

Other Top News