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News from Vicki

23 November 2009

Took a bit of a green team to Wodonga this last weekend.  Skipped Shepparton, as while a great show, it is 3 hours further down the track, so a bit of a trek while I haven't got a World Cup horse.  But thought I needed to go somewhere to see some action, so Wodonga was the logical choice.  Facilities are great at this show, with a long standing hardworking committee that always do a great job.  Both indoor and outdoor arenas were in the best shape ever, and the outdoors sure didn't need the downpour we copped on Friday night.  Nice to have the rain after the extreme heat, but shame it couldn't have waited 24 hours!

I took Cougar, Willy, Puma and Levi.  Sophie is pretty buried in new Year 12 stuff, so won't be out til Sydney Jump Club Ch'ships, but Levi needs the miles, and still a few travelling issues to sort out.  Cougar was great, and was really suited to Bobby Prichards' traditionally tough tracks, culminating in a 7th placing in the Futurity, with one simple vertical down in the 2nd round.  This was won by the lovely homebred horse of Chris and Helen Chugg's, Diamond B Vigo, by Vivant out of Ego's full sister, so very much bred in the purple, and a great scopey, careful jumper well ridden by Amanda Madigan, with plenty of instruction from Chugg on the sidelines!  Imported mare Florina was 2nd ridden to perfection by Clem Smith, as this mare has had some bravery issues.  Always a good, tough class, Cougar was very proud to be in the line up.  Willy was trying to be a bit too careful in the rain affected ground, so we'll go back down a level for the next show.  He survived, but was a bit shell shocked.  Levi was great, a super double clear to be 3rd in the D Ch'ship to the speedy boys, Tom McDermott on SL Eclipse (turning him C Grade) and Hugh Buchanan on Smirnoff Ice, although Levi and I were only 1/100th of a second behind him. Rats!

Puma was an absolute legend.  Any World Cup show is no place for maiden D Graders, and Bobbys' courses can be a bit ferocious, but no one told Puma this!  I took him because there was a spot on the truck, and I thought that at least there was a Maiden D Grade he could go in, but it might be a bit of an ask, as he had only done his first D Grades 2 weeks before.  He skipped clear around the Maiden like a veteran, so we headed into the Open D, which being a fair bit bigger had his eyes out on sticks, but he tried his heart out, and just ran out of puff at the last to have that down.  Poor little sausage is only just 5 this month!  So I walked the D Ch'ship course the next day, and thought, well, nothing else for him, I'll see how he feels after a couple of fences.  Bless his cotton socks he jumped a super clear round, one of only 16 out of 80 odd starters.  Still a star in the jump off, once again got clagged by the end, and had the last in the double down, but I was so proud of him.

Clem Smith won the Betty McVean Memorial Grand Prix, always a good class, with another extremely well ridden round on the Neville Rose bred Dark Ages, from Peter Grant on the Daley K bred Cool K, and Becky Allen on super nice, scopey mare Jacana (by Ferro). Andrew Inglis won the Mini Prix on his import, the Darco mare, Amira, who is continuing to look a real class act with Andrew.  

World Cup also a great class, and one of the few jumping events in this country that attracts a super enthusiastic crowd that come back year after year.  Leeson Sirrett built a perfect track for the occasion, not too tough, as he only had 10 starters, and 3 of these, Kim Hilly, Coco Miles and Sheridan Manual were having their first World Cup start.  And a great, crowd pleasing class it was, with the best horse coming out the winner, Vivant jumping foot perfect double clear rounds, to defeat his stable mate, Conquistador, also double clear, but a few hairy moments in a couple of oxers when he went to put down.... Queenslander Brett Warren did a great job on Amici to run 3rd on 4 faults just in front of local hero (and very well supported in that capacity, the crowd went nuts when he jumped clear in the first round) Des Gleeson on the Leeson Sirrett owned Daley K mare, Wild Honey.  Then Jono Berry on Quincy Z, then the 3 'virgins', Kim Hilly on her super cute import Nolisco, Coco Miles, also on Jenny Sheppard/Andrew Inglis import Tequila, and Sheridan Manual on his brother Lachlan's OP Orthodox, the only thoroughbred in the field..

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