AUSTRALIA'S International Three Day equestrian event has graced Adelaide once more, with record crowds flocking to the city's parklands.
The Aus3de is the only four star event in the southern hemisphere, designed to test both rider and horse over three days of trails in dressage, cross country and showjumping.
For the first time in the history of the competition, one rider took out both first and second place.
Australian Olympian Shane Rose topped the leader board with CP Qualified in each of the three phases, finishing the event on a total of 49.30 points.
“Coming down here I openly said here that this is where I wanted to qualify and get selected for Rio.” Shane Rose.
Rose took first place at the of the first day dressage phase with his horse CP Qualified on 42 .10 points, followed by fellow Aussie riders Katjia Weinmann and Christine Bates, a close third.
Friday night was a chance for spectators to dress up, relax and let the champagne flow, as the sun went down over a game of Polo in the Park.
Day two's Cross Country phase was the ultimate test of speed and determination as riders navigated their horses through Adelaide's olive groves, gum trees and water course.
“There are certainly challenges in designing a course in the middle of a city.
“What we really want is a course that has good flow, good feel, a good variety of questions and the questions are suitable for the level of competition,” said course designer Mike Etherington-Smith.
Rose held onto the lead on Saturday, with CP Qualified completing the course in 11 minutes 8 seconds, while riding his second horse Virgil in at second place.
New Zealand rider Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation moved up the leader from fifth to third place at the end of the Cross Country day, finishing on 54.10 points.
“It's a big challenge to compete over the three days and remain focused because it's quite a different mind-set that you require each day and you certainly can't let your guard down,” said Johnstone.
With the selectors of the Rio olympics team watching this weekend, riders felt the pressure to put their best foot forward.
Johnstone’s clear Showjumping round on the Sunday decider, helped him to solidify third position.
Shane Rose stepped up to the podium to claimed both victory and second place, with CP Qualified on 49.30 points and Virgil on 50.80, taking him one step closer to his goal of representing Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“Coming down here I openly said here that this is where I wanted to qualify and get selected for Rio.
“I knew Clarke would be really hard to beat and we have about six Aussie guys that are here that I knew would be up there.
“I think both horses have performed very well and it would have been great to jump clear on Qualified but to run first and second in this field is what I was hoping I could do,” said Rose.
Olympic silver medalist Sonja Johnson finished fourth with Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison after producing a clear jumping round finishing with 59.40 penalties.
South Australia's local rider Megan Jones, finished in 10th place with Kirby Park Allofasudden, on 77.60 points.
British rider Alice Dunsdon – the first international competitor to bring her horse, Fernhill Present, from the northern hemisphere – finished 16th, on a total score of 98.70.
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