Turning up the heat at Tonimbuk

      No wonder Amanda is happy!


I would say ‘hats off’ today to all the riders, officials and volunteers at Tonimbuk Horse Trials but it was a day when you needed your hat. In the words of the old TV commercial, it was definitely a day for Slip, Slop, Slap with temperatures reaching 34 degrees in the Cardinia Shire of Victoria where Tonimbuk lies. The early riders had the best of it as the autumn mornings are lovely and cool and this year the dressage schedule started at 8am to avoid too late a finish in evening when the International classes jump in the indoor arena

The Harcourts Drouin and Bunyip CIC2* riders enjoyed the cooler morning and had completed their dressage by midday with Amanda Ross having a great morning at the office with first and second on RLE Poynstown Will leading on 30.2 and Don Diablo just behind on 30.6

RLE Poynstown Will is a recent addition to the stable, having come over from Ireland after Amanda and her very supportive owners Chrissie and Fraser Brown went on a little shopping trip


Amanda Ross


In third place is Molly Barry on her off the track thoroughbred Shina Kuma (32.30) and she also has the more experienced La Muso in sixth place, giving her two very handy places going into tonight’s show jumping. There is less than a rail between Amanda and fourth placed Murray Lamperd riding Toronto so tonight’s jumping over coloured poles under lights could be influential


        Amanda and Koko Popping Candy in the CIC3*


Amanda also sits in second place in the Lowe Farms CIC3* on board Koko Popping Candy (31.60) and again it is very close with Megan Jones and Kirby Park Impress leading on 30.10. I’m guessing that both of these experienced ladies feel they left some marks on the table but it’s the start of the season and these tests are only going to get better and so are the marks, even though they already seem amazingly low with the new scoring system


       Megan Jones and Kirby Park Impress


Rob Palm riding Nina Clarke’s LP Boudin is in third place on 34; Rob is riding Nina’s horse whilst she recovers from a broken pelvis but you can’t keep a good woman down, especially not if she is a Tonimbuk Committee member. Nina’s pelvis may not be up to her walking around but she is still doing lots from her wheelchair and tomorrow will be wielding the microphone along with Seumas Marwood to provide the cross country day commentary



Talking of the Committee I learned today that the new gravel walkways which run down the side of the first indoor arena were built by their own fair hands. I had assumed that Hanson’s, who own the property, had done the walkways where the vet inspections were held today (thankfully in the shade) but no, although all the necessaries were supplied by the quarry company, the guys (and girls) did it themselves. No wonder they won Victorian Club of the Year


      Sam Jeffree and Jaybee Calypso


But back to today’s competition and the CIC1* is led by 19-year-old Sam Jeffree on Jaybee Calypso. When we spoke to Sam he was in first and second places on Jaybee Calypso (27.70) and Northern Isaac (29.70) but another young rider, Charlotte Curwen on LP Janvier, another of Nina Clarke’s beautifully produced horses that Charlotte now owns, sneaked into second with 29.10. Sam is also in seventh place on Koyuna Tactician



Sam Jeffree


Some snippets of video with Megan and Kirby Park Impress, Amanda and Koko Popping Candy and Sam Jeffree on Northern Isaac



We'll have more of a wrap up from the other classes later in the week but one horse that really caught our eye today was the gorgeous La-Wenherz, ridden by Mietta Innes-Irons and currently in second place in the EvA105 Section A. Meg Bishop and Sovereign Venture lead this class and Andrew Cooper on Fairbanks Cappucino is in third


We're in love with Mietta's La-Wenherz (above) and Georgina Birrell's big chestnut Marlborough View (currently third in the EvA105B) who is so clever he goes on auto-pilot


Interim results all classes here