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News from Vicki

4 February 2011

On Day 5 of Sydney's awful heatwave!  Normally in this part of the world we can be so smug, because being quite close to the coast it doesn't get too hot, and we can usually ride til around 12 in the morning, then  around 3 the coastal breeze kicks in, but not this week.  Not even the nights are cooling down that much.

Prior to this week, we had Morisset Show, where the jumping is now held on the Friday, so we have the lovely big ring to ourselves, and the footing was very good to go with the excellent tracks set by Mark Atkins.  Benny continued his great form by making Brad a C Grader with a win in the competitive D Grade class, and followed that up with another win in the Open 1.20, as well as a C Grade win with Ryles. Willy Welsom and I won the open 1.10, it was fun practising speed riding on him again(!), and Casino jumped a lovely double clear in the 1.10, then I opened up the throttle a little on him to be 2nd to Ben in the C Grade.  Sophie rode Jane for a placing in the 1 metre class, and she and Ryles, showing his versatility were 5th in the 1.10.  Steph and Riley McKillop also had a good day with their team Cy, Cal and Amber.

Vicki and Casino Royale

Vicki and Casino Royale at Morisset Show

Also in January sold the Scania truck to Adam Wootten in Victoria.  Adam departed with it last Saturday with my words ringing in his ears of "Watch the rev counter, don't get any speeding tickets..".  I did shudder when he reported back to me the next day that he had done the trip to his home base in the Yarra Valley in 10 1/2 hours!  Also gone to a new home is Sara Ryan's Chellini, Shrek to his friends, so named because when he arrived some 2 years ago, he was 'the big, green thing..'.  Now a bit more experienced, and a lovely natured good guy, he has found a new home with Renee Beneke, so we will still see him around the Sydney comps.

Di Dawson

Sad news this week was the passing of Di Dawson, one of our really great jumping riders, male or female, to wear the Australian flag.

Photo: Di is riding Limo, one of the last horses she bred.

Di was one of a now nearly extinct type of rider, she produced her own from scratch, with the 2 horses that she competed with at World Championships, Gollanite (Dublin)and Taxi (The Hague), both being totally produced and ridden by her.  And they were two of many, many great horses that Di produced and rode to Grand Prix level.  But with it all she was the most unassuming, humble person whose great joy was to be around her horses.  Her health wasn't great the last 15 or 20 years, so she was more into breeding and producing jumping horses, and some years ago I had the privelege of riding a horse bred and owned by Di and Glenn, Fiddler for some success.  Di was a super owner, she came with us to Adelaide Royal where Fiddler was Champion Section 2 Jumping horse, and I had to keep admonishing her for not behaving like an owner and sitting back and watching her horse.  Not her, we had 5 horses at that Royal, and she would insist on helping with all the sweeping, cleaning and all the tedious jobs that go with horses. And all the time super company and great fun.  I will miss her very much.

Next week we have National Jumping Meetings (oh joy...), then a few nice shows, Nowra and Maitland coming up.  I go teaching in the Philippines for the first week in March, then hope to be jumping Kartoon, Willy and Casino at Sydney Royal.

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