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News from Vicki

21 August 2012

Well Queensland was great!  Beautiful weather, lovely shows, friendly people, ponies were good, how lucky am I to be involved in such a nice sport?  Just wish I could do it well a few years longer, but I guess that is being a bit greedy, seeing as I have already had such great years and fun from it.  We took 5 horses up, Kenny, Kurt, Casino, Gylly (Kinnordy Gyllian) and Wiggle (Copabella Vigil).  All horses jumped really well, with Kurt being the star at the first show, Gatton Ag Show.  Running the jumping here is Clem and Sharlene Smith, so it was very friendly, and Graeme Watts designed super tracks.  It is an excellent ground with great stables for those lucky enough to get the timber stables, which are big and airy, and on a dirt floor, which is much more friendly on horses' legs.  The newer, concrete stables are not so well designed: smaller, with cement floors, and doorways that were a tad too narrow.  Arena was in great order due a lot to this marvellous machine called an Aero-Vator, that not only sliced the ground, but vibrated it, and fluffed it into a beautiful surface, but didn't disturb the grass too much.  I want one!!  As mentioned Kurt starred, being 2nd in the Grand Prix to Clem on the  Neville Rose bred Dark Ages, with Clem again 3rd on Florina.

Toowoomba was next with a keen, newer Committee running the State Titles.  Ground was way better than last year, and Gavin Chester did an excellent job with the tracks in the main ring, but the weather on the Saturday sucked, with the wind not only being freezing, but pins had to be sent for to stop jumps blowing down!  Casino and Wiggle were the stars, with Casino being the State Mini Prix Champion, and Wiggle the State D Grade Champion, winning in a 30 horse jump off.  Don't think Wiggle has ever gone that fast!  His proud owner, Gemma travelled with us to learn and help, and was a marvellous manager.  Back to Gatton for the World Cup show, and again great tracks in both rings by Wattsy and Gavin.  Kurt had foot abcess issues, so didn't start, but other boys and girl were great.  World Cup was a super class, with Kiwi Ross Smith winning impressively on Quite Cassini from Evie Buller on Landor, now taking the lead in the pointscore.  Wattsy has bought a few subtleties in course design back from Europe, which we are probably not quite ready for, as there were no clears in the first round, but for our World Cups, our riders need to know that it is not just all about being able to jump a few 1.50 + fences.

Steph on Casino

Steph MacKillop on the wild stallion Casino Royale.  Steph came up to help while her little brother Riley and Jamie Priestley, both bound for the Junior International show in Bogota, Columbia, practiced riding strange horses, so thought Steph better ride something as well!

Riley on Willy Welsom

Riley MacKillop on Willy Welsom, practicing for Columbia, with Jamie Priestley on Solo looking on.

Jamie on Willy Welsom

And Jamie Priestley on Willy Welsom.

Then home to be able to have the luxury of watching the Olympics, and see all the events I had missed, which Neil recorded!  Our team looked pretty damned good, seeing as two of our best horses (Vivant and Niack de L'Abbaye) were in the Ukrainian team, whom we beat (yay!!).  Also beating the French and Belgians, and being equal with the Germans wasn't too bad either.  Disappointing for Edwina, as little Itot appeared to feel his 16 years, and seemed to run out of gas in the Individual Final.  Amazing effort by Julia and Vedor!  Great riding and not many time faults.. think we should make Denis Lynch our National Coach after improving Julia and Vedor so much these last few months.  After the shit run he got from the Irish in the Games lead up (although I guess justified by Cian's Bronze medal), maybe he would like to ride for Australia?

Lucinda's commentary was abysmal.  Such a shame, as Lucinda is a pal, but she was woeful.  never shut up, and so inaccurate.  Referred to Itot for an entire round as a mare, and at one point called Heinrick Eckermann, a tall Swedish guy on a big, chestnut gelding Allerdings (coincidentally owned by Hans Gunther Winkler, and produced by his late wife, Debby), as Meredith Michaels Beerbaum and Belledonna.  Meredith is one of the most distinctive jumping riders on the planet, being a skinny, petite blonde with a unique riding style, and Belladonna is a huge, solid, brown warmblood mare!  Go figure...  And as for audibly eating while commentating, really that is a time to shut up!  And I believe the dressage people were more pissed off cos she insisted on talking during the Freestyle, hullo, some want to hear the music??

Benny is having a ball in France!!  Hopefully the weather cooling down in October will drag him back, but I am so pleased that he is having great experiences with Edourd Couperie and Eric Negre, guys from whom I have purchased horses, and been based with for quite a few years now.  Meanwhile Rob Moffatt has come down from Queensland to be Benny for the next few months, so I don't have to climb onto too many young, feral ones.  Couple of nice shows coming up here now,  and Nat Jumping meetings at the end of the month.

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