Seasoned stars stormed the Herald Sun arena stage at the 2017 Royal Melbourne Show this morning to kick off the penultimate day of showjumping competition. The sensational Group B class that saw enthusiastic spectators don winter woollies ringside to witness a knifes-edge jump off contest. The bustling class drew 28 eager combinations in their bid for top spot in the hotly contested competition, culminating in the electrifying jump off that saw podium placings challenged with each new entrant to the ring.
It was the final combination of master horseman James Harvey in partnership with the spectacular ‘Tyrone VDL’ that triumphed the Group B contest, storming the jump off stage to keep spectators on the edge of their seats right up until the final seconds of the showjumping showdown. Harvey, ever the gracious title recipient, paid his Reserve cinching colleague, Tim Clarke, his dues in the presentation, humouring the audience in his humility, in saying that he “normally wouldn’t try to catch ‘Clarkey’!”, speaking to the masterful precedent Clarke had set for the competition.
Tim Clarke threw down the gauntlet in the final battle off the bat of the jump off draw, cruising through his daring double clear with enviable time that saw following combinations unstuck in their pursuit to catch the Victorian local. Only pipped at the post by eventual victor Harvey, Clarke outmatched the competition field to take Reserve placing on his ‘Totally Blue NZPH’.
Ally Lamb astutely followed suit with her daring jump off performance to round out the podium placings with star for the future ‘Dennison Park Combat’. The well-performed Paul Brent spoke true to his “fourth place affliction”, gathering his third fourth placing for this Royal Melbourne Show, on board ‘Cavalli Park Aliyah’. Tucking into the top five for the class was young talent Laura Sloey who piloted ‘Copabella Cashmir’ in her noteworthy Group B class performance.
This penultimate day of showjumping at the 2017 Royal Melbourne Show will see more ASJC megastars and jumping talent take to the Herald Sun stage. Tune into the action on the live stream for tomorrow’s FEI World Cup showdown, and for the exciting line up of breed and showing classes to come.
Words: Gabi Rivett