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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Rose steers Virgil to Adelaide win for first time

ABOVE: Sophia Hill, Shane Rose and Sam Lyle celebrate. Picture: MICHELLE TERLATO

IT’S easy to talk about the great success of the Adelaide Equestrian Festival and the record crowds of 37,000 at the finale of an amazing event.

But really, it’s the story of a partnership of a man and his horse that have travelled so many miles together.

Shane Rose has stood on top of the CCI5*podium three times at Adelaide, the first in 2004 then in 2015, but this time with Virgil it was so obviously special, with Shane having a very obvious love for a very brave and talented horse.

Virgil finished second to Shane’s other mount CP Qualified in 2015 but this is the first time that Virgil has been able to compete at Adelaide since.

As an Australian team horse he has had extensive overseas travel including a team silver at Tokyo, so hopefully, Paris beckons.

ABOVE: Shane Rose and Virgil – a special bond. Picture: MICHELLE TERLATO

Rose said when accepting the trophies for himself and his horse that the Olympics was always the goal.

“The plan was always to bring Virgil here to Adelaide to qualify for Paris 2024 and we will see what unfolds there,” he said.

“It means everything to come back to compete in Adelaide after Covid. It’s amazing and I realise that there’s nowhere like this in the world to gallop through a city, and the crowd and the weather are just second to none.

“It’s a bonus gift ahead of my 50th birthday tomorrow.”

Second place went to Sam Lyle on BF Valour and third was Sophia Hill on Humble Glory, a combination that has had such a great season and also took out the award for the highest placed Thoroughbred horse.

In the CCI 4* Shenae Lowings and Bold Venture were superb across country and went into show jumping with one rail in hand. They held it to finish ahead of Andrew Cooper on Sha valley Thunder and Cathryn Herbert on Wimborne Constable.

Shane Rose’s other mount Easy Turn had a bad slip in cross country and although the horse trotted up sound the following morning was withdrawn.

Promisingly, the CCI3* class was filled with great young horses and exceptional young riders, with Oliver Barrett on Sandhills Special winning the class and the Young Rider award. Erin Callahan riding Danson Lincoln was second with Jess Somerfield’s Finch Farm Carpentaria third.

Molly Lines who finished a solid seventh on Tadpole was happy, winning the award for the highest placed Thoroughbred in that section.

ABOVE: Oliver Barrett powering through the cross country course against the event’s unique Adelaide city backdrop. Picture: MICHELLE TERLATO

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