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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Four-star a walk in the park for Molly and Tadpole at Ballarat

ABOVE: Durani (Dee) Hart and Vanaheim Ice and Fire. Picture: FELICITY CLAY

MOLLY Lines' eventing partner Tadpole showed that after successfully completing a top 10 finish in the three-star class at Adelaide, the rise to a four-star course at the Ballarat International Horse trials a couple of weeks later was a piece of cake.

The little Thoroughbred and his 18-year-old rider rose from equal sixth after dressage to win the class.

David Middleton riding WEC In The Money was second ahead of Sam Jeffree on Koyuna Tactician. Jeffree had two rides in the class and also placed firth on Santoro.

The three-day event is held within the Ballarat Pony Club Grounds at the Victoria Park Equestrian Precinct.

There were 370 horses competing in the beautiful setting and despite the freezing weather, there were a lot of local spectators.

David Middleton was more successful in the three-star, winning with WEC In The Breeze, with Sophia Hill on the Thoroughbred Seattle Park second and Hannah Klep’s Tulara Chicouve third.

Tasmanian rider Kenny Walch nailed her first three-star event over Ballarat’s testing course rising from 15th after dressage to finish a really creditable fifth.

ABOVE: Charlotte Sheldon and Townshend LS tackle the four-star showjumping. Picture: FELICITY CLAY

Sophia Hill moved up one place in the two-star class, winning with Tulara Baltango, just a couple of points ahead of Will Enzinger’s Epic Xtreme and Edward Darby’s Beautiful Somerset Day.

There were two sections of the one-star, one open and one for off- the-track (OTT) Thoroughbreds.

The open class was won in a close finish by Rohan Luxmoore’s LH Valentino from James Lang and Another Billion with Caitlin Smith’s Ballahowe Skyfall third.

The success of the OTT scheme showed in that 32 horses started in a one-star class at an international level event, with just three not completing.

The winner, Kaitlin Teichert’s Tenacious Red, by Ferocity, only had four starts as a racehorse but talent in his new career had him taking the class by a point from Bee Bee Cats ridden by Hannah Spencer and Excusemwah ridden by Sydney Wenn.

The EA 95cm young rider class was won by Zoe Luppino on Cape Tribulation leading from the dressage phase, and the off-the-track class went to Archie Houghton’s Sammy O'Reilly.

The open 95cm section went to Edward Darby riding Odins Day.

The popularity of eventing shows clearly in the EA 80cm classes, attracting riders who are either training up young horses over attractive and thoughtful courses like Ballarat presents, or people who know their own and their horse’s limits and are enjoying their chosen sport.

Jasmyn Beesley is an excellent trainer of young horses and her Mr Jackson led from start to finish in his class, as did Sophie Fosnaugh’s Champagne Fizz and Arlene Collins’ Sheoak Park Mo Stór, showing that a good dressage score in the lower classes is a real asset.

ABOVE: Karen Dabbs and Grimstrand. Picture: FELICITY CLAY
ABOVE: Jamie Stichel and Kenlock Super Salute. Picture: FELICITY CLAY

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