The Virtual Australian International 3 Day Event 2020 | An Eventful Life

The Virtual Australian International 3 Day Event 2020


Sadly, there will be no Australian International 3 Day Event in 2020 but An Eventful Life will be presenting some of the magic of the Southern Hemisphere’s only CCI5* in a virtual format

Along with flashback photo galleries, reliving interviews with leaders and winners and showing previously unseen video highlights, An Eventful Life will also be presenting a Virtual Trade Village for viewers from all around the eventing world to browse and shop from Tuesday 10th – Monday 16th November

Each day we’ll also be bringing you some of our favourite stories, facts and interesting snippets focussed on the eventing action and much more in our Open Thread on this article so stop by and scroll down each day to see what’s new ….



Adelaide – the cool event, even in the heat

In 2009 the event was held during an Adelaide heatwave with a temperature of 40 degrees recorded on cross country day.

The event went ahead with some minor modifications to the cross country courses and amazingly all horses and riders coped well with the conditions whilst guests in the VIP Marquee were each given water pistols as cooling aids (you can imagine how that ended!) on show jumping day

Whether a heatwave or just normal warm November temperatures, the cool-down area after cross country in Adelaide is a cool haven of ice, fans and lots and lots and lots of water

The Australians sure know how to cool their horses down fast, starting with the tack off as soon as possible thanks to multiple helpers, plenty of cold water and misting fans under cover that most horses are happy to stand in front of (although a few have been known not to like them!)

It may not have been the best ride for some or it could have been the best ride of the day – either way, the horse’s welfare comes first …..





Duck in and out of Rymill Lake Adelaide

The water jump in Rymill Park in Adelaide’s city centre parklands is a unique feature of the Australian International 3 Day Event cross country course.

Everyone loves to gather around the water on the Saturday of the Australian International 3 Day Event. The beautiful jacarandas provide a lovely backdrop, the shade is a perfect place to picnic and the water is …………… well, interesting

The water in Rymill Lake in Adelaide changes from year to year – sometimes very green, sometimes quite blue and sometimes just brown!

In 2012 it was a quite vivid green but Professor Michelle Waycott, Chief Botanist of the State Herbarium of South Australia, assured that the water contained nothing worse than duckweed and harmless green algae and is apparently perfectly harmless to horses (and the riders if they fall in)

One thing is for sure, the ducks love it …..



Megan Jones draws attention to the Aus3DE

   Megan Jones in full body paint


It was probably the only time you will ever see a 5* rider on horseback in their underwear in a city centre

Olympic silver medallist and Adelaide-based eventing rider, Megan Jones spent six hours being covered in body paint to create the illusion of wearing a full dressage gear, when in fact she was wearing just her underwear, before taking to the streets of Adelaide to promote the Australian International 3 Day Event in 2013

“I was freezing!” says Megan but of course it was worth it for her ‘local’ event



   The woman who made it happen - Olympian, South Australian and Aus3DE Event Director Gill Rolton


2016 - Best event of the year thanks to Gill Rolton


The 2016 Australian International 3 Day Event (Aus3DE) was awarded ‘Best Eventing Event of the Year’ by the international equestrian magazine L’Annee Hippique.

It was testament to the hard work and dedication that Event Director, Gillian Rolton, and the Aus3DE team had invested into the event over the past 20 years.

“Gillian has worked tirelessly as Event Director to ensure that the world knows about Adelaide and the unique equestrian event that is hosted in the heart of this beautiful city” said Aus3DE Chair, Dr Felicity-ann Lewis

“Over the last ten years, Gill has overseen the growth of the event, from three days of competition to a four-day program that now includes Friday and Saturday night entertainment, as well as displays, masterclasses and Event Ambassadors from all over the world”

Sadly in 2018, her family, the event and the Australian eventing community lost Gill after her battle with cancer.

It happened the way she would have wanted it

At the end of the cross country phase in 2018 it was announced that Gill, who had been in palliative care for cancer, had passed away



      Chris Burton and TS Jamaimo


Catch ride winners

Chris Burton may be Australian, but he was based in the UK when he won the Australian International 3 Day Event CCI4* in 2013 on the catch ride TS Jamaimo

While he was based in Australia, Chris won the CCI4* at the Aus3DE in 2008 on board Newsprint but in 2013 he had travelled back to Australia from the UK simply to present a Masterclass at the event. When he got the call on the Monday before the event started in 2013 to ask about riding TS Jamaimo in the CCI4* at the Australian International 3 Day Event, he never imagined he would win it.

