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News from Vicki

30 May 2011

Still can't get rid of this bloody 'flu...., but feeling somewhat better.

Was heartbroken but not surprised to hear from Wayne and Clarke yesterday (29th) that the legendary Bill had passed away that morning after a brief illness.  Clarke said that he had been lucid until the end, and was at peace with the world.  I spoke with Bill nearly every month as I regarded him as my father figure, and for sure was my most valuable teacher and mentor.  Everyone knows of his amazing feats at the Rome Olympics, but what stands out for me was his generosity and genuine love for his horses and the Australian Team.  His ability to produce horses for Olympic Games every 4 years was staggering, numbering about 20 in all.  And all this from a man who did his first Olympics when he was 45, and his last when he was 61.  I will miss him greatly.

So was pleased that the Roycroft name could be heard in the winner's circle at Dubbo Show with my clever ponies winning both main classes.  Kenny jumped super to win the A and B Grand Prix on Saturday from Jess Brown on Higgins, and Robynne McTaggert's Noblewood Park Casino Royale won the C  and D Ch'ship on Sunday, from Jamie Kermond on the similarly bred (also by Casall La Silla) stallion Caracas.  Eliza Jane also jumped well to be 5th in the Grand Prix, and 2nd in the Friday A and B to the eventual Leading Jumping Horse, James Mooney's Invadon, who then won the A and B Power and Speed on Sunday.  Tom Mc Dermott won the Leading Rider award.  Benny gave Nikki and Pamelet some good miles at the show, and Brad also jumped well, and Issie Whatley and Molly (Bling NZ) got their first Aussie bow with a 5th in the Six bar.  Good fun!  Dubbo is such a lovely show, the ground is super, stables are excellent, and there is a nice big warm up area.  Bonus this year was quite a lot of new gear that was much lighter than previous years, and had quite a lot of variety to it.  Well done to Sandy Cox and all his crew to make it all happen.

Jane over a new fence

Eliza Jane over one of the smart new fences that caused a bit of havoc for some of the greener horses, especially when Warren Priestly put it in a combination

Kenny just before the presentation

Kenny just prior to the presentation for his win in the Grand Prix at Dubbo. All my ponies looked a bit scruffy for the show, as I had been too ill to tidy them up much, but at least they felt and jumped well.

Casino at Dubbo

Casino giving this fence plenty of air on the Friday of Dubbo. He didn't come near a rail all show to win the tough C and D Ch'ship on Sunday, which was worth the same prizemoney as the A and B Grand Prix, AND he got a rug..poor Kenny didn't get a rug..thanks to Jess Stalling for great pics.

Previously the flu had kept working horses to a bare minimum, so had a pretty lean show at the Weekend of World Cups, with Willy providing the only bow there.  Kenny jumped awesome in the World Cup until I said "whoa..." a bit too loudly coming to the third part of the treble, so he did!  Then I clucked the next time, and he popped through like it was 1.10.  Great tracks by John Vallance there, and a good win to Cathy Graham and DaVinci's Pride.

Kenny redeemed himself at Copabella, where I was feeling marginally better, and was 3rd in the Grand Prix to Brook Dobbin and Advisor, only double clear round, and Ingrid Clarke on PS Monet.  Was delighted for Ingrid and Tim Clarke, as they had spent the week between shows at Mount White with us, as well as Adam Prime, so it was fun to see them all go so well after doing a bit of work with them and their lovely horses.  Issie and Sara qualified for the Junior Final, which was a big improvement in a year for Sara and Chucky, who only just survived the first round last year.  Brad Longhurst designed this year, and did a great job, despite this being a a ground where horses don't normally jump very well.  Footing is always a bit shifty, with many slipping in the big class, and the arena is on a bit of a dome, so one is always going a bit up a hill, or down a hill.

Internationally it was devastating to learn of the sale of James Patterson-Robinson's WEG ride Niack de l'Abbaye to the Ukranians, who have also bought Vivant, so it seems we are mounting their Olympic team (if they qualify....).  Hopefully James can find another quality horse before the end of the year, as he has now proved himself to be a great operator for our team, and was always willing to make himself available to help the team effort.  To that end, he travelled up to Copenhagen to help with our now 3 rider Nations Cup team, who performed admirably to end up 6th out of 15 teams, despite having to count all scores in the first round.  Well done to Wendy and Leah, Amy and Bella Baloubet and Damian Guthrie and Gilmore, all who now have their London qualifications.

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