Jessica Manson and Legal Star showjumped clear yesterday afternoon (Sunday 16 November) to net Adelaide Horse Trials’ CCI4*.
The duo had one fence in hand over Olympian Megan Jones, who was a part of the silver medal-winning Australian team at the 2008 Beijing Games, but it was a lifeline that Jessica didn’t need.
“I knew Megan had gone clear and that really put the pressure on me,” admitted 22-year-old Jessica, who was contesting Adelaide for the third time. “I was nervous but once we started jumping everything fell into place.”
This is by far the biggest result of Jessica’s career. She hails from Western Australia and started riding 13-year-old Legal Star when she was 12. Jessica hopes to compete the grey in Europe in 2015.
“It depends on money but I’d love to do a British CCI4* on him,” said Jessica.
Megan and Kirby Park Allofasudden held the lead after the dressage phase but 19.2 cross-country time-faults on Saturday dropped them to second.
“He over-jumped most of the early fences and I couldn’t go fast enough to make up the time we lost,” said Megan of the 14-year-old chestnut who has been absent from the top level since a foot injury ruled him out of the London Olympics.
“He feels great now and he’s one of three horses I’m aiming at Rio,” added Megan.
Despite picking up 20 jumping penalties for a cross-country run-out at the Eventful Life Sports Field Corner Brushes (6ab), Soigné Jackson slotted into third riding Gold.
“I’m happy with my place but I would have liked a clear round. The cross-country is usually his strongest phase, but he wasn’t settled in time for the fence,” said Soigné of the 14-year-old thoroughbred.
There was one British rider in the small field of just 14 starters. Charlotte Price, a former resident of Aston-Le-Walls who relocated to Australia eight years ago to work for Kevin McNab, piloted Kinnordy Gambia into 10th.
Adelaide horse trials results
1 Legal Star (Jessica Manson, AUS) 61.8,2.8,0=64.6.
2 Kirby Park Allofasudden (Megan Jones, AUS) 51.5,19.2,0=70.7.
3 Gold (Soigné Jackson, AUS) 63.5,24.4,8=95.9.
4 BP Cosmopolitan (Katja Weimann, AUS) 65.2,31.2,0=96.4.
5 KL Kismet (Elizabeth Lowery, AUS) 67.5,14.4,16=97.9.
10 Kinnordy Gambia (Charlotte Price, GBR) 60.3,56.4,15=131.7.
Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s Adelaide report in next week’s issue, on sale Thursday 20 November, and Eventing magazine’s coverage in the December issue, on sale Saturday 22 November.