Olympic bronze medallist Shane Rose proved he is still at the top of his game by taking out the Australian Eventing Championships at Camden Bicentennial Equestrian Park last weekend.
The Werombi resident took out first and second place with his horses Virgil and Swiper (41.50 penalties) to earn the title of 2018 Australian Eventing Champion.
“I was really happy with both of them,” he said.
“Virgil is just starting back at his first competition run since Scotland last year.
“I wanted to make sure that he’s come back and performing like he was last year and he’s certainly on track for the World Equestrian Games at this stage.”
Fellow Olympic medallist Megan Jones and her mare Kirby Park Impress placed fourth.
Rose noted the weekend championships were without major mishap.
“There wasn’t a fall of horse or rider in the star classes and this shows the depth of talent participating was very strong,” he said.
“The committee, volunteers and officials did a really good job of making sure everything ran smoothly.”
He’s a realistic chance of Olympic medals in Tokyo...he’s capable of being the best horse I have had.Shane Rose
Rose said Virgil’s recent international trip had made him a better and stronger horse.
“The trip overseas was good to gauge where he’s at against the rest of the world,” he said.
“He’s always been a good jumping horse and worked hard on dressage. The improvement there has been gradual and we have seen a progressive reduction in his penalty scores.”
Rose went as far as to say that he believes Virgil could become the best elite horse he’s ever ridden competitively.
“He’s a realistic chance of Olympic medals in Tokyo,” he said.
“If he continues to improve the way he has, he’s capable of being the best horse I have had.”