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News from Vicki

8 June 2009

We have had so much rain, but it now seems to be easing, and hopefully going somewhere where it is needed!  So there has been no comps for the last couple of weeks, and often no riding!  The new Soiltex arena is holding up great, although it's quality of being able to retain water is great when it is dry, but not so advantageous with this big wet... there have been a couple of mornings I have looked out on this great white lake!  But the fact that it doesn't shift like sand when you ride on it means that it is harder to get through to the base to do any damage.  And the other thing we have done is purchase an Odes farm bike, which has a carry tray on it, and is perfect for doing the feed run (no more getting bogged at the bottom of the laneway, this cool thing has 4 wheel drive!), and it can also tow around our home made harrows to level the arena, which has been heaps fun, even with these short days, because the darn thing has headlights!

Also being forced indoors made me do the final review on the DVD that Top Trainer's Productions have done, targetting training for the Novice horse and rider.  Tarryn Innes' Mitch and Strutters Ball were my subjects, and often behaved like green horses to amply demonstrate the stuff that can happen when educating young horses and riders, and more importantly, how to address such issues.  I mean, don't you hate those training ones where everything is done perfectly?  Trust me, it doesn't happen in real life...

Also nice to have Irish back in work again.  After 4 months off, a lot of it confined to a stable and then yard for a deep flexor tendon injury, he and I have been trotting up and down Ernbrook Road in order to slowly build up his fitness levels again, which he is thoroughly enjoying, as the poor guy had become so bored with his confinement.  While on one of the road forays I was delighted to receive a call from George Morris, who was in Rome with his fabulous team that had just beaten all the top European nations in the Super League Nations Cup there.  I had texted him to congratulate him on yet another fantastic coaching achievement, and he kindly rang back to reminisce about the time my super little APACHE, this tiny, feral thoroughbred, outclassed all the top European and American horses to win the Grand Prix there at his first outdoor European show.  It was nice to hear this year's winner, Rodrigo Pessoa quoted as saying that it is still one of the most prestiguous Grand Prix's in the world to win in the opinion of all the riders. Me, at the time, I didn't have a clue, I just felt that it was a super fancy show that I felt very priveleged to be invited to attend with the Australian Team.

So at last on Sunday we all got to go to a show.  Hunter Valley Jump Club had a competition day at Maitland Showground, and the ground after all the rain was in perfect condition.  Wayne Carter designed great encouraging tracks and all our horses and riders went well.  The thoroughbred Ash continues to improve, and the two youngsters, home bred 4 year old PUMA (by ERROL) and GATOVAY, bred by Diney Makaroff jumped super.  The girls, Lee, Carrie, Tarryn, Sara and new recruit Nicci Ferendinos all jumped great rounds, with Tarryn having a win on FAVOURITE and a bunch of placings, and Nicci a 2nd on her giant cross bred MONTY.  Lee jumped a great round in the solid 1.15 class, and finally jumped a triple combination in great fashion, so put those demons to rest after Copabella!

You can see some photos here.

More jump clubs over the next few weeks, then our first trip up to Gunnedah, for their highly regarded jumping Festival, which I hope will be Irish's first outing again.

PS: A new photo of PUMA jumping has been added here.

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