The David Sheppard designed Mini Prix course spelled trying times for the accomplished senior field in the test that yielded just one successful entrant. The challenge set by the track’s weaving route and complex questions unstuck the most experienced combinations in it’s undertaking, spelling toppled rails and time penalties aplenty for almost all starters. The Mini Prix event played a glimpse to keen spectators of the likely escalated questions due to be set in the FEI World Cup event this afternoon to entrants of the field participating in both events.
Rhys Stones reigned victorious in the field of twenty-two on board ‘Tulara Colmar’ in a remarkable performance that saw all course elements untouched and no time penalties ticked over, making the NSW based rider the only man left standing after just one round, and negating the need for a jump off contest. Skilled pilot Stones navigated the testing track to come comfortably inside in the time allowed, stopping the clock at 94.23 seconds.
Super-talent Suzannah Willis snapped up second place posting the only other clear round of the contest, preciously manoeuvring over the complex questions albeit incurring time penalties for her efforts. Willis partnered with ‘Anssioso Z’ in her tactful round that saw her stop the clock at 100.23.
Amanda Madigan stormed the Herald Sun arena, her performance a confluence of speed and horsemanship that excited the eager audience, in partnership with her ‘Velveeta’. The two toppled just one rail on the challenging track and clocked in an enviable time of 85.65. The well-performed Tallara Barwick followed suit in fourth on board ‘Copabella Verdi’ in a hair-raising round that saw the partnership join the “four-faulters” on a time of 86.66. Rounding out the placegetters and one more for a ticked rail and four faults, masterful Billy Raymont stopped the clock at 87.95 on board his sensational ‘Double J Butler’.
Tune in to watch the much anticipated FEI World Cup event today at 2.30pm on the ‘Horses in Action’ live stream.
Words: Gabi Rivett