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News from Vicki

4 April 2011

Been a busy few weeks (how often do I say that?), but great in that we are having a beautiful autumn; still,sunny days, cool nights, and perfect conditions to enjoy riding nice horses!  Newcastle Show was a welcome return to the jumping circuit, having not had jumping for at least 5 years.  Ground was in immaculate condition, and good tracks were designed by Greg Backhouse.  Numbers were small, as I don't think riders were aware that the show now had jumping again, plus the weather south of Newcastle was cyclonic, but it was perfect in Newcastle and made for nice,casual days.  Our team jumped super with Kenny, Jane and Willy taking all 3 placings in the Grand Prix, and that coupled with Jane's win in the big class on the first day made her Leading Jumper.  Benny also went well, with his 2, Ryles and Brad, being 5th and 6th in the Grand Prix, with David Cooper on Margaret River being the only non Roycroft placegetter!  Casino also jumped super, getting better at every outing, and Benny also got good placings on Nikki, and a great debut for Pamelet, by Wirragulla Hamlet, who was 4th in her first D Grade.

Jump Club was the following Sunday, and that saw a nice warm up for Castle Hill for some of the kids, Lee and Sara, as well as new recruit Issie Whatley, who has moved from New Zealand with her family, and her super cute mare Bling aka Molly.  Issie has fitted into Team Roycroft very easily, as well as becoming official Team Photographer!  Also I popped around 90 cms and 1.05 on Frisbee, the newest purchase for Riley McKillop, who will see if he can do as good a job at bringing on a young horse as his sister Steph has with Alcheringa Tradition aka Cy.

Walking the course

Course walking at Castle Hill. Yours truly followed by Issie, James,
Benny and Lee. David Sheppard designed excellent tracks all weekend.

Ben  pointing

Not sure what Ben has spotted, but it hasLee's and my attention,
if not that of Nikki or Puzzle.

Sprockett & Cliff

One of the many integral parts of Team Roycroft. Sprockett and Cliff,
hard at work doing their truck guarding duties. Haven't lost a truck yet...  
(Thanks Issie for the great pics!)

Castle Hill also a great show for Team Roycroft.  Started it with a quinella for Benny and Lee when they were 1st and 2nd on Nikki and Puzzle in 1.05 class on Friday.  Casino was clear in both his classes to be 5th in 1.25m to Jenny Sheppard on Black Marlin.  Willy was 3rd in that class, then 2nd to George Johnson and Wondaree Sprite in the big class of the day, the 1.35m.  Poor George had a tough call when Sydney Royal initially accepted his entry into Part 1 for Ozbred, then withdrew it due to the horse only having one eye!  Which is totally contrevening F.E.I rules that allow any one eyed horses to start in any Discipline, including Eventing.  Makes you wonder why the R.A.S. are allowing me to start!

Saturday also good with Willy winning the Mini Prix, Kenny being 3rd in the Grand Prix (one silly rail...) from George Sanna on Aprilla and Amanda Madigan on Oaks Aaltes.  Casino super again to be 3rd in the C Grade to James and Todd who blitzed the field, with Greer Butcher 2nd on Twins Zenith.  Benny had a few last fence issues, but was on better form on Sunday, with a 2nd and 3rd in the 1.20 Young Rider on Ryles and Brad to Jess Stalling and the super cute Ratina.  Sara started the day well with a 3rd in the Junior Equitation won by Liz Koob. I won Open 1.05m on Ri McKillop's Frisbee.  Steph won Junior 1.15 on Cy, and Lee and Puzz the Young Rider 1.15.  Great, great tracks were designed all weekend by Mexican David Sheppard, who was imported for the weekend.  Thanks David, all horses were jumping better by the end of the show than the beginning.

Also been kept busy with a couple of visitors.  One of my students from the Philippines, Chiara Amor, was in Australia for a week, and had lessons every day on Nikki, who was a great schoolmaster for her, although tiny Chiara made Nikki look like a giant!  Also Vicki Brighton, daughter of Olympian Merv Bennett, came up for some intense tuition, with her 2 chestnuts, both of whom are pretty useful.  Vic returned to Nowra after Jump Club Sunday with her head crammed full of "Get your horses more reactive to your aids, then they are easier to jump!", and all of that sort of stuff...

Camden next Friday, and Muswellbrook Saturday, then the Royal starts the following week...

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