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News from Vicki

3 August 2010

So inbetween shows I did some teaching out at David Finch's place, and had a great time.  David has for sometime now embarked on a jumper breeding program, and has now produced some impressive young horses.  One that took my eye at the show was a stunning, in both type and jump, 4 year old, Finch Farm Chill.  Rob Moffatt had a lesson on him, and I had a sit on him, and was also impressed by his temprament and rideability.  He is a real example of a modern jumping athlete, and a horse for the future.  He jumped again impressively at the World Cup show, and I believe will now be put away for a few months to grow and develop.  It is such a long process with jumpers, and very easy to burn out precocious youngsters, so David is to be applauded for his patience with his horses and program.  Also got to teach Lincoln Glasby, who won many classes on the first weekend, and then the Young Rider Ch'ship on the second weekend, and what a great kid to teach.  Despite his successes, he was an eager and willing student, with still quite a few issues to address, but absolutely no ego or arrogance.  Same with Jake Lambert, the Kiwi boy who is to represent New Zealand at the Youth Olympics, and was out training and competing with David to gain more experience.  Another great kid, who spent a lot of time watching the better riders both in the warm ups and the competition, as well as competing one of David's young horses.  Also Elysia Roach, from Hong Kong, great to teach as well, but needs to learn a bit more about the history of the sport!

World Cup show was fantastic, with Wattsy excelling himself with the tracks.  His World Cup track was outstanding.  Despite the better horses not being in Australia, Graeme still built a very strong track that was well up to standard, but didn't kill anyone, particularly the many greener combinations that were in the 32 strong class.  Jamie Kermond was the very worthy winner on his recent SIEC World Cup winner, Colthaga.  4 faults in the first round, and a very slick clear when first out in the second round saw him at the top of the line up.  2nd was local combination Cathy Green and DaVinci's Pride, great to see this super rider on a lovely horse she produced herself.  3rd Brook Dobbin on Advisor, and 4th, representing the older brigade David Robertson on his homebred Sharpe Seale.  Becky Allen was 5th on her home bred and produced Jacana.  But it was really super to see Nick Taliana, in his second World Cup on the horse he has trained himself, Ambrose, run 7th.  This performance, along with that of George Johnson in his first World Cup on Ozbred, showed that you don't need the spectacularly expensive horses to compete at the top level.  These two guys, trained by Jenny Sheppard and Colleen Brook respectively, have been in the sport for a while, and are real quiet achievers with a couple of thoroughbreds that they have brought on themselves.  Same could be said of James Mooney, who rode Invadon, that he has had since a D Grader, and is trained by Rod Brown.  All in all a great class that was only marred by the onset of a storm that cruelled the chances of the last 2 in the jump off, Dark Ages and Quincy Z, who were both sufficiently upset by the wind and rain to both be eliminated.  Just goes to show how sensitive our equine athletes are.

Young Rider Ch'ship, first of the Selection Series for the National Squad, saw a win to the before mentioned Lincoln Glasby in a strong field of 50 odd.  Jess Brown, Rod's daughter, was 2nd.  She is in her last year of Young Riders, and it is great to see how she is maturing into a really high class jockey.  Mini Prix was won by Andrew Inglis on Amira, and the 80 strong Futurity class, the David Overton Memorial Cup, by Merrick Ubank on the super young horse Aldino.

The second ring this time had great gear from Murwillambah, which was both varied, colourful and careful, and David Sheppard again produced wonderful tracks.  Our show was a series of 4 fault rounds from the whole team.  I decided to World Cup Jane, just to make sure she was still happy doing it, and despite it being a much stronger track than I had expected, she and I had a great time with a few dumb mistakes on my part, but she popped around very happily.  She jumped super clears to place in the 1.30 and 1.40 classes on Thursday and Friday.  Willy required a bit change, that I should have done earlier, as he was becoming quite strong when he was being spooky, so 4 faults most of the time.  Levi also great, but just the odd rail.  Nikki stepped up to the strong D Grade classes with just that pesky one rail.  Benny and James had similar shows, Benny 4 and 4 on Ryles in the Young Rider ch'ship, and 0 and 4 to be 10th in the Futurity.  Brad jumped clears and 4 faults in the D Grades.  James and Todd (Dreamtime Invader) jumped some super rounds, just marred by one, or sometimes 2(!) mistakes.  But the better riding is coming more often than the indifferent riding, so he's getting there, and Todd mostly looks awesome.

Kartoon, Carrus and Casino arrived safely on Saturday, and are now in quarantine at Eastern Creek until I can pick them up on the 25th August.  Can't wait!

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