Adelaide cross-country will be tough despite cuts

November 12, 2009

from Stan Henderson in Adelaide

Event officials took a step to limit the effect of record temperatures on horses by reducing the length of the testing Rymill Park cross-country track for the Australian International 3 Day Event in Adelaide this weekend.

But despite the change, leading riders I spoke to believe that even with the reduced distance, completing the course within the optimum time will be difficult and time faults will be influential on the overall results.

In a sport where the welfare of the horse is paramount, a 2km section of the course taking in the old Victoria Park racecourse has been removed, reducing the optimum time to around eight minutes.

With temperatures predicted to peak on Saturday the move has been well received by both riders and supporters.

The course change will not affect the cross-country spectacle for eventing enthusiasts or for the Adelaide public, who are expected to attend in their thousands on Saturday.

The testing water complex, main focal point for spectators, is situated in the beautiful Rymill Park, adjacent to the Adelaide CBD. This has not been affected by the course change.

The New Zealand team members are completing their preparations for Friday's dressage, schooling their horses in the early morning and in the evening to avoid the worst of the Adelaide heat.

Today the tempo of the event will go up a notch with the official trot up scheduled for 2pm. Following the trot up, the New Zealand and Australian teams will be announced and the Trans-Tasman competition will have started in earnest.