News from Vicki

17 November 2008

Now just home from two super weeks of jumping at the Shepparton and Wodonga World Cup shows. These shows are two of the longest running World Cup shows on the circuit, and Shepparton after a few Committee upheavals produced a great user friendly show that saw some great classes, while Wodonga with it's long standing Committee worked like a well oiled machine to also have a great show.

We took Sophie Miller's new truck on it's maiden major voyage, and it started badly when Irish decided there was not enough room for his large frame, so after an hour we turned back, and I figured I would just be heading south with green D Grader Willy (aka Dutch 5 years old Welsom). But to my relief after hosing Irish off and trotting him up, his damage seemed to be just superficial, but unsightly, with 2 huge sores from climbing on his hip, and a cut on his heel that had bled like crazy... So we re loaded giving Irish a double space as opposed to the 1 1/2 he'd had, and he was then quite content to stand peacefully for the 9 hour trip. All horses jumped great with Irish not appearing to be fazed by his tantrum, and was clear and 4 in the World Cup to run 3rd to Jamie Winning and her super Vangelo, and Becky Allen and her Super Ted! Rain had caused a bit of havoc with the ground, but after much discussion it was decided to keep it on the grass, and it ended up a good class, although two of the favourites, Ashleigh Drossel Dan and Wirragulla Nicklaus were withdrawn. David Sheppard did a great job designing tracks in this ring, and his World Cup was excellent under the trying conditions. Bruce Milne also did a great job with tracks in the sand ring, now much more spacious with the added area out the back, relieving one of great problems this show previously had. Willy just got better and better, and ended up jumping a clear and 4 in the D Ch'ship on Sunday around a course that I didn't think I would get him around! The 4 faults in the jump off was his only fault in 15 rounds over the 2 shows, so I think he is a little star in the making. Sophie had exams that week, so I rode Ricci and Levi, and both were good, with Levi also improving over every round, and often required me to hang onto the mane with his big scope. Another future star I think. Nakita and Elle jumped great rounds just being out of the placings, and both our lives were made easier with Amanda Apperley being our super groom. Bit of a luxury, 3 of us and only 5 horses and 2 dogs!

Onto Wodonga, and great to see the work done on the outside arena making that footing much better than in previous years. Many thanks to the Committee led by President Roger Lees, and his Energizer Bunny daughter Kelly who managed to efficiently do Secretarial duties and ride! Bobby Pritchard designed tracks on the grass, and all classes had good numbers in the jump offs, and were great to watch. Queenslander Robert Goodwin won the Betty McVean Grand Prix this year on Warrego Sandon from Becks and Super Ted in a 14 horse jump off. The Futurity ended up a big class with the last vertical in the jump off at 1.50. 3 imported mares topped the line up here with Hillary Scott jumping a fabulous fast clear from last spot on Oaks Altes (by Darco) to see off the only other clear round in the jump off, George Sanna on Charles Blinkworth's mare by Heartbreaker, Aprilla, with Amanda Madigan 3rd on Colthaga. Interesting to note that the Shepparton Futurity winner was also an imported mare, Andrew Inglis on the Darco sired Amira. Also in the placings at both Shep and Wodonga was the Errol sired mare BB Bella who jumped beautifully for Allison Rowlands, and is a real star of the future as she is only 5 years old.

World Cup was a good class again with Vivant, who didn't qualify for the 2nd round at Shep, returning to outstanding form with a great double clear to win well from Laurie Lever belying his 60 plus years with a magnificent ride on Drossel Dan. Good to see Colleen Brook back in the frame with a 7th placing on No Secrets. Leeson Sirret built excellent tracks in this small ring all weekend. Irish had jumped super both the previous 2 days with a good win in the first day's indoor 1.35 class, doing a turnback onto an oxer that only Chuggy and I succeeded with, so I was very proud of him! Then a clear and 4 in the Betty McVean, but in the World Cup he was a bit overcome with the atmospehere, and wasn't concentrating at all, coupled with the fact that yours truly didn't give him the greatest ride, so we were out of the running. Bit worse for Jamie Winning, who examplified the saying "rooster one day, feather duster the next", with an inglorious exit on both her horses, Vangelo stopping out, and Quincy Z jumping her off! But she was very stoic about it, and like all of us, will live to fight another day! Willy was again a star, and kept jumping clear round after clear round, and ended up in the money twice, so starting to earn his keep! Nakita and Elle were again knocking at the door, and finished with a lovely clear in the Mini Prix from first spot, only to have a wretched time fault. Sophie and her two got better and better, with her first competition rides inside being very well done with only one rail down from the the three rides, and a super ride on Ricci to be 2nd in the open 1.10 class, initially just meant to be training ride, but when she had gone so well with a clear round on Levi, asked if she could have a cut on Ricci, and did it in great style, only being beaten by the last rider on course, Rebecca Williams.

Now home, with the next outings being pre Tempo-Issa and Tempo-Issa in a few weeks, with a couple of jump clubs inbetween...


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