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News from Vicki

25 February 2010

Well what a great show Maitland is.  Hunter Valley Jumping Club have taken on the running of this show for the last few years, and it steadily improves, and for the last two years they have revived the NSW Country Championships, which is a nice innovation..  First day had height classes to 90 cms, the Sat and Sun had graded, height, Amateur, Junior and Young Rider classes.  Sue Bettington designed excellent courses all weekend, which saw horses jumping better and better.  We had a great weekend again (thanks George M!), with Cougar being a versatile star, firstly winning the Carter Classic Speed class (who would have thought he could turn that short?), then 2nd in 1.35 class to Andrew Inglis and Amira, then equal 1st in the Six Bar with Jenny Sheppard on Licara, and that was just on the first day!  Second day he had one down each round of the Grand Prix to finish 8th to Jono Berry on Yandoo Quincy Z, but had done enough to win the title of NSW Country Champion.  Owner Robynne McTaggert was pretty chuffed by all this, but always laments the fact that her horses jump well when she is not there to see them.

Cougar competing 

Cougar competing

Cougar and Vicki

Ben Blay made it a double for Team Roycroft when he took out the Young Rider title by winning the Young Rider on the first day, then 4th on the 2nd day to Tom Smith on Casper, but that was enough for the overall win.  Ben also did a super job on Nikki Des Hayettes to place in both her first official D Grades.  Of my other guys, Sophie's Levi (aka King's Style) won the D grade on the first day to turn him C Grade, and then was 2nd in the C and D Ch'ship to David Cooper on Margaret River.  Eliza Jane is still a little short of fitness, and just popped around the 1.20 on both days, to be 2nd in the first one, and double clear in the second.  Ash was 5th in the first 1.20, and 1 down in the C and D.  Willy was 6th in the second 1.20, and 0/8 in the C and D.  Ella Avery won the NSW Amateur Title, and Jake Hunter easily won the Junior Title.

At home earlier in the week we had a bit of a traumatic day.  John Singleton's gift to me, Belle du Jour's only foal, now a 4 year old called Baby Belle, decided to have her beautiful Errol filly foal a couple of weeks early, and then decided she didn't want her.  When I got out to see them, the foal was already deciding that it was easier to get a drink from Koko, whose own foal was looking a little perplexed.  So we thought we had better try and bond new mother and child, and put both in the stable, and by sedating and hanging on, persuaded a reluctant Belle to let her foal feed.  By later in the afternoon, Belle was grudgingly allowing the foal to feed, but only if we were there to hold her.  So we decided that it didn't seem like a great idea to leave them in the stable overnight, as Belle really didn't fancy this motherhood stuff, so we put them back in the paddock, and straightaway Belle started eating grass, and Koko came running down to her new baby, who immediately started sucking from her.  Now a week later foal and adopted mother are still inseparable, original foal still looking a bit confused, and not getting as much milk as he was.  Pretty good thing really, as he was starting to look a bit  like a bull calf... Belle is happy enough, but little does she know that once she has lost her milk, her jumping career will be starting.  A bit earlier than anticipated, as now I don't have to wean a foal off her!  I'm hoping it might be a good way to get Singo interested in our sport if she is any good, and she looked pretty cute free jumping.

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