Victoria’s up and coming International jumping star 22 year old Matt Williams of Tonimbuk gained yet another Olympic qualification on Saturday competing at the Barcelona International CSIO five star show in Spain. Matt riding his top horse Leconte 6 placed 2nd in the 1.50m class on Thursday behind top German rider Christian Ahlmann, followed by a superb 7th placing in Friday’s $170,000 1.60m Grand Prix jumping one of only five clear rounds in the second round against 52 of the world’s top jumping riders. In a convincing proof of consistency Williams placed 4th in Saturday’s $85,000 1.55m Queens Cup grand prix jumping clear in the first round and one rail down in the jump off.
Riding his second horse, the big grey gelding Contact, Matt placed 8th in the 1.40m speed class, 18th in Saturday’s 1.50m class and then 43rd in Sunday’s 1.45m jump off class. Matt will now prepare for the German four star competitions later this month.
James Paterson-Robinson of Geelong also competed at the Barcelona International placing 11th in Thursday’s 1.50 Two Phase class riding Rodriemo followed by a super 4th placing in Friday’s 1.50 Accumulator and 22nd in Saturday’s jump off class. Riding Watch Me vh Grootveldof James was 39th in Thursday’s 1.40m class, 32nd in Friday’s 1.40m Table C and 25th in Saturday’s 1.55m jump off class.
Barcelona also hosted the 2007 Samsung Super League National Teams $225,000 final, Germany taking out the teams championship from Holland and Sweden.
BROWN RUNNER UP IN CALIFORNIAN WORLD CUP QUALIFIER
Harley Brown of Montrose riding his 18hh grey gelding Cassiato continued to put themselves in the front line for selection on the Australian jumping team for the 2008 Olympic Games when he placed second in the $60,000 Oaks Blenheim World Cup Qualifier held in California USA on Saturday. Brown and the big grey jumping machine jumped a double clear round to place second against the clock from 31 starters. US rider Chris Pratt won the qualifier riding Royal Beach Farao.
Harley is now in overall second placing on the US West Coast Jumping World Cup League, the top three riders from this league will compete at the 2008 World Cup Final in Sweden next April.
The next competition for this promising combination will be in Los Angles this weekend, see the Weekly Times for full results.
Australia’s top four in hand carriage driver Boyd Exell of Bega competed at the Donaueschingen International Driving competition in Germany on the weekend. Exell and his four lovely chestnuts won the combined four-in-hand class from Swiss world champion Daniel Wurgler. Exell also won the dressage section then placed 3rdin the marathon, 10th in the top score and 8th in the obstacle driving. Wurgler winning three sections to be the overall leader from Exell.
ENGLAND EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS
Great Britain won a seventh successive European team gold medal and the 2007 European Eventing Championships held in Italy on the weekend and French rider Nicolas Touzaint and his great grey horse Galan de Sauvagere led from the front to win another European individual title to add to the one he won in 2003.
The Italian team showed great determination and skill to win team bronze and qualify for the Hong Kong Olympics. It is Italy’s second European medal, following bronze in 2001. The French team taking out the silver medal, Nicolas Touzaint jumped a superb clear round, and finished on his dressage score of 29.4, the only rider to do so.
The British team had nearly 100 penalties in hand, because the German team was eliminated due to the withdrawal of Hinrich Romeike’s horse Marius Voight-Logistik who was injured.
Spectators were surprised when the 2005 champion Zara Phillips’s horse Toytown refused at fence 9 in Sunday’s jumping phase and, in total, incurred 19 faults which dropped her from silver medal position to sixth, but it did not affect the British team result because they were so far ahead. Phillip’s, the Queens grand daughter was third after the dressage on 29.8 penalties and then added just 2.8 time penalties on cross country day to head into the jumping phase in second position.
England’s Mary King won the individual silver medal riding Call Again Cavalier, and Germany’s Bettina Hoy, the 1997 European Champion, took out the bronze.
Hoy scored a Dressage personal best score of 27.1 riding the 16 year old Ringwood Cockatoo. “This is the best score I have ever had with Ringwood Cockatoo,” Bettina, wife of Australia’s number one eventing rider Andrew, said “He was brilliant”.
EQUINE INFLUENZA UPDATE
New cases of equine influenza in NSW remain within established containment lines of the Restricted Areas, NSW DPI deputy chief veterinary officer, Ian Roth, said on Monday “There have been no surprise cases. We know where the disease is and the standstill is preventing its spread into new areas,” Mr Roth said. “We must remember this is a highly contagious disease that can be passed on or transferred very, very easily.”
Areas in NSW where infected properties exist include the Hunter, Hawkesbury, Hornsby and Wollondilly local government areas, Narrabri and Tamworth in north western NSW, Cooyal near Mudgee and Dubbo and Parkes in the Central West.
Latest figures from tracing and surveillance teams show there are 1063 properties infected with equine influenza in NSW.
About 9700 horses have tested positive to horse flu and 4762 have tested negative.
Mr Roth said there were about 620 suspect properties in NSW being monitored and it is expected that the number of Infected Properties will continue to steadily increase.
“The message to horse owners and the wider community is that the standstill is working – new infections are located close to known infected properties,” he said.
“We need to keep up the good work sticking by the standstill.”
The NSW DPI is working to ease restrictions where there is no sign of the disease, however this has to be agreed to nationally by other States and Territories.
Equestrian authorities and organizing committees continue to cancel upcoming events, the orgainsers of the 2007 Equitana Asia Pacific spectacular scheduled for November has been rescheduled to 2008.
Jumping World Cup qualifying events scheduled to take place in Wodonga, Sale and Shepparton in November and December have been cancelled or postponed. The Pacific region Olympic Dressage qualifying event scheduled for October has been cancelled, the format for Olympic qualification having to be changed.