12 July 2007
Gosh, been sometime since I have put fingers (two only) to keyboard to do an update, but have been pretty darn busy, and as for the rain! Poor Neil, he thought he was going to have a relaxing long weekend, but thanks to the rain and wind, he spent justabout all of it on the chainsaw, tidying up the some half dozen trees we lost. But the dams are full, creek is running gangbusters again, and for the most part, my arena held up, so horses could gain some sort of fitness for Elysian trip.
At last I have Nadine Anderson in place. After finally consulting Horsework Recruitment, they found me Nadine, who comes from Toronto, about an hour north of us! Nadine comes with her dog, CLEO, which is coincidentally the name of one of our cats, so they both come when they are called.
So the first outing for the good guys was the JK Williams show last weekend, and the weather held out for a great weekend of showjumping on Leigh and Deidre Hartog's picturesque arena amongst the orange orchards at Castlereagh. IRISH was a superstar, jumping the only double clear round to win the Grand Prix on Sunday. I have changed his feed this preparation, putting him on the new Mitavite feed, Xtra Cool, and it seems to be doing him the world of good, and just making his hot, sensitive nature just that bit more manageable. For sure the tighter confines of the Hartog arena, and footing that was a little loose, normally doesn't suit him, but he felt very focused and careful all weekend, so hope he can keep it up for the next couple of weeks! JANE also jumped super, but so unlucky, slipping and nearly falling on the first day in the jump off for the big class, then in the Grand Prix, she ripped a front shoe off about a third of the way into the course, and it's no fun riding with a flat tyre! RICCI was his little, starry self, loving being a Derby horse for the weekend, scooting around, not touching a thing to run 2nd on both days to Olympic Gold medallist Wendy Schaeffer, who has been training with Wayne on her way through to Q'ld. BLA and I are finding our feet together and she also jumped great. Nearly jumped me off on the first day in the big class, so I lost a stirrup, so had to pull her off the next, related fence. Getting to be a pussy in my old age, but she just jumps too big! Of course she jumped a clear round otherwise. In Sunday's Mini Prix, she felt like she was really enjoying herself, and just touched off the back of an oxer in the treble to run 3rd. The class was won by John Kelly, making a comeback to the jumping saddle on one of Alice Cameron's lovely imports, OAKS MISS SCARLETT, from Kristy Bruhn on her promising BELCAM ADVISOR. My other Noblewood Park mount, CASSINI'S GIRL just keeps on improving every outing, and ran 2nd in the first D Grade to turn her C Grade, so going great for a 6 year old that has only been jumping a short time.
With the five on track, and the SJC Winter Ch'ships looking a bit doubtful this weekend, we'll head to the warmer climate around Wednesday, and hope that enough has been done for them to be competitive. From memory it was a bit of a similar preparation to last year, the JK Williams Derby being a perfect preparation for RICCI's Silver Classic win! And I hope IRISH can keep up his winning form, but there will be plenty there with similar ambitions, so we'll see what happens!