News from Vicki

27 February 2008

I always love going to the Philippines for Clinics, as their hospitality is unbounding. This time also had the bonus of being able to ride at the Sunday show after giving a Clinic for the previous 5 days. My long time student, Asian Games Gold medallist Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski is pregnant with her third child (another boy, to join Robbie and Raphael), so I rode her Gold Medal partner, RUSTIC ROUGE, who was not long back into work after breaks from minor injuries, and Mikee's pregnancy. We purchased RU from Melissa Froesch 5 years ago; Melissa had done a great job in producing this game little mare to Mini Prix level, and I thought she would be perfect for Mikee's dream of success at the Asian Games. She and Mikee exceeded all our expectations with the Individual Gold in Busan, the only individual Gold medal winner in the Philippines team,  as well as the Philippines first showjumping medal, by joining team mates Michelle Barrera (on COALMINER), Toni Leviste and Danielle Cojuangco to win Team Silver. I also got to ride Tim Clarke's ex A Grader, the Kate Wallace bred WITHOUT A DOUBT, who we bought for Joker Arroyo, who after having team Silver success in the South East Asia Games, is now at Yale University in the US.

Clinic went great, with all riders having improved performances at the show, which was conducted on arguably the world's most valuable piece of real estate, the Manila Polo Fields, 5 hectares of grass fair smack in the middle of one of the world's most populated cities in Manila! The show gear was imported from Europe, and looked absolutely stunning, and tracks were designed by David Lawrence, who had sent them over previously, and rode extremely well. RU won the 1.05 class with a neat double clear, then had 2 down in the 1.30 when her fitness faded a bit, but felt very good.  WITHOUT A DOUBT cruised around to win both the 1.15 and 1.30 classes, and gave me a super ride in both classes. Other Australian horses featured prominently, with Stephen Dingwall's GREYWYND running 2nd in the 1.30, Deon Williams' QUEUE 2nd in the 1.05, ridden by Mateo Lorenzo and Fern ? respectively,  and Katie Lawrence's LOCHART jumping super in the bigger classes for Rebecca Dosch. Also Chrissie Johnson's ZODIAC, Krissy Harris' KALUNA PUZZLE, and FLOWERVALE OLYMPIA going well for Rhea Scmidt, Karen Pamintuan and Shinead King.

Then back home again, where Jess Stalling has joined our gang up here, so she can compete at some shows prior to Sydney. She is commuting from home, and coming up and training on her two horses JUST RIGHT and Vince Grech's DUSTIN BONES, as their own property is/was in Amber zone, so locked down for competitions. Central Coast Jump Club last Sunday another good day, with the grounds in superb condition, and gave us all another good outing prior to Sydney, and the good run of shows after. Lee and PUZZLE (aka STRAWBERRY GIRL) get better and better, while Tarryn Innes and SILVER CENTRE jumped some lovely rounds. Carrie Innes is on a school excursion, so I popped her FAVOURITE  around some tracks, as he'd had some confidence problems that Carrie was addressing really well. Jess had some good runs on her two, and NOBLEWOOD PARK CASSINI'S GIRL and BLATINI felt pretty good, and on track for Sydney. Which reminds me, ime to get all my good jackets dry cleaned...

In the meantime, some photos from the Central Coast Jump Club day -

Jess Stalling in action, with me in the foreground:

Me jumping FAVOURITE:

..and with Krissy Harris, having a look around:

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