Photo above (Eric Lloyd Photography): Patersons Director Murray McGill with 2018 Patersons Plate winner Caitlin Bolger & Oaks Quickstep.
It had been four years since Swan River Showjumping (SRSJC) last held its Championships outdoors at Brookleigh – and what a comeback the venue has made with its enlarged and re-surfaced arena.
FEI-3 course designer Michael Haese (FEI-3/SA) maximised the 80 x 65 metre outdoor surface with beautifully executed tracks that challenged and encouraged the riders, a superb preparation for those heading to the Royal Show (Michael Haese this year’s course designer there) and Alcoa CNC.
The annual two-day event included 1.05-1.40m open height classes plus SRSJC’s 95cm 15 years & under Youth Championship, Kentaur Junior, Jakoma Young Rider and Patersons-EWA Jumping Horse of the Year on Saturday. Sunday’s classes included the Quickmail Speed Stakes, EquineWorld Amateur Championships, Dr Kathy Klein-EWA Silver Series Qualifiers and Sunday’s feature class, the now-iconic 1.40M Patersons Plate.
There was plenty of inspiring competition for the public spectators and more than 100 VIP guests, who enjoyed a long tapas lunch right along the arena. Competition heated up throughout the weekend, especially between some of the state’s leading ‘next generation’ of competitors in the Patersons Plate Grand Prix – with a thrilling jump off in this two-round competition between two of our top under-30 World Cup riders, Caitlin Bolger on Oaks Quickstep and Chelsea McInnes on Diamond B Vigo.
The treble along the VIP Marquee troubled all but those two horses, with others toppling at least one rail of the oxer to vertical to oxer combination in both rounds. The jump off became the deciding factor, with the testing third round at this height perhaps playing a part in the three uncharacteristic rails by Diamond B Vigo – especially as Chelsea was first to jump off and took some speedier options. Second to go, Caitlin and Oaks Vendetta produced a slower, clear round, but nothing could dilute her decisive win on the brilliant seven-year old mare, Oaks Quickstep.
International course designer Michael Haese said, “I was really happy with the number of horses with double clears and with the way they handled the track.” The riders were happy, too, with universal compliments for his courses, the venue and event itself throughout the weekend. “Michael’s tracks allowed the horses to progressively develop throughout the weekend. We’re so grateful to our sponsors’ support, which enables us to bring internationally trained designers like him to WA and provide variety for our riders – it puts extra polish on our end-of-season show,” said club Chair, Suzanne McGill.
The club’s annual Hi Points Champions were also announced on the weekend: Dark Selections SRSJC SENIOR HI POINTS: Sarah Isbister; Bindoon Tractors YOUNG RIDER HI POINTS: Izabelle Dobson; Brigadoon Produce JUNIOR HI POINTS: Grace Lamont; SNS EquestEarth YOUTH HI POINTS: Jane Gundry.
With the Championships, SRSJC wrapped up its 2018 season and kickstarted WA’s other championship end-of-year jumping events.
Other class winners included:
ERIC LLOYD SRSJC YOUTH FINAL Ellie Gough – Western Diva;THE GENERAL STORE 1.05M OPEN Ailish Donovan – NP Conchetta; EQUISSAGE 1.15M OPEN Wendy Reid – Thunder Rose; KENTAUR SRSJC JUNIOR JUMPER CHAMPION Izabelle Dobson, Smiling Assassin; OAKS SPORT HORSES STEPPING STONES STAKES Rebecca Donovan – Carpina; JAKOMA SRSJC YOUNG RIDER Sophie Ahmat – Tsarina Von de Wolfsakker; PATERSONS-EWA JUMPING HOTY Spook March – Holmwood Valentine; QUICKMAIL SPEED STAKES Kate Ingham – Asti Aspiration; HEY PESTO 1.15M OPEN Grace Lamont – SS Halo; EQUINEWORLD SRSJC AMATEUR CHAMP Hannah Henry – Corvair; DR KATHY KLEIN-EWA JUMPING SILVER SERIES Lucinda Bunning – Two Reds; THE PATERSONS PLATE GRAND PRIX Caitlin Bolger – Oaks Quickstep; FUTURE HOME LIVING 1.30M MINI PRIX Annabel Cowcher – Nalelu
See RESULTS under EVENTS for all placings.