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News from Vicki

28 October 2009

I had heard many good reports about the first Jump Over the Mountains show last year, so was looking forward to my first visit this year.  I had never been to this part of the world before so was suitably impressed by the beautiful setting.  Edwena Mitchell had worked hard to organize 2 arenas of grass jumping, with 2 excellent Course designers in Leeson Sirrett and Brad Longhurst, plus small classes in a sand arena, and good safe yards and portable stables for those that required them.  However, she could not control the weather, and despite the ground looking picturesque and green, the ground was a bit too firm for most people's liking.  I scratched my guys from classes in the 2nd ring, as that was very firm, but Ring 1 was just okay, and Leesons' courses were outstanding.  Edwena then undertook to have a water truck going pretty much non stop Friday and Saturday afternoon and well into the evening, only to have steady rain commence on the Sunday morning!!  This then made the ground (in Ring1) okay, if you had enough studs in.  Regrettably a few of the teams elected to pack up and go, which was a bit mystifying, seeing as a lot of these same people used to compete on worse ground at Sydney Jump Club at Clarendon for quite a few years until the SJC Committee finally upgraded the grounds a few years ago.

Willy was a bit at sea on the going on the Saturday, where I was reluctant to stud in front due to the firm going, but the next day being wet allowed me to stud up the 2 C Graders' (Willy and Cougar) front paws, and both jumped well, Willy being 3rd in the 1.20 class to Energizer Bunny Tom Mc Dermott on one of the 73 horses(!) he had going round, and Cougar being 2nd in the much depleted Grand Prix to Julia Hargreaves on the very experienced Eventer Wynella Remus.  Sophie is buried in Year 12 stuff, so I brought Levi up for some fine tuning, and he was 3rd in the D Grade on Saturday, then 1 down (studless in front, D Graders have to earn their front stud holes by going C Grade!) in the 1.20.  Harriet Gruen came to help us out, and keep an eye on how I was going with her pony, Freewheeler, and he was clear and 4 in the D Grade, and also a good 4 faulter in the 1.20.  Edwena is working hard to get the Orange Council on side to make the grounds more suitable for horse events in the future, and the Mayor was in attendance on the Saturday, so it is hoped that something will come of it, as the footing (and the weather!) was the only things to mar this very well run show.

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