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News from Vicki

30 April 2011

Sitting at home sick as a dog with the flu, so quite delighted that Copabella has been postponed!  A wise decision, as it has turned out, as we have had so much rain that even the nuisance showers we are getting now is just waterlogging everything.  My arena is like a lake..

But a good weekend to be glued to the computer, with the World Cup Finals happening in Leipzig, and the Nations Cup show in Lummen in Belgium, where our team of Amy Graham, Wendy Schaeffer, Damien Guthrie and James P-R were =4th in a strong field.  They were =2nd after the first round, and had James jumped his normal double clear, we would have been =2nd with France, but one unlucky rail fell for him, but on the good side, both Wendy and Amy got their coveted MES certificates, so they are qualified for London!  In Leipzig Edwina had not one of her best rounds in the Table C to end up eliminated on Socrates, so another good World Cup Final finish has eluded her, but speaking of the Antipodes here, Katie McVean and her super home bred mare Delphi are going gangbusters, having been 6th in the Table C, then 8th in the jump off class, with just 1 time fault, to be going into the Final Grand Prix in 4th place, just 1 rail off the lead.  Super effort for this talented 24 year old, and her 9 year old mare.  Pity we can't claim them back for Oz in time for London, as her dad Jeff was a mainstay of our team for so many years back in the ' 80s.

Sydney Royal was fantastic for Team Roycroft, with Kenny Kartoon jumping super in all his classes to be Leading Part 1 horse, then after his 5th in the World Cup was declared Champion Jumper.  I was really thrilled with him, as I still feel we are getting to know each other, and he still has some confidence issues to resolve.  These had come about prior to my purchasing him, as he had been a top Grand Prix horse for my good friend Edouard Couperie, but had been sold to Spain, and came back a nervous wreck needing a fair bit of repair work, which put him into my limited budget range.  We have formed a pretty good partnership so far, and he is trusting me a lot more, but he still has bad memories, such as  when he paniced at the last fence in the jump off of the EFA Cup, when we were 6 seconds in front!  Then my stupid override in the last line in the World Cup, when I didn't quite trust him.  But it has been such fun forming a friendship with this super sweet horse, who when he is on song, feels as good as any I have had.  Not to take anything away from Julz Hargreaves and her wonderful import Vedor, who won the 2 big classes, the EFA Cup and the World Cup, with consumate ease, Vedor showing exceptional scope and rideability, and looks a super future prospect.

Left some breakfast?

CASINO ROYALE just checking if he might have had a bit of breakfast left prior to one of his Part 3 classes. Plaits courtesy of Sharlene Smith. He was a good boy at his first Royal, notwithstanding harness horses, and extremely scarey miniatures

Kenny sailing over the first fence

Kenny sailing over the first fence in the World Cup. An extremely poor ride at the end of the course by his jockey saw him have 8 faults,
but he jumped a super clear in the 2nd round to be 5th.

Kenny Kartoon who was Champion Jumper

Kenny Kartoon who was Champion Jumper, as well as Leading Part 1 horse, with the extraordinarily talented Tom McDermott, who bypassed the Junior and Young Rider classes this year to be Leading Rider in the open divisions.  Thanks to Rachel Smith of Furdography for the great pic.

Great tracks were designed by John Vallance and Brad Longhurst, but this year the shorter,lighter poles rewarded the more careful horses, and the rain often made this normally excellent ground not so good.  There are big renovations to be done after this show, and it is promised the ground will be back to it's former glory which led Leopoldo Palacious to declare it the 'best jumping footing in the world'.  So clear rounds were hard to come by.  Part 2 horse was Oaks Aaltes, by Darco, and ridden beautifully as always by Amanda Madigan, and Part 3 horse was Lincoln, by Indoctro, also ridden superbly by Jamie Kermond.  Willy Welsom was consistent, and had a 1st, 3rd and a 5th, and Casino Royale was his normal self assured self at his first Royal, gaining a 5th, but was a bit green at times, and a bit too interested in what the Harness horses were up to on occassions.

This year for the first time, open classes were conducted in the first week, then Junior and Young Rider classes the second.  The pros for doing that meant that jumping could be in the arena for the whole show, and at civilized times, normally 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., as opposed to the old days when there were often classes at 8 in the morning before the gates had opened to the public!  Cons?  Not sure yet, but it was a very long fortnight for us, as I was also travelling back and forth to Mount White during the second week to help Benny and James in the Young Riders, and Steph in the Juniors.  This was very rewarding, as James and Todd won 2 out of the 4 classes to be Leading Young Rider, Benny rode super all show, but Ryles was a little disdainful of the super light poles, but he was 2nd in the Six Bar to Steph and super pony Cy, who then had a win at their first Royal, no mean feat.  Cy also jumped great in his other classes for placings in the good fields.  Jess Knox, trained by James Mooney, was Leading Junior Girl, so with James' results, was a very good effort by the Central Coasties, and Jake Hunter was Leading Junior Boy.

Just prior to Sydney we had two lovely shows in Camden, where John Vallance gave us interesting, challenging tracks on super footing,so a good preparation for the Royal.  That was on the Friday, then on Saturday we headed upto Muswellbrook, where Brian Collard has always worked hard to produce a great jumping program, and this year was rewarded with record numbers which meant we only just finished on dark.  Lee and Sara travelled up with us with Puzzle and Chucky, and Sara  completed a super jump off in the 1.15 class to finish in front of the 1.15 queens Lee and Puzzle! A first for Sara and Chucky.

Weekend of World Cups coming up and postponed Copabella to follow.

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