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News from Vicki

21 February 2012

So glad we live on top of a hill!  But the wet weather has been playing havoc with trying to keep horses sound, lots of foot abcesses and various gunky skin issues, as well as a lack of shows.  Morisset was postponed to April 1st, and we were keen to do Nowra, but it just seemed that Murphy's Law would apply, in that if we made the 4 hour trip it would tip down, but if we stayed home it would be good for the show!  Which is exactly what happened.  I kept in touch with Vicki Brighton, who was giving us weather updates, but just as we were about to set out on Friday, flash flooding in Kiama meant that we weren't going to get through.  Luckily still able to give most of the horses an outing at Central Coast Jump Club, where the grounds hold up quite well in the wet.

Finally able to get to Maitland, although it looked a bit touch and go during the week, but at least it is only an hour and a half up the road!  Great show organized by Sue Middleton and the great committee of Hunter Valley Jump Club, so there was great support from the jumpers.  But we ended up a pretty lonely little lot, as jumping was full on for 3 days, and it seemed all the other horse classes were done by about 2 p.m.  The arena was moved to the northern end, as that was the best ground under the circumstances.  It was nearest the sideshow area, but even that didn't seem to cause as much problems as it used to, as those guys didn't seem to be as busy either.  Sue Bettington designed lovely tracks all weekend, building up to quite tough tracks on the final day. 

Team Roycroft were great with Benny being declared the new NSW Country Champion (keeping it in the family, I had won it the last 2 years!) on Willy Welsom. Not a bad effort for someone who is still a Young Rider.  But he was mainly chuffed with their effort in the 6 Bar, where he and Willy were the only clears in the final round at 1.60.  They also won the 1.20 on Sunday, and had a 3rd and 4th on Saturday, so jumped a lot of fences with no faults!  Nikki was a star and was 2nd in the Alan Hodge Memorial C and D Ch'ship, won by Nick Carraro and his super grey thoroughbred that has been jumping well in bigger classes.  Strawberry Belle had her 'proper show' debut in the D Grades, and generally survived, so Benny's team was good.  Kenny, Casino and Kurt also placed in their classes, with Kurt being the Grand Prix star again, 3rd with a double clear behind George Johnson and super little mare, Wondaree Sprite, and Nic Taliana and his Nowra Grand Prix winner, Ambrose.  Stef and Ri McKillop also had a good show, with Ri being declared the NSW Country Junior Champion after his 1st and 2nd with Our Great Show.  Big sister Stef beat him on Saturday on her new ride, Royal Masquerade, but a rail down on Sunday saw her not place in that class, but she was 3rd and 4th in her first Young Rider class with Masqui and super pony Cynan.  Jack Maunder was NSW Young Rider Champion, and Jade Middleton won the Amateur Title.  Issie was great on Pamelet, on whom she is now forming a great partnership, and they looked very happy together.

Benny & Willy

Benny and Willy. NSW Country Champions

Issi& Pammi

Issie and Pammy looking good

Steph & Cy

Steph and Cy jumped the 1.60 last fence in the final round of the 6 Bar, and just had the second last down. 1.60 was a fair bit bigger than Cy (and Stef!)

Vicki & Kurt

Can't help putting up photos of my lovely Kurt!  Here I'm hanging on
like crazy as he produces one of his super scopey jumps!

Super Sprockett

Super Sprockett, an integral part of Team Roycroft

Now looking forward to less soggy weather in Canberra this weekend.  Then off to New Zealand to be Chef d'Equip to our Trans Tasman team of Tim Clarke and Caltango, Billy Raymont and Ocean Beach, Brett Warren and Cheezy Z and Jamie Winning and Congo Z.  Have been in plenty of teams, but not too many at this end, so it will be a bit of a learning curve, but I feel it's a pretty good bunch of riders to look after!  Then back home for a while, which includes a trip to Perth to do a Clinic there, and see Noblewood Parks' exciting new recently purchased young stallions, Calibre and Dynamite.  Then back to NZ for the Horse of the Year Show to to the Cheffing bit again.

Then looking forward to Sydney Royal, where German CD, Werner Deeg will be designing courses, and conducting clinics.  Kenny, Kurt and Casino will be there, and Willy and Benny in Young Riders.

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