Alice Dunsdon, the British event rider competing at Adelaide CCI4*, is still determined to ride across country despite being admitted to hospital earlier today.
Alice is in Australia as part of her bid to become the first rider to complete the world’s six CCI4*s on the same horse and is blogging for Horse & Hound about the experience.
Her journey to the world’s only southern hemisphere four-star has been an epic adventure. Her ride Fernhill Present went into quarantine in England in late September, flew to Australia in mid-October and then spent further time in quarantine in Sydney before the road trip to Adelaide.
Along the way Alice has had to contend with an emotional rollercoaster, including the death of her dog Bertie back in England and of the former champion jockey Pat Eddery, whose daughter Natasha is married to Alice’s brother David.
Alice and “Hilly” arrived at the event site in Adelaide on Tuesday and passed the trot-up on Wednesday. They were drawn 26th of the 32 competitors and did their dressage at 2.26pm local time on Friday, scoring 55.1 to lie 11th after this phase.
“A little in shock he was so good,” said Alice afterwards on her facebook page. “He tried so hard and more importantly kept his cool.”
However, Alice then went down with a stomach upset and was admitted to hospital.
“They think it’s either a severe tummy bug or food poisoning,” she told H&H.
The 29-year-old was released from hospital at about 4.30pm British time — 3am on Saturday in Adelaide — and still intends to run across country.
“No-one could stop me,” she added.
The cross-country starts at 1.30pm Saturday local time and Alice is scheduled to set off at 3.02pm (4.32am in Britain).
Alice and Hilly have already completed Luhmühlen, Burghley, Pau and Kentucky CCI4*s. If they conquer Adelaide this weekend, they will just need to run round Badminton to complete the set and become the first horse and rider team to achieve this feat of a full house at the sport’s highest level.