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News from Vicki

26 May 2012

SOLO at Mt White

Had to use this photo to show how beautiful Mount White is at this time of year (thanks ex husband Wayne for planting all the beautiful trees!)  Also to show SOLO, who is on the FOR SALE page, check him out...

Only small rests for the wicked.  Rain caused Kerry Winning's brainchild show at Richmond Polo Club, Showcase of Showjumping, to be postponed, so after Sydney Royal, our first show was Hawkesbury.  We (me!) decided to support this show, as it has been improving greatly under the auspices of Sydney Jump Club, and with all the rain, I was pretty sure the footing would be great.  SIEC, on the other hand, where the Weekend of World Cups was held, still has footing issues, especially with the indoor, and if that's okay, the outdoor warm up is crap, or vice versa... and as for all that walking (or biking, or golf buggying if sufficient clients warrant it!) it is a nightmare with the widely separated arenas.  Whearas at Hawkesbury, we parked 10 metres from the jumping arenas, and had a giant warm up, all on good footing.  We had a good show, with Kenny, Casino and Kurt being 1st,2nd and 3rd in the Grand Prix, Kenny being the only double clear around Mark Atkin's excellent track.  Benny also in there being 5th on Willy.  Grant Hughes, who cleaned up most of the other classes, was 4th.  Naomi Murray made the trip down from the Hunter Valley worthwhile with a win and good placings in all the Juniors, while at SIEC Steph and Ri Mackillop had good placings in the Juniors there.  Very proud to see Errol progeny, Peter Cooke's mare Bickley Brook Bella, beautifully ridden by Allison Rowland, win the World Cup class there.  Bella's dad would have been so proud to see one of his children fill his hooves!

Naomi and Max

Naomi Murray won and placed in Juniors at Hawkesbury Show. 
Great job, as Naomi has produced Max herself off the track

Then Showcase of Showjumping.  Stunning venue that has been used once before, but Kerrie and Sue Hartog improved on the first show with more room in the warm ups, and better use of the bank for seating/ trade stands.  Not sure if the sponsor marquee in the middle of the two arenas worked; my concern is that one really doesn't want sponsors looking up horses' bums when seated at ground level.  In Europe the sponsors are always up on a temporary platform, which is an expensive thing to utilize out here, but makes the experience vastly better.  Perhaps next time the trade stands could be in this area between arenas, and the sponsors up on the bank, where the viewing was excellent.  One great innovation was a draw whereby spectators 'drew' riders, and if their rider won, they got a prize.  Super to see that Joyce Brooks won a flat screen TV!  Footing with all the rain, was fantastic, as opposed to the first time there, when it was a bit on the firm side.  The two rings catered for most groups, and the Gold, Silver and Bronze format excellent.  John Vallance and Brad Longhurst did great work on the tracks.  Jamie Kermond showed his trip to the US was not a total loss, as  his riding is awesome.  He did outstanding work to win both Gold classes on his partner Jamie Winning's NZ import Laughton's Legacy, with both the Gold and Silver Finals being very serious tracks.  David Dobson on Akon (by Collins, another stallion I had a hand in importing), 2nd in the World Cup the previous week, was 2nd in the Gold, both Jamie and Dobbo completing super slick jump offs.  Kenny and I slotted in 3rd, not even trying to catch the other 2 boys, but the only other double clear.  Silver was won by Katie McVean and Dunstan Zimorena, again in a fast jump off.  Great to see Katie find some form over here, and good for the Kiwis and us to get out of our 'comfort zones' and take on fresh challenges. Chuggy won the Bronze, also in a fast jump off, and Casino jumped his socks off  for 4th.

Kurt at SOS 

Can't help using photos of Kurt. Here he is at Showcase of Showjumping, where he was great on the first day, but a bit overwhelmed on the second!

Steph and Cy at SOS

Steph and Cy both looking suitably determined at SOS show. 
They placed in both their classes

Benny and Vicki at SOS

Benny and I in discussion about the Gold track on Sunday at SOS

Then the trek up to Dubbo Show, which despite the freezing nights, had typically beautiful, sunny days.  Great stabling, good footing at this time of year (but not for Aus Ch'ships last October!) and good program and tracks by Warren Priestley makes this an annual trip for us.  Casino improved his Six Bar expertise by making it 2 wins out of 3 starts by being the only clear at 1.65 on Saturday evening. Gaby Kuma had a great show by taking out both the A and B jump off class and the Grand Prix on her super little thoroughbred, Diamond B Jimmychoo.  Gab has pretty much produced him herself, although he obviously started his career in the Chugg stable.  Kurt was 5th in the Grand Prix, and Kenny was having brake issues again, rectified in the Sunday A and B with a change of bit.  Benny was great on Willy, and Puma des Hayettes, who was 2nd in one of the competitive D Grades.  Puma has now been purchased by Chiara Amour, and we look forward to seeing them out together from their base now at Mount White.  Issie and Pamelet just keep on improving, and jumped an awesome round in the tough C abd D Grade Grand Prix, just having a bit too deep a spot at the treble for a rail.  Also on the same weekend Georgie Grove, Steph and Ri MacKillop and Karlie Wybro were doing Team Roycroft proud with wins and placings at the Pony Club State Equitation titles, Georgie taking out the under 15 title.

Overseas action is hotting up for our Olympic contenders.  Edwina has deservedly been given pre selection based on her consistently outstanding performances, and has been in the Rolex Top 10 rankings for 10 out of the last 12 months.  Then 7 others will be battling it out for the other 4 spots available at Bourg en Bresse 4*.  I will be in France for 10 days to see all the action, can't wait!  I also spoke to George Morris not long ago, and he is sounding much better health wise, and is looking forward to coming out again next January, once he has finally retired from his US Chef d'Equip duties.  So Benny, Karlie and new recruit Camille will be in charge here in my absence.

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