Olympian saddles up
RIDING a horse at 550 metres a minute – that’s 33kmh – a lot could go wrong.
But organisers say they will be fully prepared when they host the Queensland International three-day event at Morgan Park this weekend – the first of its kind since 2001.
“We’ll have ambulance, doctors and paramedics on stand-by and we’re anticipating nothing to go wrong. So far, touch wood, it hasn’t,” secretary Arianne Wall said.
“We are aware and riders are very aware that accidents do happen though.”
The three-day event begins on Friday with the dressage phase before moving onto cross-country on Saturday and finally showjumping on Sunday.
One of the biggest names in eventing, Olympian Stuart Tinney, will be among those travelling to Warwick to compete this weekend, with other riders arriving from across Queensland and New South Wales.
Tinney won gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and competed at Athens in 2004.
This weekend he will compete in the CCI two-star (CCI**) division, which is second to only the CCI three-star (CCI***) division.
Tinney said he was competing in CCI** to qualify his horses for the London Olympics next year.
“They must do CCI** to qualify for the Olympics,” he said.
The former Gladstone rider said he did not have a preferred phase of the competition.
“It depends what the horse is better at and that is what you enjoy,” he said.
“You have to be good at all three. There’s not any phase you can favour.”
One of his horses, Kinnordy Rubino, comes from Warwick’s former Kinnordy Stud.
The other horse he will be riding this weekend is GV Anzac.
The Queensland International three-day eventing will raise money for Team Pink – the national breast cancer foundation.
The cross country has been designed to put breast cancer in the spotlight and some of the riders will have their horses don pink ribbons.
Money tins will also be circulating to collect donations.
“We all know someone or have someone who knows someone who’s suffered from breast cancer and it’s something we’re all very aware of,” Wall said.
The dressage phase will begin tomorrow at 9am with the introductory, preliminary and pre-novice classes.
Saturday’s cross country will begin at 9am and the showjumping on Sunday will start at 8am.
Easter Sunday will be celebrated with an Easter egg hunt for the children.