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News from Vicki

17 May 2010

Left the beautiful sunny skies of Sydney and flew into Brussells where it was announced at 8 a.m. that morning the temparature was 4°!  And it hasn't gotten much better.  Picked up my hire car, and set off for the apparently 5 to 6 hour drive up to first stop Hamburg.  Luckily i had allowed all day , cos it took me 9 hours!  A few little diversions getting lost (at one stage I was heading back towards Brussells again...), and horriffic traffic jams in Germany due to a public holiday the next day meant I finally arrived at my destination at around 6 p.m.  Lucky I like driving, and being a tourist, I wondered who else would be crazy enough to get on a plane for 26 hours, then drive a car for another 9!  Fortunately adrenalin kicked in enough to keep me awake, but I was pleased to have a shower and a nice bed that night!

Luckily I had a bunch of horses to try at Tjeert Rijkens' stables the next day, as the weather was not much warmer, so it was a great way to keep warm.  Top of the list was a lovely 6 year old stallion, Casino Royale, that Robynne McTaggert had bought at a German auction a few years ago.  He is super cute, and much like Welsom, in that he is spooky and very, very, careful, and Robynne wanted me to see if he was worth bringing back to Oz.  Seeing as he is beautiful himself, and apparently has lovely foals on the ground, and is by Cassall La Silla, arguably Rolf Goran Bengston's best jumping horse, my recommendation is very positive!

I then stayed with the Dumrath family in Hamburg, whose son Wilhelm spent around 6 months with us a couple of years ago, and went to the 5* star show that was on that weekend.  Edwina Alexander was there, and kindly arranged an accreditation for me, so it was good to be able to walk the courses.  The Grand Prix was huge!  But 10 of the 50 starters were clear, then 4 double clears into the jump off, where there was a female trifecta, with US's Lauren Hough on Quick Study jumped the only jump off clear to win from Edwina and Itot, who had jumped 2 foot perfect rounds, but had a really unlucky slip coming to the double in the jump off to have fastest time.  Laura Kraut and Cedric were 3rd, and the only German, and male, in the group, Marco Kutshker was 4th on Cash.

So a great Aussie weekend again as the boys in Linz were 2nd in the Nations Cup again!  Well done to Chris, Paul, Mattie and James, so now we are in the lead for the Promotional League of the Nations Cup, as on this occasion the Poms beat us, with Belgium 3rd.  So things looking pretty damned good with WEG coming up, as Itot seems to be back in form, and Edwina is riding fantastic.

Now headed south, and am spending a few days with Hans and Debby Winkler with a few more horses to look at, then onto Belgium and France.

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