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News from Vicki

6 July 2009

What a fantastic weekend for the Aussies at the world's best, most spectacular horse show, Aachen.  Edwina and her super little Itot du Chateau were 2nd in the Aachen Grand Prix to ireland's Denis Lynch and Lantinus.  Both triple clear, and Denis a little faster in the jump off, but Edwina earned a cool 80,000 Euros for her's and Itot's efforts.  But the big deal is jumping in front of the fabulous crowd of around 40,000 plus, who just love the great sport.  Also Boyd Excell, who won the Carriage Driving, also defeating the best in the world.  Excellent stuff guys!

Back here, all our achievements were a little more modest, but we had a great weekend's jumping at Gunnedah.  What a lovely organizing committee, who were so obliging and helpful in every respect, and got through the 3 days with 3 rings on the Saturday and Sunday in seemingly effortless fashion.  Footing was generally great, a bit dead in the main ring, but plenty of room in the warm up, and very, very good tracks designed by Warren Priestly made for great jumping.  Central Coasties had a great weekend with wins recorded by James Mooney, Nic Carraro and me. In one class, the 1.10, us Coasties got 1st to 4th placings..

The team went well with Ash really keeping on with his improvement gaining a 1st and a 2nd, winning the 1.05 class in the jump off under lights!  Puma was like a horse that had been doing shows all his life with great rounds both days in the 90cm and 1 metre classes.  However he was well outshone by one of his relatives, a lovely Errol gelding, also a 4 year old, called Monk, that is ridden by Andrew Inglis, and looks to have enormous talent.  Cougar didn't handle the footing at all on the first day, but figured it out by Sunday to be double clear in the C Grade Ch'ship and 4th.  This event was won in amazing fashion by Nicola Geddes, who zoomed around clear from first off in the jump off, and was never going to be caught. 

Willy was also not comfortable in the footing, and also was a bit spooky between his speccy jumps.  But Irish was the star.  It was his first show since late last year, and it had been heartbreaking for me that he had gone lame after being so wonderful in the George Morris Clinics earlier in the year.  George had been suitably impressed by him, and even rode him once (scary stuff, as Irish can throw spectacular tantrums!).  I had mentioned to George that before I bought him, he had been bought by US rider Michael Dorman, but they found him too troublesome, and had sent him back to France.  George talked with Michael and found out that they had thought so highly of the horse that they had sent him to US Olympic dressage Medallist Robert Dover to try and get his flatwork better, but that he had been far too rank; (why am I not surprised?)  He then was sent back to Europe in disgrace, where my friends in France Edouard Couperie and Eric Negre, knowing my fondness for a challenge, and not being in a position to spend huge euros on horses, rang me, and the rest is history.  I think now that he is a little more mature, he is finally putting up with the flatwork, and can now be ridden in the ring with just a cherry roller snaffle and a long running martingale.

So the softer tracks at the higher level were very suitable, with the first day's big class being around 1.30, and the Grand Prix the next day about 1.35,1.40. Irish was clear and 4 on Day 1, won by Lachlan Manual an Orthodox, and in the Grand Prix he was clear in the first round, then being concerned about his lack of fitness, and the shifty footing, I just nursed him around for what felt like a super clear, but was .3 over the time, to slot into 3rd behind the only double clear Julia Hargreaves and Haymen, with Jono Berry 2nd on Quincy Z.  As is becoming the norm nowadays, the first 3 placings were all imported horses.

Sophie had an okay weekend with her 2, but horses and rider are a bit short of 'match practice', so were having the odd rail here and there.  Plenty of time for her, not so much for me!

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