‘Off the track’ thoroughbreds shone brightly at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Australian International 3 Day Event, competitive across all levels of the prestigious equestrian competition held in the Adelaide park lands from Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th November.
Retired racehorses won four of the top six placings at the elite Five-star level of the competition, including first place winner Willingapark Clifford ridden by Hazel Shannon.
The win by Hazel Shannon marks the first time in the world that a horse with a female rider has won three titles at the highest level of competition, an achievement only ever completed once before with a male rider.
It is hoped that the pair’s performance in Adelaide will play a key part in their selection to represent Australia at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Thoroughbred Racing SA (TRSA)’s continued sponsorship of the event provides additional prizemoney to the leading retired thoroughbred in the Three-star, Four-star, Five-star and Young Rider categories. Alongside Willingapark Clifford and Hazel, recipients of TRSA’s support this year included:
- Four-star: Humble Glory and rider Sophia Landy who finished fifth overall in their category;
- Three-star: Omega Star ridden by Andrew Cooper, who finished seventh; and
- Young Rider: Steph Hann, who rode True Celebre to ninth place in the Three-star category.
“Willingapark Clifford and Hazel Shannon’s achievement is truly extraordinary and showcases just how well-suited thoroughbreds are to pursuits beyond racing,” said TRSA Industry Operations Manager Nick Bawden.
“They have the intelligence, stamina and agility needed to perform well at the highest level of competition, and we’ve seen displays of those quality time and time again at this year’s 3 Day Event.
“TRSA’s sponsorship of the event allows us to celebrate not only those who succeed at the highest level such as Willingapark Clifford and Hazel, but several riders who choose to participate with a retired racehorse, even if they don’t win their category overall.
“All in all, we saw 25 retired racehorses in this year’s event, with eight of those at the elite Five-star level. We would love to see those numbers grow into the future.”
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