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News from Vicki

6 August 2008

As all the horses were a little underdone, we decided not to make the trip north to Toowoomba, and as it turned out the weather made conditions less than perfect for all those who headed up.  Plus I figured it was time I started earning money again, instead of spending it! So it's been a rewarding couple of weeks with a lovely peaceful Central Coast Jump Club day with Rod designing a lovely track, and the ground and the day were in perfect order.  Lee on Puzzle, Donna on Mack, Tarryn on Mich, Alyce on Belle were all super.  Carrie is still having some carefulness (as in too careful!) problems with Favourite, so it's probably time for a more forgiving horse, as it's now affecting Carrie's riding, and Favourite would be very happy to be a dressage horse with his attractive movement and skills.  Nakita and Elle are now on an upward curve, with her jump getting more soft and confident.  Sophie Miller rejoined the crew during the week with Ricci and Clyde (aka Ricardo D and Gilmore Rockafella) and showed a bit of rustiness that needed a bit of follow up work.

The following weekend it was up to Hunter Valley Jump Club at Maitland Showground.  This long running club has a small core group, principally Wayne Carter, Sue Middleton and June White-Sinclair, who have worked hard to upgrade the gear and address the footing problems that can sometimes occur at Maitland Showground, which has historically been the scene of some great jumping horses and events. Last Sunday the footing was great, Waynes' courses were excellent, and plenty of room to warm up.  Again perfect weather saw Donna and Mack get better with every outing, and a vastly improved performance from Sophie and her two, with Clyde jumping lovely double clear rounds, and Ricci winning the 1.10 with a super double clear.  Nakita won the 1.20 with a still improving performance from Elle.  Cassie jumped lovely clear rounds, and Sparky and Nike were good boys. This photo is of Sparky competing at Hunter Valley Jump Club:

Vicki competing on Sparky at Hunter Valley Jump Club

...and another from the Hunter Valley Jump Club Day at Maitland.  On the left is me on Cassie, with Sophie on Ricci in the middle, and Nakita on Maybe on the right:

Hunter Valley Jump Club

Also took the opportunity during the week to see one of my other new ponies.  During my rotten health issues last year, next door neighbour John Singleton kindly gave me one of his most prized possessions, the only foal of his now deceased champion race mare Belle du Jour.  Only problems were that she was just 2, unbroken and tiny!  She was an AI foal, thus ineligible to race, and John doesn't know who she is by, but he is sure she is a clone of Belle du Jour!  So while very grateful for such a sentimental gift, just wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with her, so we agreed that she would be broken in at Strawberry Hill, then we'll put her in foal to Errol to see if we can breed a superstar jumper while she is waiting to be old enough to commence her own jumping career.  Of course she's got to be able to jump also, but fingers crossed!  So I went to visit her and was pleasantly surprised to see that she has grown to about 15.2 (from about 14.1), and is still only 2.  She has been broken in by John's stud manager, Bridie Sparks, who reports that she was lovely.  She certainly is a stunning type, and looks to me like the many photos John has of her illustrious dam. 

With the Olympics now just around the corner, it is hoped that all three Aussie teams can put their best feet and hooves forward.  Still contemplating a quick trip over to have a look at our jumping guys go, it is on paper the strongest team we have fielded for a long, long time, with Edwina also in with a big chance of making the top 10.  But, what was I saying about not spending money?  Just seems a shame when such top class equestrian sport is only 7 hours away!

Oh well, will keep updates from here or Hong Kong!

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