Martha Terry talks to the rider from the Australian bush who has taken an unwanted ex-racer from ignominy to the eventing history books
Hazel Shannon has just joined a very elite group of event riders. Since winning the world’s latest CCI5*, the 27-year-old Australian — as-yet little known outside the southern hemisphere — now sits alongside Andrew Nicholson, Michael Jung and Kim Severson as having ridden one horse to win three five-stars at the same venue. That’s some accolade.
“It doesn’t feel like my name should be alongside those people,” says Hazel, who didn’t start eventing until she left school and went to work for top Aussie coach Heath Ryan, in New South Wales, where she’s still a working pupil. Her victory at Adelaide in November added to the titles she won in 2018 and 2016 with the chestnut thoroughbred Willingapark Clifford.