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News from Vicki

7 January 2013

Ah now where were we?  Oh my gosh 2012 is gone already, what a pain it is getting old.

Last two shows of the year were great.  Sydney Jump Club have got their grounds, and finally the practise arena grounds, in great order.  Show organizers do tend to ignore a little bit the warm up arenas where horses spend 90% of their time, so that’s where the footing needs to be great.  Excellent work I believe by Andrew Inglis to finally get the dirt/sand  and watering mixture about right to hold up to the heavy work these areas get.  I have been a critic of what I feel are rather excessive charges that Sydney Jump Club ask on everything, but at least nowadays one can see where money is being spent.  So long ago (and short term memory malfunctions...) I can’t remember who won what, but all our guys were great, and I must say, regardless of results, if I can bring home a bunch of happy, sound horses after a show, I am happy! Benny did win a class on the Errol sired Quinella, and everybody got good placings.

The Summer Classic at SIEC happened the following weekend, and it is always so great to look forward to Leopoldo Palacious’ challenging tracks every year.  This year was no exception, but Leopoldo was hampered once again by poor footing at our premier equestrian facility.  It is so sad that back in the late 90’s  SOCOG looked to the world’s leading expert on equestrian footing Herman Duckek to do the arenas for the then upcoming Olympics, and he completely screwed it up.  This became apparent when the first rider into the ring for the first Olympic Jumping Qualifier went flat on his side negotiating a corner.  And we have spent all this time trying to fix it up.  This year the heavy sand rode like porridge, and despite Leopoldo and John Vallances’ best efforts it only improved marginally.  Suited Kenny though, as I had brakes, and never run out of scope, so he won the first 1.40 class!  Sharon Slater and Ulixes were deserving Grand Prix winners over a tough course, that only saw Ulixes be the only  clear through the treble in the first round.  Alison Rowland was the very deserving winner of the World Cup League on her and Nic Taylor’s (drum roll here..) Premier des Hayettes sired Bickley Brook Bella.

Bickley Brook Bella Alison Rowland Aust World Cup League Winners 2012

Bickley Brook Bella Alison Rowland Aust World Cup League Winners 2012

Bickley Brook Bianca Alison Rowland SIEC Mini Prix 2012

Bickley Brook Bianca Alison Rowland SIEC Mini Prix 2012

Two wonderful mares beautifully ridden by Alison Rowland, and both by PREMIER DES HAYETTES. Very proud that my dear little Errol is
leaving such a great legacy of jumpers, with BB Bella (and Doog..) being
the overall winner of the Pacific League of the World Cup this year
Photos: Nicol Taylor

Meanwhile down the other end of SIEC the second and third rings were being conducted for the first time on the large grass arena, and they were great there!  Footing was excellent, and though the distance between the main arena and the grass arenas was long, communication was excellent to be able to keep track of what was happening where.  All horses jumped well, Casino had a little stallion moment at the early open water in the first Mini Prix Qualifier, but was kindly persuaded (!) by me to jump it the second day.  Apart from that he jumped great.  Issie and Pammy have become such a reliable little team, and won a 1.10 class after just missing out by one to qualify for the Junior Final, even though she had jumped clear rounds in both the Qualifiers.  So proud of Steph, Georgie and Jamie P. who all made the Final (Jamie with two), and Georgie, who at the beginning of the year was only jumping a 1metre(!) had the class won but for having the last fence down in the jump off.  Go girl power, and Welshie power, with both Georgie and Stephs’ ponies being Welsh Cob crosses!  Chiara and Puma (another Errol) are coming along in leaps and bounds, not quite literally, but also were placed over the weekend.

So looking forward to George Morris being here.  So sad that he missed last year due to ill health, as I always learn so much from his articulate words of wisdom year after year.  And now he is very happy to be back doing what he loves best, which is teaching.  His passion becomes very obvious when one watches his Clinics, and the clever way that he can put things so simply but improve horses and riders dramatically.  I do credit enormously my success on my first European trip with the wonderful Apache to the help I received from George in the first Clinics he did here in Australia.  It was quite a revelation to me, as Apache had already won the World Cup League here, and about 3 of the Qualifiers, so I thought things were pretty good!  But George helped so much be able to take the next step, and be ready for the mountain that was Europe, so I have been a disciple ever since!

Look forward to seeing lots of you up at Mount White to watch!

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