Road to Mitsubishi Motors Australian International 3 Day Event with Hazel Shannon
September 4, 2017
Who are you? I'm Hazel Shannon. I work and train with Heath and Rozzie Ryan in Newcastle NSW. I have been Eventing for the past 7 years and am aiming to ride for Australia with my horse Clifford in future World Equestrian Games and Olympics.
What’s your sport? Three Day Eventing is my main focus but I also ride at the highest level of dressage- Grand Prix.
What are your biggest achievements? My biggest achievements have been on the horse "Clifford". Clifford and I won the 4* at the Australian International 3 Day event last year! (Which I am still very excited about). We were also on the Australian team for the Oceania Championships this year which was my first experience riding for Australia. Clifford was named 2016 NSW Eventing Horse of the Year and 2016 Equestrian Australia Domestic Horse of the Year across all disciplines.
Tell us about your current team of horses who will be competing at MMAI3DE? My main horse is Clifford who i will be competing in the 4* at MMAI3DE this year. Clifford and I met in 2011. I had just left home in Far North Queensland and stumbled across a job at Heath and Rozzie Ryans Equestrian Centre in Newcastle NSW. I was known as the "bush kid" and my early lessons with Heath involved lots of yelling about being "wild" and "living in fairy land". In honesty, these were pretty accurate statements. Then there was Clifford. Clifford was a funny looking little throughbred ex-race horse from Tasmania. He was very slow, had a pot-belly and seemed to trip over just about anything. If you told me that Clifford and I would one day win the biggest event in Australia I probably would have died of laughter. Anyway, Clifford and I are looking forward to the 2017 MMAI3DE where we will be attempting back to back wins.
What’s your fondest memory of competing at Adelaide? I have two fondest memories both at Adelaide last year. The first is an obvious one- showjumping a clear round and securing the win. But the second is when I crossed the finish flags of the cross country course. Clifford's bridle had broken about 2/3 of the way around the course. The bit wasn't attached to the bridle on one side!! My stomach dropped when I saw a piece of the bridle flapping freely whilst I was galloping along. Could we keep going? Clifford being a true warrior just kept galloping and jumping and was unaffected! It was a miracle!
Why is MMAI3DE such an important event? MMAI3DE is the only 4* in the Southern hemisphere and the only 4* in the world held in a city. MMAI3DE gives the Australian based riders, like myself, an opportunity to ride at the highest level. Australia has some amazing riders in Three-day eventing who have already won gold, silver and bronze medals at Olympics and World Championships. They are superstars! Everything I have right now is focused on the World Equestrian Games in South Carolina next year and the MMAI3DE is the pathway for me to achieve the impossible in terms of Australian selection against our Olympic superstars.
What do you look for in a tow car? To put things simply I need a tow car that will look after Clifford who is the most important thing in my life. The Pajero Sport has an 8-speed transmission so I won't have to worry about jerky gear changes and the automatic emergency braking will make towing Clifford safer and easier than ever!
What do you think of the Pajero Sport? The Pajero Sport isn't only very stylish inside and out but also massively practical for my lifestyle. I should start with the practical stuff; the back two seats fold away so easily. You don't have to climb in the back and feel like a professional wrestler trying to get the seats up or dismantled. Once the seats are folded away there is almost enough room to fit a horse or two! Next are the reversing camera and blind spot monitors, these are perfect when connecting a float or parking in the tiny car parks in town. Some of the luxuries I'm enjoying are the leather interior, automatic headlights and wipers, heated seats and connecting your phone is so simple. I can answer calls, listen to messages and play music all through the car play audio system which can all be done without taking your hands off the wheel. The early morning drives to events are going to be a lot more enjoyable.
Check in to follow Hazel's updates as she prepares to reclaim her title at this years MMAI3DE.