Adelaide Horse Trials — or to give it its official name, the Australian International 3 Day Event — is the only four-star horse trials in the southern hemisphere. The event takes place in the very centre of the leafy South Australia city of Adelaide, with the cross-country traversing roads (see picture) as it winds through Adelaide’s spectacular East Parklands.
The Adelaide International Horse Trials started in 1997, replacing the Gawler Horse Trials, which had been held north of Adelaide since 1954. The event began as a three-star, but upgraded to four-star in 2002. In 2007, the event relaunched and was renamed the Australian International 3 Day Event in 2007 to celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary and reflect the competition’s international focus.
Adelaide joined the FEI Classics, a series linking the world’s four-stars, in 2011. The fixture offers the largest prize-fund in eventing in the Southern Hemisphere, with $120,000 (£65,150) up for grabs in 2014.
The event director is Gillian Rolton, a dual Olympic gold medallist for Australia and the president of the ground jury at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, France.
Wendy Schaeffer was the first winner of the four-star at Adelaide, taking the class in 2002 on Koyuna Sun-Glo. She also took top honours with Koyuna Sun Dancer in 2010. Two other riders have been double victors here, Stuart Tinney (2009 on Vettori and 2011 on Panamera) and Christopher Burton (2008 on Newsprint and 2013 on TS Jamaimo).
Christopher’s 2013 victory was particularly notable as he first rode TS Jamaimo less than a week before the event after his regular jockey, Will Enzinger, broke his leg in a fall from a novice horse. Afterwards their triumph a syndicate bought TS Jamaimo with the intention of Christopher campaigning him towards the 2014 WEG — they were successful in their quest for selection, but the horse had to be withdrawn after coming down with colic before the cross-country.