Equestrian riders make top 3 at national competition

KALBAR riders Matt Gaske, Hayley Morris and Ross Smith have come back with wins after placing in the top three at Australian International Three Day Event.

The horse sport triathlon included three phases – Dressage, Cross Country and Showjumping – on the same horse.

Mr Gaske won third place in his class with Warmblood cross Thoroughbred Thymes Too.

Ms Morris won the initial Stars of the Future class in showjumping and Mr Smith placed third in the same category.

After 12 starts for seven wins, four seconds and one third for Thymes Too, Adelaide’s Aus3De event was the horse and Mr Gaske’s target.

Mr Gaske said preparations began 12 months ago with a plan of action to see it come to fruition.

“When we started planning we thought to place in the top 10 in Australia would be good, top five would be great or the top three would be fantastic,” he said.

“Thymes Too is a very consistent horse at a competition and after our results all year, I felt like he was in a good place to do well enough.”

Mr Gaske said the atmosphere of the event brought another dimension to the performance.

“There’s nothing else like this in Australia,” he said.

“I knew his fitness preparation would be the all-important factor as well.

“He’s incredible in the cross country phase and that’s where we secured our third placing being one of only three combinations to jump clear and complete under time.”

Mr Gaske said he would continue to campaign Thymes Too and looked forward to bringing through the grades some of their talented young stock.

Mr Gaske had more to celebrate after being named Queensland Senior Rider of the Year while Thymes Too won Horse of the Year at the Equestrian Queensland Awards Dinner.

The rider is also in the running for the Queensland Athlete of the Year title which will be announced in January.