The draw is done for Equestrian In The Park 2019 | An Eventful Life

The draw is done for Equestrian In The Park 2019

         The stage is set and the Anitone bottles stand ready



The 2019 Pearllago Equestrian In The Park kicks off on Saturday, with the first horse due on course at 9.00am in the Diamond Class (1* level). This year brings the biggest Diamond Class field the event has seen yet, with 65 horse and rider combinations competing to win the Ford Escape.  The 25 Grand Prix class (2*/3*) riders will be competing for an even greater car, the Ford Eco Sport.

With the thought of these great prizes hanging over the riders’ heads (and in front of their eyes on Saturday!) it brings the question of… what order will they be riding in?

The Equestrian In the Park Live Draw night traditionally takes place on the Wednesday or Thursday before the big event and sees the 65 combinations in the Diamond Class Drawn out of a hat, from 1 to 65, to determine who rides first to sixty-fifth. This year, the Grand Prix riders had the opportunity to draw their fellow riders out in the form of names under Anitone bottles, kindly donated by Anitone.


      This is how we do things Down Under .....


Our first combination out in the Diamond Class this year is Daniel Suvaljko on Skippin’ Time and the last horse is Devereaux Snickers ridden by Tia Hall.

The Grand Prix class trailblazer with be the one and only, 5* rider extraordinaire and EITP event director, Michael Dagostino on 5* horse Kinnordy Gatow. Bringing up the rear at number 25 is myself (Madison Gielen) riding Capital who will hopefully show the top guys how it’s done!

We were blessed to be in the presence of multiple Olympic and Equestrian Legends, William Fox-Pitt and Sam Griffiths. William has two rides in the Diamond Class and one ride in the Grand Prix class. Sam is lucky enough to have FOUR horses, two in the Diamond class and two in the Grand Prix class.



Let’s take a look at the horses they’ll be riding….


William Fox-Pitt


19. Max Almighty

William will be riding the talented ‘ax Almighty owned by Kirsten Twining in the Grand Prix class. Kirsten is no stranger to Equestrian In The Park, finishing second to Mark Todd in the Grand Prix class last year on Newhope Sparks Fly. Max is a 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse with plenty of experience at 4* level. This is definitely everyone’s pick, although William is certain that he will finish fifth and win another pink ribbon… a colour he has won a lot of apparently, especially as a young boy!


34. Pico Bam

Pico Bam is by the famous Pico Bello and is also no stranger to this event, finishing 3rd in the Diamond Class last year with owner Daisy Scott. He will be William’s first ride at number 34. Bam Bam, as he is known, predominantly show jumps up to 1.20m level but has competed 1* Eventing with Daisy. Bam Bam is very clean and brave but his downfall is that everything around the jumps tends to be a little scary. William gave us his thoughts on the horse “He is a great jumper, very clean and good with the cross country fences, it is just between the jumps that is the challenge!”


48. Alabama

This is William’s second ride in the Diamond Class at number 48. Alabama is a 9 year old grey thoroughbred that has competed to 1* level with owner Sara Botten, and previously up to 2* level with Jessica Rae. Alabama is a super cross country horse with only two refusals refusals in his 41 starts, but he can however have the odd rail so Saturday will definitely be interesting.


       William Fox-Pitt does the honours


Sam Griffiths


4. Yoicks Masterclass: Yoicks Masterclass is a 15-year-old thoroughbred owned by Zoe Jones who will be Sam Griffiths’ first ride in the Grand Prix Class. Previously ridden by Isabel Houghton and Emily Anker in the Eastern States, ‘Rodger’ now resides in Western Australia. ‘Rodger’ is not the easiest ride on cross country so Sam will have to work hard on his first horse in this big class.


14. Kendlestone Park Jive: ‘Jive’ is an 11-year-old, grey Warmblood owned by Michael Dagostino and will be Sam’s second ride in the Grand Prix class. He completed his first 4* this year at the Pryde’s EasiFeed Alcoa International Horse Trials and finished with no cross country jump penalties. Sam is excited about Jive’s braveness but is slightly worried that he may touch a few show jump fences which will most likely be the most influential part of Saturday.


19. Barz Open: Barz Open known as ‘Doodle’ is the first horse that Sam will be riding in the Diamond class. Sam and William both rode this horse and were extremely fond of himso it was a fight as to who was going to ride the 8-year-old grey thoroughbred! Sam emerged victorious and will be riding for the Ford Escape on Doodle. He is a horse that makes a great shape over a fence and is brave, however is at a slight disadvantage having never started in a 1* or 2* before.


59. Kendlestone Park Elite: Sam is riding Kendlestone Park Elite again in the Diamond Class, a horse that he did incredibly well on last year, finishing in the top three, and has drawn a highly favourable draw number at 59. Kendlestone Park Elite is owned by Michael Dagostino and has been ridden by Dani Carey up to 2* level. This is Sam’s pick for his winning horse this weekend!


The Diamond class starts at 9am, followed by Fashions On The Field and a public course walk. The Grand Prix class will then have its first rider at 4.00pm… it’s going to be a long day!

Full draw available here

Article and photos by Madison Gielen


      Draw it again, Sam ...........