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News from Vicki

24 February 2009

Busy couple of weeks (how often do I say that?). I keep promising myself that I am going to slow down, but as I tell everyone, if I stop working, I've got to stop eating, and I just can't do that. So we had the round of EFA (now Equestrian Australia) Federal Meetings, starting with the World Cup Committee, then a High Performance Panel meeting, and next morning, National Jumping. I was humbled to be elected unapposed as Chairperson again, and very happy to do this job again, as there is such a fantastic support crew in the committee consisting of Graeme Watts (Q'ld), Paul Brent (replacing Robbie Allen for Victoria), Nick Crowe (replacing Jeff Evans for SA), Peter Cooke (WA), Joghn Vallance (NSW) and Isobel Casey (Tasmania). Sad to see Robbie and Jeff reach the end of their terms, as they have done great work on this Committee over the years. Also the EFA office staff, Franz, Mandy and Brett who are invaluable in their roles.

Then up to Toowoomba to do a Clinic for their jump club there, and it was a very well organized clinic run indoors at Toowoomba Showground, so a very civilized way to teach. Hard to get a lot done in 2 days, but all students worked very hard and well to make their horse's lives easier to do our sport. Also spent a day at David Finch's place, and was impressed with his stallions and young horses, particularly a cute Errol mare that he has bred!

Maitland Show this weekend had the NSW Country Ch'ships, which is the first time this title has been run for a long time. Hunter Valley Jumping Club undertook to run the showjumping, and they did a wonderful job, with the shifting of the arena up to the other end meant that the ground was better, even with the rain from the previous week, and the action was away from the sideshows, which has caused havoc in the past with some sensitive equines and people! Club stalwart Wayne Carter built the tracks on Friday, then Sue Bettington took over for Saturday and Sunday, and both did excellent jobs keeping the fences on the best ground possible. On Friday we took a bunch of green ones up, and they all jumped well, with Amanda Apperley's Indi being 2nd in the 60 cm. Sara Ryan on Shrek collected her first ribbon by being 4th in the Junior 80 cms, not bad considering both have only been jumping for around 6 months! Saturday and Sunday we took Willy Welsom, who was 2nd and then 1st in the D Grade each day, and Noblewood Park Cougar, who had one down in the jump off in the 1.20 2 phase, then on Sunday won the Alan Hodge Memorial C and D Ch'ship, with one of only 2 double clear rounds, and really jumped super over quite a tough track. Caitlin Bolger from WA was 2nd with the only other double clear on the impressive Rod Brown bred Byron. It was nice for me to win this class, as Alan had been a great mate and an enormously hard worker for the sport over the years, and it is good to see that he is remembered in this way. The Grand Prix on Sunday was won in great style by Chuggie and Vivant, from Julia Hargreaves on her imported Haymen.

The kids went well, with Sophies' two jumping super all weekend, and placing in all their classes. Particularly good was Sophie and Levi (aka King's Style) being 2nd in the Open 6 Bar to Colleen Brook and Poet's Corner, with Levi clearing the last fence at 1.60 in the final round. Carrie Innes jumped in her first 1.20 class, with 2 rails down, after being 4th in the earlier Junior class with a double clear on Sam (aka Chevalier's Dream), so a good milestone for her and great confidence booster. All in all, a great weekend, the weather held out pretty well, and our new Country Champions are Coco Miles (Senior), James Hetherington (Young Rider), Cassandra Loover (Junior) and Wendy Platts (Amateur). Many, many thanks to the Hunter Valley Jump Club for running the weekend, particularly the hard working volunteers, who God knows how retained a cheerful demeanour all weekend. Thanks Sue Middleton, June Sinclair, Wayne Carter, Alan Head and the rest of the Committee for all your efforts.

Cougar over the oxer

Cougar showing perfect front end technique over this oxer.

Cougar showing enormous scope

Cougar showing his enormous scope over the third element of the vertical, vertical, oxer treble which caused quite a few problems for some of the horses in the Alan Hodge Memorial C and D Ch'ship.

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