If you’re on a downward spiral after Melbourne Cup and keep looking at your fascinator or suit longingly – rest assured, you needn’t put them in storage just yet. Starting on Thursday 16 November, the Mitsubishi Motors Australian International 3 Day Event is a triathlon of horse sport including dressage, cross country and showjumping.
Each horse and its rider will compete in individual legs over the three days in Adelaide’s East End parklands. The three-day competition is Australia’s premier event: it is the only CCI (Concours Complet International) four-star event held in the country as well as in the Southern hemisphere.
Adelaide has hosted the event for the past 11 years and athletes and horses travel the world to compete alongside locals. These include Charleston-born, 22-year-old Jaimie Stichel, who will ride in the 3* (an advanced level) this weekend. Considering she was out of competition for almost half a year due to injury, Jaimie is determined to compete in the Adelaide event.
“It’s a massive stepping-stone to get to the top, which is a high hope and a dream,” she says. “The atmosphere of the whole event being in the city creates a massive vibe, and it’s the ultimate thing you want to win.”
‘The top ‘ (4*) is the highest level in equestrian sport, which Jaime competed in three years ago before having a fall during the event. Not even a broken back can keep Jaimie off her horse. She powered on.
Jaimie says it took six days a week of training and never-ending travelling to get qualified. Riders are made of sturdy stuff, and she is not alone in representing South Australia.
Homegrown talent to watch and support includes Megan Jones and Wendy Schaeffer.
Megan Jones is riding in the 4* this weekend; a silver medal-recipient from the Beijing Olympics who previously won the three-day competition. Hailing from Hahndorf (and also Jaimie’s coach) she’s an important part of equestrian life here in South Australia.
Wendy Schaeffer hails from the Adelaide Hills, but currently lives and competes in Britain. Wendy made the journey back home for this weekend’s competition, having also won in the past. Riding alongside Megan in the 4*, this South Australian star won team gold at the Atlanta Olympics despite breaking her leg nine weeks before the competition. Sturdy stuff indeed.
There’s plenty going on throughout this year’s competition, including entertainment for the whole family.
“This year, cross-country day [Saturday 18 November] falls on the same day as the Credit Union Christmas Pageant, so we are having a family focus. Entry for kids under 16 will be free and adults will receive two-for-one entry,” Lauren Roberts, from the International 3 Day Event team, says. “There will be kid’s entertainment on Saturday such as pony rides and face painting.”
The bigger kids will be kept busy, too. “There’s a new bar this year – the ‘Coopers Blush Garden Bar’ – which is aimed at the young trendy crowd.”
The Mitsubishi Motors Australian International 3 Day Event kicks off on Thursday 16 November to Sunday 19 November at Victoria Park, in the city’s East End. Hospitality options are available if you wish to celebrate your Christmas party with entertainment and packages o offer. Head to the website to discover more. Tickets available at box office at Victoria Park or online.