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The major Australian selection event for the Sydney Olympics could more aptly be described as a "Boutique Event" for the Who's Who in Australian eventing.

A line up of some 24 of the country's best eventers, saw some first class dressage followed by cross country rounds that made the course look like a Pony Club event. The first day dawned bright and sunny and the dressage phase was run in brilliant weather and ended up with Stuart Tinney and Jeepster in first place with Amanda Ross and Otto Schumaker in second place with Shane Rose and Mr Joe Cool third. Very close behind were Prue Barrett and Wendela Jackamin, David Middleton with Willowbank Jack and Sammi McLeod and Frederick Hunter also put in scores under 50 setting the scene was set for some exciting cross country on Saturday.

The weather on Saturday was cold and blustery. Just about all the top riders went clear. Olivia Bunn with GV Braveheart came into the Barcelona water complex a little strong and had to pull off the narrow fences in the middle of the water for a heart-renching 20 penalties. Mr Joe Cool was retired about 3k into the second roads and tracks when he tripped on a rock and stumbled to be slightly lame. Louise Baston took a nasty fall at the big brush fences and ended up in hospital with a broken wrist. A few other riders had time penalties but the course rode well and the spectators were provided with some brilliant entertainment.

Sunday was even more blustery and cold and the course had to be adjusted to stop the fences being blown around. The showjumping proved to be very influential and rails were very costly. Stuart Tinney took the first element of the treble to drop to second place, leaving Amanda Ross a fine winner finishing on her dressage score. The minor placings were taken out by Prue Barrett and Wendela Jackamin in third (also finishing on her dressage score), Sammi McLeod and Frederick Hunter in fourth place with Stuart and Tex in fifth and Sammi and Hunter Red in sixth.

The Two Star event was taken out in fine style by Niki Chapman on Lion King who had a clear round in the showjumping to wrest the lead from second placed Darren Sander and Hat Trick, also from Queensland.

Heath Ryan's horse Cool Renegade suffered colic the night before the dressage and will now be run at Werribee, as will Shane Rose's three horses (Beauford Miss Dior, Kianga and It's A Knockout), Christine McLeod's Masterprint and Tarsha Hammond's Fuzzy Logic. All of these horses had breaks in their preparation for various reasons and needed the additional two weeks to give their best. Craig Barrett and Belltrees Delight jumped a wrong steeplechase fence and will also be taken to Werribee. Karen Owen made a similar mistake in the showjumping phase by taking a jump in the wrong order for an elimination.

See the results for more details.

By Penny Rose