Emily Gray - back at the Australian International 3 Day Event | An Eventful Life

Emily Gray - back at the Australian International 3 Day Event

      Emily Gray and Jocular Vision at the 2019 Mitsubishi Motors Australian International 3 Day Event

 

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Mitsubishi Motors Australian International 3 Day Event - find out more here

 

Emily Gray is no stranger to the Australian International 3 Day Event, having competed there for the first time in 2010 when she was still at high school.

Since then, the West Australian rider has competed there every year bar one and she will be returning for the 2019 Mitsubishi Motors Australian International 3 Day Event with two horses, Jocular Vision in the CCI5*-L and Rio Tonto in the CCI3*-L.

Jocular Vision is a well-known name around the grounds in Adelaide as ‘Pedro’, as he is known, has competed here several times, placing fourth in the 4* in 2018, as well as winning the Eventing WA Horse of The Year title in the same year.

They surged into the spotlight last year after a fantastic cross country run (watch their full cross country ride here) to finish without jumping penalties and with the fastest time, which initially had them in the lead at the end of the day. After a Ground Jury Review however, 50 penalties were taken away from two riders, and Emily went into the show jumping in third place

Considering that they were at the bottom of the leader board after the dressage, this was quite a feat. Jocular Vision does not like the atmosphere in the Main Arena in Adelaide at all but, as Emily explained to us in our interview last year, she knows what is going to happen as ‘he is just scared’

 

 

Although he is now well known for being a prolific winner of 4* competitions in Western Australia and is ‘a cross country machine’, the 15-year-old gelding by Jubilee Bay hasn’t always been so easy on cross country either

“When I first tried Pedro in Sydney, I fell off him twice” Emily told us “But I still desperately wanted him. We also had problems together in our early days as a partnership and everyone kept telling me to sell him because ‘he is too strong’ and ‘he’s a man’s horse’”

“I fell off him all the time, including into a water jump, up a bank out of a water jump, jumping off a bank, at a ditch, the list went on!”

But Emily persisted and they now have a fantastic partnership, with the help of a few Krispy Kremes, Pedro’s favourite treat, and a positive outlook

“I’m a firm believer that your mental strength plays a huge role in this sport” she says “Riders need to be confident in their own planning and decision making, and not let other people’s opinions and judgements affect their journey”

 

      On their way to a 4* win at the 2019 Alcoa International              Photo courtesy Waylib Photos

 

In 2019 Emily has been working hard to try and overcome Pedro’s tension in the dressage and a personal best score of 35.2 at the Alcoa International in September, where they won the CCI4*, brought ‘a tear to my eye’ at the final halt

Despite being a full-time physiotherapist, Emily has six horses in work and another horse from the Gray stable will also be coming to Adelaide.

Rio Tonto is likely to be the only palomino competing at Adelaide this year and Emily likens the 12-year-old thoroughbred gelding to a ‘Barbie doll’ due to the attention his colouring attracts. He is obviously a very good Barbie doll, with two second places at 3* level recently.

Like his stable mate, Tonto was not the easiest horse to start with. Originally bought for Emily’s mother Joy, the family quickly worked out that Tonto was ‘frankly, a bit of a scaredy cat’ so Emily then took the ride on Tonto to educate him before selling. However, no one would take him on and, a few months down the track, Emily had a good feeling about this quirky palomino, deciding to keep him to ride herself.

Emily may not be leading the CCI5* after the dressage phase at this year’s Australian International, but keep an eye out for Jocular Vision on cross country and we have no doubt you’ll be able to spot her ‘Barbie doll’ in the 3*

Article by Madison Gielen