News from Vicki

15 December 2008

Despite the fact that I had a less than stellar show (with Irish that is, Willy was pretty good!), the weekend at the Issa Tempo Show was still fabulous.  Especially great was the result of the World Cup.  Leopoldo Palacious, as always, built a suitably demanding track that required plenty of scope and rideability, with the delicate elements of the yellow wall at 4 or 5 strides at Number 3, followed by a new fence for this year, a tall pale blue picket gate that caught out quite a few, including League winner Amy Graham on Transatlantic.  But Amy will live to fight another day, and had already had a super win in the very prestiguous Futurity on her lovely imported stallion, Baloubet Australis.  But I was so happy to see the two hardest working, talented girls on the circuit fight out 1st and 2nd placings.  Becky and Wendy show all the qualities of the best riders, good horsemanship and total dedication to add to their talent.  And both on Aussie, purpose bred horses.  And a lot of credit for the outstanding job done by their trainer, Jamie Coman, who works quietly in the background, and has had his share of hard knocks in the last few years with him suffering from some of the less than salubrious tactics of one of the other trainers in the business!

Meanwhile, in Ring 2, Team Roycroft was starring.  Lee and Puzzle led us all again with a great win and some speccy placings, and is growing in confidence and skill with every show.  Sophie also had a super win on Ricci in the last 1.15 class after Ricci had been a little lazy in the Junior qualifiers.  Most unlike him, as he will normally stop before he has a rail down, and Sophie has been giving him very good rides, so a blood count is the next thing to check if nothing is amiss.  Levi (aka King's Style) looks better and better, and also picked up several placings, while Clydie is looking more and more rideable, but would just catch the odd rail near the end of a course when he was a bit more steamy.  Reminds me sometimes of a certain very large chestnut I ride.  Carrie and Sam also improved with every class; it was so good to see Carrie come out of the ring looking happy, after the disappointments of her previous horse, Favourite, who is now looking for a nice dressage home!  Willy was a little star, and picked up several placings, despite his tendency to be a bit spooky, but he is still a child.  Budweiser was not as good as last week, but has not jumped at this level for a while, and felt a bit green in the ring.  I also need to remember how to ride more German on a horse like him, as sometimes the reactions aren't quite as quick as I'd like.  But it was quite tough for horses like him, with the second day's program only having a choice of a 1.25 class (a bit small), or a 1.40 class (a bit big). But all in all, another great Summer Classic, although the weather was not at all summery.  Huge thanks to John and Jane and their hard working crew who make it all happen.  Special mention to Edwena Mitchell who took on the ghastly job of marshalling all weekend in the second ring, and carried out her duties with great flair and efficiency, and the amazing Joyce Brook, who officiated there all weekend, even through the World Cup, so missed Colleen's great rides on Poet's Corner.  What would our sport do without these guys?  And of course thanks to major sponsor Charles Blinkworth, who arranges funding and the drive to bring out Leopoldo out (now for his 8th time) to give us a taste of international standards.  So that brings to a close the jumping season for 2008.  Next thing to look forward to is the George Morris Clinics in early January to get everybody inspired to do well.  Speaking to Leopoldo over the weekend he gives all credit to George for bringing the US to the top of the showjumping tree in the world, and he has also had a huge influence on the Silver and Gold medal winning team Canada.  More about the clinics in future updates, or contact me direct...

In the meantime, please click here to see some photos from the Show.

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