News from Vicki

30 September 2008

So I didn't get to ride for 3 days, and didn't suffer any withdrawals, I was too busy with my 8 charges!  Boy, this coaching is way more stressful than riding, but so heartening to see the enormous improvement over the three days, especially in some of the greener riders and horses.  John Vallance and Jane Frankum with the help of great sponsors Winning Appliances, Saddleworld and Slam sportswear put on 3 days of great jumping at a facility that is generally very user friendly, although by the end of the 3 days the ground in the main arena was getting pretty firm.  Hopefully this will be addressed before next weekend when us big guys get there.

So Day 1 started well with Sophie gaining a 5th and a 2nd in the Juniors A2 and AM5 on Ricardo, Sophie showing enormous talent to gel with this super talented little horse who demands a very accurate ride at all levels, which is not so easy for his 16 year old jockey!  Also the fact that her other horse, Gilmore Rockafella has his funny traits, and needs a totally different ride, so Sophies' skills are being tested and developed at a rapid rate.  No armchair rides for this kid, but she is coping admirably, and will bode well for her if she is going to stay in the sport for the long haul.  Certainly never hurt me, or Edwina Alexander for that fact, to do time on a range of different horses, easy and difficult.  Jess Stalling is also having a bit of an unlucky run, with Dustin Bones being off work now, so having to try and be competitive on the less experienced Just Right, but she rode great to get good placings all weekend.  Sarah Meale at last was able to have, I think, her first 3 day show on Rivoli Panther, and their improvement from Day 1 to Day 3 was nothing short of remarkable, with a 3rd place on Day 2, then a super round in the final Young Rider Grand Prix, where they jumped the biggest track (up to 1.40)  Sarah had faced, and did it well.  Nakita Barber finally is seeing the rewards for all the hard work we have put into her difficult, but talented mare Maybe, and I was so proud of them when they convincingly won the jump off class in great style on Day 2, then had an unlucky 4 faults in the YR Grand Prix.  At last the mare is softer and really jumping her fences without Nakita having to fight and pull her all the time; and to be able to finish a round and long trot calmly in the warmup arena.

Lee Warneke and Eliza Jane's half sister, the cute pinto Puzzle, had a great weekend, with both Lee and Puzzle's confidence soaring with every round, finishing with a couple of good placings on the final day with great double clears.  Carrie  Innes also looked better with every round at her first show on new horse His Lordship, and jumped many double clears culminating in a 4th place in the Open Grand Prix.  Younger sister Tarryn also had great fun every time out with her little thoroughbred Mitch, who we got for her a couple of months ago.  He hadn't done any jumping before, but I loved the horse's attitude, and he has just turned out a little star that Tarryn and everybody else here adores.  Danni Butcher had a great win on the first day on Landsong in the YR jump off, but both girls have wisely decided to rest their horses, as they had had a tough Adelaide/Melbourne campaign. Also Alyce Garroway had some placings on her very hot thoroughbred mare, and did a great job with a not easy ride that tests her patience (we didn't buy her that one!  But it does jump!) and it was great to have Alyce back in the fold again temporarily, as she is on holidays from her uni course.

So all in all a great weekend, and looking forward to the next two...

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