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Rose wins 2018 Australian Eventing Championship title

11 April 2018

EQUESTRIAN: Rio Olympic bronze medallist Shane Rose proved he is well on target for this September’s FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA, after a dominant display at the Australian Eventing Championships at Equestriad last weekend.

Rose, quinellaed the TRM CCI3* class with Virgil (38.40 penalties) and Swiper (41.50 penalties) and earned the title of 2018 Australian Eventing Champion.

“I was really happy with both of them. Virgil is just starting back at his first competition run since Scotland last year. I wanted to make sure that he’s come back and performing like he was last year and he’s certainly on track for WEG at this stage,” Rose said.

Virgil, a popular horse in the Eventing fraternity, is named after the fictional character Virgil Tracy who is the pilot of International Rescue in the famous TV show ‘The Thunderbirds’.

Rose said Virgil’s recent international mission helped furnish him into a better and stronger horse.

“The trip overseas was good to gauge where he’s at against the rest of the world.

“Through time he’s got stronger and becoming more established. He’s always been a good jumping horse and worked hard on dressage. The improvement there has been gradual and we have seen a progressive reduction in his penalty scores.”

The timing of Virgil’s development as a world-class competition horse could not be better.

“If I can take that form into WEG he can be extremely competitive individually.”

Rose went as far to say that he believes Virgil could become the best elite horse he’s ever competed on.

“Without a doubt he’s the best jumping horse that I have had. He’s a realistic chance of Olympic medals in Tokyo. If he continues to improve the way he is he’s capable of being the best horse I have had.”

Rose was also full of praise for his younger prospect, the rising ten-year-old Swiper.

“He’s getting better and better and hopefully he will go well at Sydney Three-Day and be back up for Virgil at WEG.”

Both horses will compete at the Sydney International Horse Trials from April 27-29 and their final WEG lead-up in Australia will be the Melbourne International Three-Day Event in June.

For full results of the 2018 Australian Eventing Championships, click HERE.

Jo McKinnon
Equestrian Australia

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