Cattai rider Jade Findlay has scored the biggest win of her riding career after taking out the Pryde's EasiFeed CCI3* at Melbourne International Three Day Event on her mare, Oaks Cordelia.
A selection event for the 2018 World Equestrian Games, Findlay recorded 32.20 penalties aboard the 13-year-old Warmblood to come ahead of Jess Wray (33.00) in second place, and Maraylya rider Gemma Tinney (33.60) in third.
“I feel so lucky to be riding her. She’s very careful and talented and it’s been a long time coming this win,” Findlay said.
“It’s the absolute best win. I have an amazing team around me, my staff, my family, my daughter and this horse suits me.
“She’s the best horse I’ve had and this is definitely the pinnacle.”
Findlay, who has campaigned the 17hh Oaks Cordelia for eight years, said the once difficult mare had been “in the zone” all weekend.
“She’s really tried and been calm. When she arrived off the truck she said I’m here and ready to do it,” she said.
Findlay’s win helped lead NSW to victory in the inaugural Judy Fasher International Horse Trials Australian Team Challenge.
The Equestrian NSW initiative, introduced for the first time this year, added a State of Origin type flare to the Melbourne International Three Day Event.
“We came into this as an all-girls team and quite inexperienced,” Findlay said.
“The girls rode their butts off and were amazing it was a bonus to be chosen for the team.”
The four NSW team members were Katie Taliana and Trevalgar II, Gemma Tinney and Annapurna, Jessica Rae and Rascal, and Jade Findlay and Oaks Cordelia.
There were double celebrations in the Tinney household as Stuart Tinney, Gemma’s Olympic gold medallist father, took out the CCI2* aboard Celebration with 26.30 penalties.
Winners of the CCI1* were Shane Rose and his Holsteiner mare Easy Turn.
Popular Victorian rider Amanda Ross delighted the big Werribee Park crowd on Monday afternoon by claiming the Saddleworld CIC3*. Shane Rose and Virgil finished in second place on 35.50.
The event was held from June 7 to 11.