Roycroft Stables


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News from Vicki

19 May 2009

Dubbo, as always, a great rider friendly show, with wonderful footing, plenty of room in the work and competition areas, and great stabling. Big consideration when we had 2 stallions on the truck, but it was good to know that they were as safe as could be in the roomy stables, which had the bonus of ample shavings provided.

Warren Priestly designed wonderful tracks on the first day, but then went a bit too challenging on the final 2 days. It is disappointing when there were 5 falls at one fence in the D grade on the Saturday, and even more disappointing when the course designer is reluctant to address the situation. We have enough trouble keeping people in our sport without trying to kill them with difficult lines at the lower levels.

Grant Hughes dominated events with his large team, and won the Grand Prix on his lovely Denis Crane bred Blackall Park Atlantis, by Daley K, who also was Champion Jumping Horse. Lachlan Manuel won the C and D Ch'ship on his brother Sheridan's Renmarno, and the A and B Power and Speed on his own Orthodox. The D Grade Ch'ship was taken out by a scorching round by local rider Luke Dickerson from the first spot. Colleen Brook and Jack Maunder also won classes.

My team went great, with Ash really coping well with the tough D Grades, with clear rounds all 3 days. Willy Welsom stepped up to his new status as a C Grader with great rounds and placings over quite serious tracks for C Graders that were around the 1.30, 1.35 mark on Sat. and Sun. Cougar cruised around the same tracks with nice placings, and also jumped 1.60 in the Six Bar on Saturday night, to be equal 4th with Sophie on Levi, who just had the 1.60 final fence down, the class being won by Grant on Atlantis and Peter Grant on Regal Salute.

Sad news this week hearing of the untimely death of Jean-Claude Vangeenburghe, at just 46. Super talented rider, and energetic, enthusiastic guy who had represented both his birth country, Belgium, and adopted country, Ukraine, at the highest levels. He was competing at a show in the Ukraine, and apparently suffered an aneurism in a prizegiving ceremony. I have fond memories of him always being a great competitor and friend on the circuit, when so many of the riders on the international scene could be a bit intimidating in the early days.

Also shocked to hear that Heath Ryan was carted off to hospital with a suspected stroke, as he is a great mate, and who had only rung me on Friday full of his usual enthusiasm about a horse he thought I should look at. I spoke to Rozzie not too long ago to wish her luck with her's and the doctors' efforts to try and keep Heath bed ridden and quiet for a while. Don't like their chances...

Things quieten down a bit now, so will try and get some of the younger ones going...

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