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News from Vicki

1 December 2008

Quiet couple of weeks as it has turned out, with rain postponing the Central Coast Jumping Club Ch'ship til later in January, so now wish we'd gone to Equitana, which while cold and wet (a downside) did happen, and sounded like a great event with good jumping. Laurie and Dan won the World Cup in great style, and now have followed that up with a back to back World Cup at Sale. Great to see Visage do what I always knew he could: be a solid and possibly international Grand Prix jumper by running second ridden by Chris Burton. So Visage has recorded 3 top 8 placings in his only 3 World Cups, and Chris has made a fancy debut into World Cup ranks. Not so bad after winning Adelaide 4 * not so many weeks ago. Another fantastic result this last weekend was Edwina Alexander winning the Grand Prix at the Brussels 5 * show, and running 2nd in the Masters class, which is restricted to the top 10 riders in the world, of which Edwina is now well and truly one of them on her fabulous Itot du Chateau. What a sport, it can see old guys, blondes of the fairer sex and 3 day eventers succeed and cross over!

On the home front here we are plugging away. Very busy with lessons and I'm working some of the Errol youngsters who just have the loveliest natures, and Errol is getting plenty of work covering mares. It is fortunate for me as the handler that he is so good and easy to handle with his mares. Getting a great response to the George Morris Clinics, with the top couple of groups reading like a who's who of Australian senior and young rider jumpers. George is an absolute icon in the sport with what he has achieved as a rider and a coach, but now is in his 70's, so won't be doing that many more trips downunder, but his enthusiasm and passion for the sport is undiminished, as was seen when he led his US Team to their second Olympic Gold Medal, and then recently on Foxtel, where his greener team won the Nations Cup at Spruce Meadows.

Also riding the German bred stallion Budweiser for Dominique Ingvall, so he can get a bit of exposure in some of the bigger classes, and he made a lovely debut for me at Hunter Valley Jump Club yesterday, popping around a 1.30 track with lots to spare. Also starring was Sophie on her 3 boys, all of whom are totally different rides, so that is the interesting challenge for her now, and will help to develop her skills. Maitland Showground was in perfect order footing wise, and it was another great day put on by this enthusiastic, long standing Club.

Great job by Amy Graham at Sale, who is now in an unassailable position to win the Pacific League of the World Cup, on her import, Transatlantic, with one more Qualifier to go at the Issa Tempo show at SIEC. Amy, who just turned 23 on World Cup day at Sale, is arguably the youngest winner of the League, and it's great to see this quietly determined young lady do so well, ably coached by Michelle Strapp and fully supported by her parents, Mark and Caroline. I believe her plans are not to compete at Las Vegas, which has a difficult, oddly shaped arena, but to head to Europe with her two lovely greys.

Also to put some feelers out for a new working student. My mainstay, Nakita Barber is returning to W.A. after an extended stay here with her difficult, but talented thoroughbred mare, Maybe. We will miss her greatly, but would love to offer another dedicated young person like her the opportunity to ride and train with us. Nakita leaves after the Issa-Tempo show, but will be back to watch the George Morris clinics. Anyone who is interested can contact me at vickiroycroft@bigpond.com

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