Showjumping duo shine at Aquis Gold Cup
SHOWJUMPING: A rail cost Stuart Jenkins an extra $13,000 prizemoney, but his performance in the Aquis Gold Cup was nothing short of stellar.
Competing in Australia's richest showjumping event, the Glamorgan Vale rider claimed third spot with two rails in the final jump-off at Elysian Fields on Sunday.
However an "unfortunate incident” at the double and a rail at the last fence knocked Stuart and his horse Fairview Aliquidam from the $20,000 first place.
"He got tangled up or did something, we can't see it on any of the footage angles,” Stuart said.
Unsure of how he was going for time, the duo quickly covered ground towards the last fence, which just tipped out the cups.
"I was trying to be quite quick to the last and in hindsight I didn't need to be because I was significantly quicker than Jamie - but I didn't get to watch him,” Stuart said.
But it was the nine-year-old horse's performance out of the double combination that caught the crowd's attention.
After making a mess of the first fence, Fairview Aliquidam found his feet and soared over the second obstacle.
Stuart said he believes it is a pure characteristic of the horse.
"Okay, he had a bit of a mistake but his eye was on the next fence and he was there to jump it,” he said.
"I think the majority of horses would give up in a big combination like that.”
Stuart was one of two riders who jumped clear in the first round.
"I was really happy with my horse, he jumped fantastically for a young horse and I couldn't have asked him to do any more.”
The course, which was of Olympic standard was designed by course builder Graeme Watts and had horses jumping well up to 1.60m.
In the same competition, Stuart's wife Becky also finished in the placings, claiming sixth place with her mare RSB Jacana.
The duo entered the second round with eight penalties and were looking to claim a podium finish until a rail on the last fence fell.
"That's probably one of the biggest tracks I've jumped in my life,” Becky said.
"It didn't hold back any punches, there were plenty of tests and asks on scope and being careful and brave.”
Becky said they were very proud of their horses, which competed against some of the best horse-and-rider combinations in the country and from New Zealand.
"We had two that finished in the top six,” Becky said.
"I thought both our horses did a great job.”
She said their sponsors made competing at such a high level possible.
"We're looking forward to the competition again next year,” Becky said.