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News from Vicki

18 July 2011

We are surviving winter, and with the wind and the rain that has been about, plenty of firewood to keep the fireboxes in both houses going well.  But enough lovely still, sunny days to make it bearable.

Jump club the last few weeks, and Nic Chaveau, our French working student doing a great job on an off the track gift, Murphy, who after getting over splint issues is becoming a very cute jumper.  Giving Nic lessons is interesting though, as his English still isn't great, and my French has always been woeful, so lots of flapping arms and sign language...  Issie also having great fun on Belle, the only foal of John Singleton's great mare Belle du Jour.  Why is she here being a jumping horse (and quite a good one at that)?  Long story, but hope to get Singo a bit interested in the jumping game when she becomes a superstar!  But Issie rides her a treat, and is giving her some good miles at Jump Club while Molly recovers, and Issie's mum can get Alf back to ride!

Sydney Jump Club finally had their Winter Championships, and after a bit of a drizzly week, the day was mild and sunny.  Grounds were in super order, although the reworked practice arenas need a bit of time to settle, as footing was quite deep for the main ring warm up.  Central Coasties dominated in the main ring, with Willy winning the 1.20 class, from another Coastie John Cooper on Falcon Legacy.  Then Kenny won the Di Dawson Memorial Grand Prix from former Coastie Andrew Inglis and Amira.   I was thrilled to win this class, as Di had been a very close and dear friend for a long, long time, as well as an extremely successful competitor, and latterly, breeder of nice jumping horses.  I felt enormously complimented when Di asked me to ride one of her horses, Fiddler, a few years ago, and he went on to win at Adelaide and Melbourne Royals, so many great memories of our times together.  Super that her husband Glen was there, as well as former great supporters Jim and Jan Cloros, who sponsored the Grand Prix.  Many thanks!

James Mooney completed the Central Coast Mafia's dominance by being 1st and 3rd in the 1.30 class on Invadon and Cortina.  Steph Mc Killop won the 1.20 Junior on super pony Cy, and they spend enough time up here training with us to be honorary Central Coasters.  Well they live at Terrey Hills, so that's also pretty close.  The only exception was Monny Barrett, who did great to be 1st and 2nd in the 1.30 Young Rider with the only 2 clear rounds.  Benny was 3rd and 4th with his 2 chestnuts. Casino also jumped great.  Double clear in 1.20 (have to go slow, as he's getting too many points..) then 1 down in the 1.30 Class.David Sheppard designed great courses in the main ring, making good use of the in ground water jump there.

Casino and Vicki
Photo: Furdography

Casino being starry over the open water.

Willy and Vicki
Photo: Furdography

Willy in his now minimalist gear, cavesson noseband, no martingale,
and more grain!  He seems as happy as a clam!

Ben on Cy
Photo: Furdography

Seeing as I pinched Nikki from Ben for the 1.20 presentation,
he decided to pinch Steph's Cy to receive his placing ribbon on Ryles. 
Looks just like Ryles...

Vicki and Kenny
Photo: Furdography

With Glen Dawson and judge Katrina Dukats at the 1.30 presentation,
where Willy was 4th, but I'm on Kenny (trying to make his ears prick!),
who later won Di Dawson Memorial Grand Prix, but that presentation
was in the dark!!

OS the troops continue to go well.  Edwina A has been going gangbusters in her and Jan's creation, the Global Champion's Tour of 5 * shows,  with Edwina only briefly leaving the Rolex Top 10 rankings before returning again at World number 9.  She is doing what no other Aussie has done, so all credit to her.  She has worked very hard over many years to reach the very high level where she now competes, and her mental toughness and ability is an inspiration.  Amy Graham and Wendy Schaeffer getting some results at 2 * and 3 * shows, and Julz Hargreaves is making a promising start at 2 * shows.  James P-R is trying a few to find a successor to his super horse Niack de L'Abbaye, who, ironically, along with Vivant, helped the Ukraine team gain the 2nd Olympic spot for our region (we use the term loosely....!).  Can't imagine too many times when the same two horses have qualified 2 countries for Olympic places within 12 months.  Shame we had to lose them..  Damian Guthrie came over from the US and put in some good Nations Cup performances for us, and gained his COC on the way, so he's in the mix for the Selection Trials, and it looks like Mattie Williams may have a new horse in the US that could make the grade.  Mattie is also one of those boys like James P-R who can get the best out of a variety of horses, and most importantly, do the job under the pressure of competing for their country.

While I have your attention everyone needs to look at the Mark 2 version ( that the National Jumping Committee Working Group have posted on the National EA website.  We had a great reaction (good and bad!) to the Mark 1 version, and now need feedback on Mark 2.  Basically though we are looking to improve and tweak the system, as has been done over the years, to try and make the sport as user friendly as possible, and allow the development of good horses and riders, as well as catering to the needs of Amateurs, Juniors and Young Riders.  No easy task with our huge country and limited resources, but any ideas and input is much appreciated.

Now Tamworth, and then up to Toowoomba for the World Cup show.  Hope Kenny can keep his good form for that!

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