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News from Vicki

30 March 2016

Olympic year this year, and a number of our hopefuls have headed to Europe to try their luck.  Edwina T-A,  Jamies Kermond and Winning are already based there, as is Julz Hargreaves and Amy Graham, although the latter two seem to be without sufficient horsepower, with Amy having sold her WEG star Bella Baloubet to the US, and Vedor being out of action for a while. Chris Chugg, with Cera Cassiago and Cristalline (owned by Gabi Kuna), Steven Hill with the amazing Bellini’s Star and current Aussie Champs Dave Cameron and Bonnie Martin’s Dyranta are the viable ones making a go for Rio.  James P-R lacking horsepower for the moment, and in the US Matty Williams with Valinski and Scotty Keach with Fedor really looking the goods. So it will be interesting times for our Selectors.  A bit sad our proven selection system has been dismantled to be more subjective, but I can understand cost concerns, but would have been pretty sure there would have been a way to make it still work in a very fair manner.

Chugg has made the first real mark with a spectacular performance on the 8 year old Cristalline (unfortunately too young to go to an Olympics!) by being 10th in the World Cup Finals at Gothenburg.  It was an amazing feat on all levels.  Cristalline is a mare selected and purchased by Gabi and Chris as a 5 year old in Germany, and brought back to Australia, and essentially produced by Gabi under Chris’ guidance.  She was the youngest horse at the Finals, and brilliantly nursed and piloted by Chris over the 3 days of competition.  This says many things.  We CAN produce the horses and riders in this country... there is a need to go to Europe to see what the standard is (very high) and to ride in arenas with the Ludgers, Steve Guerdat’s and Scott Brash’s, but basically we just need 5 or 6 very high quality shows per year here to prepare horses and riders for the final touches in Europe.  And make sure that our horses are produced on excellent footing.  It is my dream that Gerry Harvey and Katie Page may support the Australian industry (that’s what Harvey Norman claims to be right? A supporter of all things Australian?) and create a wonderful facility here such as Ron Southern did for his daughters in Canada at Spruce Meadows... look what that has done for Canadian jumping, AND his daughter Linda got to an Olympics.  Would love to see Georgie riding back here.

Also heartening in that Chugg has been an absolute George Morris devotee (as am I..) and was always the first one to sign himself and his students into the Clinics.  George has been a great influence in this country, and it has been great to see Chuggy (on Vivant and Cassiago), Gabi on Cristalline, and Jamie Kermond and Jamie Winning participating in Clinics in my lovely jumping field. Always great to have input from the superstar trainers such as George Morris and Albert Voorn, who are now regular visitors.

In the meantime while all these starry people have been out of the country, my little Congo has had a super Sydney Royal, winning 2 Part 1 classes and winning the inaugarul David Asimus Memorial Trophy for Leading Part 1 horse.  Dino (Dynamite Bay) found the atmosphere for a 6 year old a bit daunting, but still jumped some spectacular rounds in Part 3.  Great to see James ‘Bruiser’ Hetherington record the biggest win of his career in the final Grand Prix, interestingly on the Bev Chugg bred JB Caribus.

Needing to downsize, getting too old for this, so got some lovely youngsters for sale, so periodically check out the For Sale page.  Also now back on NSWEA Committee, after about a 20 year absence, and great to be working with such a pro active Committee chaired by Peter Dingwall, and CEO Bruce Farrer.  Will try to keep updates more regular now!!

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