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News from Vicki

23 April 2012

So not much time to get the three boys organized for Sydney with all the NZ stuff, but it was worth it to see Team Oz go so well.  Luckily Camden Show was conducted in perfect weather on perfect footing.  John Vallances' tracks in Ring 1 and Brad Longhursts' in Ring 2 also well up to standard.  Kurt was awesome winning the Mini Prix.  Hadn't intended to take him that hard in the jump off, but thought I would practice some turn ups, which I'm not very good at, but with all that scope he makes it easy.  Even when he tripped turning up to the vertical-oxer double, I just kicked him a little harder, and he jumped a bit higher!  Very good boy.  Casino was a little unlucky with just one down, then Kenny was 3rd in the Grand Prix to Chuggy on Alondra and Andy Inglis on Amira.  Benny was 2nd in 1.25, and jumped good rounds on Willy, so we were looking a bit more set.  Then the long drive up to Muswellbrook the next day.  Getting too old for this, but Muswellbrook always put on a great jumping show for us, and Sue Bettington again designed excellent courses.  Kurt consolidated his good form with the only double clear in the Grand Prix, with Casino 2nd, 1 down in the first round, Alan Mc Cusker 3rd, and Benny and Willy 4th.

Sydney was great as always, but the new arena and footing were fantastic.  Also having German CD Werner Deeg out here was super, and he set challenging tracks for us all show.  All my boys good, but still having bitting issues with Kenny sometimes, and lose some brakes at the end of courses, and Werner always seeemed to have a difficult line at the end of the Part 1 tracks, but he got a 3rd, and then was equal 2nd in the Six Bar, just touching out the final 1.75 vertical in the third round.  Casino was great all show, with a 5th in the first Accumulator, and just the odd rail in the other classes.  But then in the Six Bar, I think his black stallion ego came into play!  In front of a huge early evening crowd, we were the last of 5 combinations to try and jump the third round clear, the previous four, including Kenny, having had the last 1.75 vertical down.  I was reasonably petrified, as Casino has only ever done one Six Bar before, and I was racking my brains trying to think of the biggest fence I'd headed him at before.... maybe 1.45!  But as he sailed over the 5th in the line, I felt him lock onto the 1.75, and I thought to myself 'you're gonna try and jump this..!!', and hoped for the best.  The roar of the crowd let me know that he HAD actually cleared it, so I was immensely relieved!

Kurt was , again, a star, and relished the stern tests set by Herr Deeg.  He was 2nd in the first jump off class, ran 6th (just out of money) a couple of times, then jumped a super double clear in the testing Mini Prix to run 2nd to last to go, Robert Moffatt on the Vivant sired Finch Farm Viduka.  Vivant had a great show, also siring Diamond B Verona, on whom Chris won Leading Part 3 horse, as well as Virgil, the winner of the Express Eventing class with Shane Rose.  But the show belonged to the awesome Tom Mc Dermott, who was Leading Rider for the second year in a row after an interesting tussle for the title with Chris Chugg.  But Tom stamped his authority with an excellent win in the World Cup on Sam Tripp's Romantic Dream, who was also Leading Part 2 horse.  Tom was also 3rd on his and Carole Mason's Rolex, jumping better than I have ever seen him, and 2nd was another of the younger brigade, Evie Buller and Yalambi's Landor showing the benefit of their NZ tour with an excellent show in Part 2 culminating in a lovely double clear in the World Cup.  The McDermotts and I were lucky enough to have an alleyway to ourselves, with Tom having 6, and my 3, and it was great to observe how well this family unit works, and what a lovely, grounded attitude this boy has, an attitude and demeanour I have also observed in three of the other current great riders I have been priveledged enough to know, Rolf Goran Bengsston, Marcus Ehning and Beezie Madden. 

With our week finished it was then up to Ben and Willy.  Again, challenging tracks for those guys, but Ben and Stephi with Cynan were up to it, with good placings happening.  Nic Bruggeman, daughter of former World Cup rider Leanne, was the Leading Young Rider on recent purchase Twins Zenith, closely followed by James and Todd, and another well bred child, Jake Hunter, son of Gail, on Midnight Rock, was Leading Junior boy.  Queensland's Kate Hinschen, coached by David Finch, was Leading Junior girl on her thoroughbred Not Over.

Vicki and Kurt

Kurt being a star at Sydney Royal. 
Thanks Chrissie Johnson for great photo!

Willy and Benny

Willy and Benny got a 4th and 5th placings in the strong Young Rider
classes at Sydney. Thanks Julie Wilson for the super photo.

Polly

Newest member of Team Roycroft, Polly, finally ventured out to help me
give a lesson to Stephi MacKillop. Mum Penny took the pic
.

The World Cup Final saw the Cup return the the USA after 25 years, with Rich Fellers, in his fifth consecutive final on the super Irish bred Flexible, finally taking it out in the hardest possible way.  A win on the first day in the Table C, one down in the jump off class, then double clear in the Grand Prix, but then had to jump off against Swiss Steve Guerdat for the ultimate prize.  Both were clear, but Rich and Flexible nearly a second quicker.  Edwina on her second string Titus had her best World Cup result finishing 19th with good results all through until 2nd round of the Grand Prix, when 4 fences went down.  But this is an improving combination, and a good back up to her superstar Itot du Chateau.

On the same weekend Lummen 3* saw some of our Olympic hopefuls have a start.  James P-R's Lanosso had the best result in the Grand Prix with 8 faults.  Paul and Nicklaus not far behind with 9.  Amy and Baloubet a bit further down, but had had an excellent result earlier in the show with a 4th placing in one of the big classes.  Julia and Vedor only appeared in one class, but still seems to be having time fault issues, and as the Kiwis found out in the Trans Tasman at HOY, time faults can be extremely costly in a Nations Cup.  Mattie and Harley head to Europe very shortly to take on the Selection Trials, and after doing Hawkesbury, Showcase of Showjumping and Dubbo Shows, I will also head over to observe at our final Olympic Selection Trial at Bourg en Bresse...

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