Tim Boland tops the board at Australian National Championships

       The beautiful black GV Billy Elliott at the Australian International 3DE in Adelaide


Tim Boland and GV Billy Elliott lead the CIC3* after the dressage phase at the Australian National Eventing Championships at Equestriad, Camden

Tim and his impressive black gelding GV Billy Elliott lead on a score of 41.50 ahead of Olympian Megan Jones riding Kirby Park Impress on 44.40. Both of these horses are well known for their ability to point a toe in the dressage arena and have two of the most experienced riders in the field but in third place is the young up and coming rider, albeit with a famous name, Gemma Tinney

It is a while since Tim and Billy competed at Camden but their last start here in this class gave them a second place in 2015. The pair competed for Australia in the Nations Cup at Houghton Hall in 2016 and finished second at Cappoquin in Ireland in July 2016 but since then have yet to complete at this level with Tim withdrawing Billy after the showjumping phase at two events in late 2016 and being eliminated in the show jumping Adelaide when they led the CCI4* after the dressage. However they came back strongly at national level to win the CNC3* at the Randwick Equine Sydney Summer Classic in February where the 16 year old Billy certainly looked back on top form


      Megan and Kirby Park Impress at Tonimbuk


Megan and her homebred 10 year old chestnut mare Kirby Park Impress have had a good run at international level in the lead up  to these championships with a win at Tonimbuk in the CIC3* earlier in the year and strong performances at CIC3* level in 2016, including a near win in her home town of Adelaide in November. Megan also has her other chestnut Kirby Park Invader in eighth place whilst Tim also has Napoleon in fifth

20 year old Gemma Tinney, holder of the current Australian Young Rider title, is in third riding John and Jane Pittard’s Annapurna on a score of 46.70. This is the pair’s first CIC3* start together although the black mare has been competed to 4* level by Gemma’s father, Stuart in the past and Gemma finished fourth in the CCI2* on Annapurna at the Australian International 3 Day Event in November


      Gemma Tinney and Annapurnaon their way to becoming the Australian Young Rider Champions


Brett Cantle and the imported stallion Premonition won the CCI1* at Warwick, Queensland in 2016 and have been on good form since. It may come as no surprise that they lead after the dressage in the CIC2* here as this horse was the 2015 Queensland Elementary and Medium Dressage Champion with Emma Flavelle-Watts and also won an advanced class at the 2016 Brisbane CDI but he also can jump, with the pair winning the Sydney Eventing @ SIEC CNC1*A earlier in the year.

This is their first CIC2* start so it will be interesting to see how they fare in the step up, especially as they have the Adelaide CCI2* winner, Andrew Barnett, this time riding Bradgate Park Fonzie, chasing hard, just 0.2 penalties behind on 40.80. There is then a host of big names ready to swoop including Stuart Tinney on War Hawk, back competing after some time off, Heath Ryan and Wimborne Constable, young Madeline Wilson on Mumbo Jumbo and the frequent flyer himself, event organiser Shane Rose on Swiper

Grace Kay on Celerity Park Faberge leads the CIC1*A and Sappho Ransan-Elliott heads the CIC1*B riding Aramatai Fox. Sappho recently became the NSW State Champion riding SR Penhaligon at this level – can she add the National title to her swag too?


Full results here