Hazel Shannon ready for 2018


Hazel Shannon and Willinga Park Clifford, winners of the CCI4* at the 2016 Australian International 3 Day Event had a great year in 2017, emulating their lead up of the previous year by winning the 3* at both Tamworth and Goulburn. Their form has been consistently impressive with five wins, three second places and a fifth place at 3*/4* level from 12 international competitions since May 2016 but sadly 50 penalties on cross country in Adelaide removed any hope of a podium finish

Despite the fact that Hazel was out of the running she put in a focussed performance on the last day of the Aus3DE, jumping one of only three clear rounds.

“I can’t take all the credit for the clear show jump rounds I have ridden at Adelaide. I am very fortunate to have a horse, Willinga Park Clifford, who really wants to do clear rounds too” says Hazel but we’re pretty sure she’s being modest! We’ve got Hazel’s Top 10 Tips for Jumping a Clear Round coming soon ......

But first we caught up with Hazel to find out what the plans are for the start of the season in 2018. We had a chat with her between riding and catching young horses at Ryans at Newcastle where she is based with Rozzie and Heath Ryan

“It’s crazy here at this time of year” Hazel tells me on her phone as she is walking out to the paddocks “Between competition time may be quiet for some riders but it’s really busy here as it’s breeding season so, while the top horses get a break, we’re still busy with the young ones”

There have been other things to focus on too; there was an Eventing High Performance Forum for Equestrian Australian squad members in December and from there Hazel went on to Willinga Park to visit Terry and Ginette Snow, Clifford’s new owners, at their “AMAZING equestrian property at Bawley Point” which hosts some very successful competitions for a number of disciplines.

“Hopefully one day Wallinga Park might hold some eventing competitions” says Hazel. Now that would be a treat for eventers!

After a week over Christmas with her family in far north Queensland, Hazel was back to work and so was Clifford.

“He had four weeks off after Adelaide then I brought him back in, just for light work, doing some local show jumping days and preparing for our first event of the year at the Sydney Summer Eventing Classic. They have a CIC3* this year which we’ve entered”


Hazel and Willinga Park Clifford are aiming for Sydney International Horse Trials in April where they placed 2nd in the CIC3* last year


The first big ‘milestone’ for those aiming for selection will be the Sydney International Horse Trials in April and Hazel is one of those

“Our plan would normally be to do Scone Horse Trials in early March as part of our preparation for Sydney International but the cancellation due to drought has left us re-thinking. There’s talk of trying to organise other venues up this way to replace the Scone 3* but we’ll have to wait and see if anything comes off. There aren’t many 3* events we can do up here at this time of year but Equestriad at Camden is definitely on my list in April and we’ll keep doing some show jumping and dressage days”

We’ll hopefully catch up with Hazel at the Sydney Summer Eventing Classic where we’ll be filming all riders on cross country and bringing you full coverage of the event ...........