“I was just the jockey” said Chris modestly afterwards, giving all credit to the horse’s usual rider Will Enzinger who had broken his leg at a competition the week before and his groom, Emily McQueen, who looked after TS Jamaimo throughout the event and filled Chris in on all his ‘quirks’

TS Jamaimo, who had been on the market as a ‘school master’ prior to winning the event was purchased by a syndicate and taken to the UK for Chris to ride



Oliver Townend wins at Aus3DE

“Everybody knows in England that I come across a bit grumpy but here I am having a great time with my friends ..... maybe this is the key to me eventing in England, that I shouldn’t take it so seriously!” said Oliver on his trip to Adelaide in 2016

That year Oliver won the CIC3* class on board Napoleon, the 11 year old warmblood owned by Oliver’s Australian friend Tim Boland who has organised the trip to Australia, just beating the local favourite Megan Jones on her birthday. Oliver had competed (and won) at some show jumping events just before winning in Adelaide but they had never done cross country together before the win



    Karen Tinney pockets her husband's winning cheque in 2011


The biggest cheques

The Australian International 3 Day Event became a part of the FEI HSBC Classic Series in 2011 and the new status provided big new prize money for the event winners and placegetters as well as winning valuable points for the annual FEI HSBC Classic Series.

That year the event was won by Stuart Tinney riding Panamera who received one of the biggest cheques (in more ways than one) in Australian eventing

William Fox-Pitt narrowly won the FEI HSBC Classic 2012 Series, just one point ahead of Andrew Nicholson, and pocketed the US$150,000 prize. Stuart Tinney, the highest placed Australian and 2011 winner in Adelaide, finished fifth to earn US$25,000 despite only competing in one of the six events that comprise the Series

The FEI HSBC Classic Series finished at the end of the 2013 season – in 2019 the winner’s prizemoney was $47,000

In the three years that Hazel Shannon’s Willingapark Clifford has won the event (2016, 2018 and 2019) he has won $122,000, far more than he ever won on the racetrack and probably the most money that an eventing horse has won in Australia previously

And talking of William Fox-Pitt – did you know he was sold at the Aus3DE?

$850 seems to be pretty cheap to have William Fox-Pitt's undivided attention but that’s the price that Kirsty Withers and her friends paid to have lunch with the eventing superstar in the 5 Star VIP marquee at the Australian International 3 Day Event in 2012




Local Heroes

Two of Australia’s medal winning Olympic heroes, Wendy Schaeffer and Megan Jones both live locally to the only CCI5* held in Australia



There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Megan Jones retired her Olympic silver medal winning horse Kirby Park Irish Jester on his home turf at the Australian International 3 Day Event in Adelaide in 2012

Olympic gold medallist Wendy last won the event in 2010 on Koyuna Sun Dancer (and finished third on Koyuna Sun Shine) but is present every year in her home town to present the Sunburst Trophy, awarded to the winning horse in honour of her Atlanta Olympic gold medal winning horse Sunburst


   Wendy Schaeffer presents the Sunburst trophy to Hazel Shannon in 2019




Record wins

Three-time 5* winner on the same horse

Hazel Shannon and Willingapark Clifford have the won the top class three times in 2016, 2018 and 2019 becoming the first combination to earn three CCI4*/5* wins at the Australian International Three-Day Event.

Only a small number of combinations have produced the same trio of performances at other events - Great Ovation ridden by Captain Mark Phillips at Badminton (1971, ’72, ’74), Winsome Adante ridden by Kim Severson at Kentucky (2002, ’04, ’05), Andrew Nicholson riding Avebury at Burghley (2012, ’13, ’14) and fisherRocana FST ridden by Michael Jung at Kentucky (2015, ’16, ’17).

A one-two for Shane Rose

In 2015 Shane Rose and his 10 year old warmblood gelding Virgil jumped into the history books with their clear round at the Australian International 3 Day Event to secure second place behind Shane's winning horse CP Qualified

Shane joined some good company - Mary King has also done a 'one-two' at CCI4* level (Rolex Kentucky 2011) and Ian Stark placed first and second at Badminton in 1988 riding Glenburnie and Sir Wattie


    Shane Rose wins on CP Qualified and takes second place on Virgil