News from Vicki
12 December 2011
Sorry to be a bit slack on the update department, but we have been doing lots of competing, teaching and changing jumping paddocks here!!
And as for the rain... hadn't been down to Sale for a few years, and while it wasn't a great forecast, it was so miserable here. We didn't work any the day before we left, so arrived with a bunch of fresh horses, but gosh, hadn't everything improved since my last visit! The ground was super, with the warm up being a lovely, sandy surface now, and as for the new stables and yards, plus a smart new office/sponsors area. I don't think there is a Jump Club in the country that has two full sets of magnificent gear like Sale have. Both rings looked really international, and great tracks were designed in both rings by Leeson Sirrett and Stuart Brennan. The first day, Friday, was great, lovely weather and really good jumping. Ouy guys, despite being fresh, jumped their socks off with all my three jumping clear rounds all day, and Benny was going gangbusters in a jump off on Willy, when his Ebay special saddle gave away (girth points broke) and Benny was sitting on the ground with his feet still in the stirrups!! That night the heavens opened, and for the fifth year in a row, Sale turned into a wet,wet show. Re organizing of the program saw just the Mini Prix and the World Cup go ahead. Kenny a good boy, and 4th in the Mini Prix to Hil Scott on Miss Scarlett. Casino just one rail going into the treble, he was late in the class, and ground was a bit sticky, so only 7 clear. Kurt stayed in the box, as I didn't wish to test his leg out. Then a lot of work on the ground, and Leeson miraculously conjured a great COC track for the World Cup that rode well, and saw Chris Chugg win on Michelle Barrera's mare Alondra, riding two outstanding rounds. It rained again that night, so we decided to pull the plug, especially when a giant tractor appeared to pull those who wanted to leave out of the mud!! The organizing committee, headed up by Gavin, Sharon and Teagan Chester were just fantastic, and worked so hard to make a good show, and the fifth year of rain was heart breaking. Talk is that both Sale and Tonimbuk may now shift to the better climate of January. For sure I will be back to support them, no matter when they run!
Sydney Jump Club had their end of year Champs the following weekend, and again the rain made them look doubtful, but the weather Gods were kind, and it was a super weekend. Ground was in fantastic order, even the warm up rings were just about right, and great tracks were designed all weekend by Brad Longhurst in the main arena, with Mark Atkins, Sue Bettington and Mexican David Sheppard doing other rings. All our crew great with the first day being super for Team Roycroft with Issie winning on her little superstar Alf, and Steph riding an excellent round on Cy to win the tough 1.20 Junior. Thought I better step Kurt up a gear to get some performances and he was 3rd in the 1.30, then 5th in the Mini Prix on Sunday, so all going to plan so far. James and Tod finished on top of the National Young Rider series so far, being the only one to jump 4 clear rounds in the 2 classes. He was under strict instructions not to go too crazy in the Young Rider jump off in order to jump clear, so that he would likely win the series, so after running 3rd in the actual class, he had to bust out and go hard in the competitive Mini Prix jump off to win that!! Kenny very good in the Grand Prix to finish double clear and 4th to Cathy Graham and Da Vinci's Pride, a blinder of a jump off, with Sheri Manuel and Renmarno 2nd, and Nick Taliana and Ambrose 3rd.
This is such an appropriate shot of Kurt. Me with a big grin on my face,
and jumping the Agnes Banks Equine fence, as it is many thanks to
Derek and Christine who did the surgery on his anular ligament that has
seen him back in work again.
Benny and Nikki looking great at the SJC Ch'ships.
We have just acquired her full sister who is also for sale!
Yours truly with two of the SJC stalwarts that do so much to make
it the great club that it is, Mark Atkins and President David Lawrence.
So onto SIEC, and if you're gonna be at a wet show, this is the place to be. It dumped down on Thursday, unfortunate for the Young Horse classes judged then, but no lacking in quality for excellent judges Leopoldo Palacious and Michelle Strapp, which saw Finch Farm stallions take out the 5 and 6 year old classes, ridden by Rob Moffatt. Great to see David Finch being rewarded for his years of careful breeding, and outstanding jockey Brooke Campbell took out 7 year old class with Yandoo Lady Gold. Benny and Nikki were clear and great in that class, and Nikki went on and jumped great rounds in the big ring and qualified Benny for the Young Rider Final. Good work for the 7 year old! Leopoldo, as always designed wonderful tracks in the big ring, and fortunately for the most part, the weather was good, but enough rain to keep the footing good, as it needs lots of water. My three guys jumped better and better as the show went on. Kenny still has little confidence issues that were testing both of us the first two days, but on Sunday jumped a lovely clear in the tough Mini Prix, just a touch over the time (I was 4th out, but should know better!) to end up 5th, as only 4 clear rounds. It was won the second year in the row by a Yirkala Stud horse, last year by Cortina and James Mooney, this year Yirkala Elliot, well piloted by ex pat Victorian, now living in Germany, James Passey. So Sue Knox was pretty chuffed! Casino jumped super in the Futurity final on Saturday to just have one down, and finish 5th to Andrew Inglis on Tom Smith's Casper, by Ego Z, fastest 4 faults in jump off from Tom Mc Dermott and Jamie Winning, the only clear rounds. Sam Fasher 4th with a time fault, and Casino 5th. Kurt jumped super all show, and turned many heads with his scope and rideability. He still felt a bit green at this level, as both the Futurity Final and the Mini Prix were solid 1.45 tracks with trebles and open waters, so was pleased that he had only one rail down in Mini Prix, and 2 in the Futurity Final, all jockey errors! World Cup was a great class to watch with a serious track. I had said to Leopoldo earlier in the show that with my Nat Jumping Chairman's hat on we always expected him not to compromise for us at this show, and to build a serious track for this class, so riders would know what they had to do if they got to Europe, and I think he did that! Tom McDermott nearly made it 3 out of 3 after winning both the Junior and the Young Rider classes, but lack of rideability in the talented but bolshy SL Limerick let him down, and he was a gallant 2nd to Billy Raymont, who gave a superlative exhibition of jumping riding to jump the only clear round of the class in the second round on the relatively green NZPH Ocean Beach.
So a short break now, and the plan is to head to Bega, then seriously prepare our very own field here for the George Morris Clinics in January. They are filled to capacity with excellent riders, so plan to come and watch...
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