Yesterday afternoon the crowd at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre was treated to a world-class display of Jumping by Chris Chugg and his impressive imported stallion Vivant in the IRT Greater Sydney FEI World Cup qualifier.
The second Australian League FEI Jumping World Cup qualifier for the 2009 season took place in the indoor arena, giving spectators a chance to be just metres from the action. A thrilling display of riding from "the master" Chris Chugg aboard Vivant gained him the only two clear rounds of the day thus the victory and valuable World Cup points.
Always a showman, Chugg raise his hat to the crowd as he and Vivant performed their signature pirouette of victory.
"I have made a few mistakes lately, which have cost me some big classes. I just needed to calm down. This time I just tried to answer the questions asked by the course designer and ride a conservative training round and it worked," said Chugg.
The field of seventeen competitors faced the testing course designed by David Sheppard. 2008 Olympic team members Laurie Lever and Ashleigh Drossel Dan finished in second place and Young Show Jumper of the Year, Emily Blinkworth and CP Romantic Dream in third.
"I think David is a great course builder. The horses and riders, who made mistakes in the first round, came back and improved in the second. That is a sign of a good course," said Chugg.
There are a total of fifteen FEI Jumping World Cup qualifiers held in the Australian League. The next will be in Toowoomba on 02 August.
Chris plans to compete at all the Australian League qualifiers this season and earn himself a trip to the Final in Geneva next April. Then his sights are set on the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the 2012 Olympic Games.