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News from Vicki

3 May 2010

Super, super results in Europe with our first Nations Cup team for a long time doing us proud at Lummen CSIO in Belgium.  The team of Chuggy and Vivant, Paul and Nicklaus, Phil Lever on Drossel Dan, and James P-R on Niack de l'Abbaye ran a very close 2nd to Ireland.  13 teams started, with only Australia and Ireland finishing on a clean slate, Chugg, Phil and James going double clear, and Paul having a couple of rubs in the first round.  Chugg then went first in the jumpoff, and had a fast round with 1 down, and Ireland's Billy Twomey was then able to canter round 4 seconds slower, but clear.  Great results for the boys, and heartening to know that now we have so many who want to be part of a team, and represent their country at the highest level.  I can say from experience that there is no better feeling than stepping up on a podium hearing your National Anthem played while part of a team.  The guys had already heard the Anthem, when James won the big class on the first day, and got so darned close to it on Nations Cup day!  Then they followed up with good, solid results in the Grand Prix, Phil being 6th and James 9th.  Only 4 double clear rounds, Phil and James were on 4, and Paul and Chugg solid performances with 2 down apiece.  Great position when we still have Edwina up our sleeves for Kentucky!

Next Nations Cup will be at Linz CSIO in Austria, with substantially the same team, but Phil being replaced by Mattie Williams, who now has a classy team of horses.  I will be flying to Europe next Tuesday for a couple of weeks, mainly to look for some horses, but hope to be able to get to Linz to help and see the boys in action.

Meanwhile back at home our place is still looking so green and lovely, and all horses loving the fact that the weather is still so mild and beautiful, and we haven't yet gone to 3 rugs at night.  Hawkesbury Show was good last week, I didn't ride as my back was still a bit sore, but Benny deputized admirably with good placings on Ryles, Ash and Nikki.  Sydney Jump Club ran the program, and Mark Atkins' tracks were nicely uncomplicated for the many green horses and riders.  He built a good 1.30 track for the Grand Prix, and Ben had his first start on Ryles, who was jumping a super clear when his stirrup broke before the 7th fence; he had already jumped the treble clear, and attempted the next oxer, but the stirrup by then was flapping around Ryles' knee, so he got mightily confused, so Ben wisely elected to retire. This last Sunday we took a bunch to Sydney Jump Club, and I had fun on Nikki and Levi, while Ben rode great rounds on Ash, Brad (brother to Ryles) and the 5 year old Pamelet, by Wirragulla Hamlet out of Kate, one of the last of my mum's racemares.  She isn't very big, but has super technique, so should be some fun, and hope that she will grow a bit more.

Ben on Ash

Ben doing a super job on Ash at Sydney Jump Club on Sunday.  Thanks to Chrissie Johnson for the great photos.

Weekend of World Cups show this weekend, then Europe for a couple of weeks.  Woohoo!

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