We attended Red Hill Show on the Sunday which was once again run at Boneo Park. This is such a wonderful venue with a really large arena with the Solitex surface which is great to jump on. We took Animate to give him a start before we took him to Sydney Royal the following week. He jumped well and placed 5th in the A&B grade Championship. MacMillan jumped a super double clean to win the D grade Championship and take home the very popular trophy of a Stihl whipper snipper. Kolora Stud Dash also jumped well to place 5th in the same class.
We then spent the next week at Sydney Royal Easter Show. International course designer Werner Deeg built really interesting tracks with impressive gear and a really lovely arena. I had not competed at this Royal since they had moved it to the new venue and it was all very impressive. Animate placed 5th in the Part A Speed class. The next morning we couldn’t believe it when Animate had an abccess in his back hoof. He unfortunately missed the EA Cup but he was over it in time for the World Cup. We just had one fence down in the first round which qualified us to go into the second round. Again I was really pleased with him and we finished in 6th position.
We then headed home for a few weeks before we planned on coming back to Sydney again for the weekend of World Cups.
Our first competition for March was the Premier Floats Victorian Championships which were held at Teesdale. Brett Hickey of Premier Floats yet again ran a wonderful show with great courses and many interstate competitors. Cavalli Park Annibell had her first start in a Futurity and jumped double clear to finish in 5th place. Animate jumped well in the Victorian Championship A&B grade and finished 8th. We were really pleased with KS Dash as he stepped up to start in the 1.25m and just had one fence down and just had one down in the jump off of the D grade Championship. Congratulations to Kristry Bruhn for winning the VIC Championships!
The other main show for March was the prestigious Dressage and Jumping with the Stars. We had KS Dash and Cavalli Park Annibell in the 6 year old class and Animate in the Current Stars sections. Annibell was 3rd, 4th and 3rd in each class finishing 3rd overall and Dash was 7th, 5th and 7th in each class finishing 7th overall. Animate placed 2nd, 3rd and 6th in each class and also won the leading stallion prize for the show. It is a great event to showcase the ever improving breeding of jumping horses in Australia. Congratulations to Caroline Price for winning the 4 year old section on Forever and placing on Vengence who both had part of their early training done by Paul at Cavalli Park.
We have also just completed our arena and had it surfaced. It is draining really well and is it so lovely to ride on such a big arena, we now have a full course set up with some new jumps and liverpool.
February kicked off with the Grand Valley Show Jumping Classic held at the picturesque Wandin Park. Saddle-Up and Prydes Easifeed were once again fantastic sponsors of this wonderful show. This was the first year there were three rings running which made sure everyone was catered for. The Anker family had very generously put 16 truck and trailer loads of sand over the grass arenas and practise area to make for excellent going. Unfortunately Sunday afternoon saw gale force winds come in and force the cancellation of the Grand Prix and Junior Championships. We were pleased with our team of horses, unfortunately Animate didn’t get a start due to cancellations but the others all jumped well.
The following weekend we headed back to the Lang Lang showgrounds where PPSJC were running their annual Championships. It was a lovely weekend with good weather and the arena looked a picture. Animate was equal first in the A&B grade, Felicity had just one time fault in the C&D grade and we were very happy to have Kolora Stud Dash back competing after an injury and he jumped clean rounds in the maiden D and D grade.
Next was the Victorian Indoor SJ Titles held by Russell Johnstone. The horses all jumped really well with MacMillan placing 5th in the D grade on Saturday and Animate placed 2nd in the Grand Prix held under lights on Saturday night. As always Russell had filled the indoor with a wonderful crowd and created a fantastic atmosphere. On Sunday Northern Felicity placed 5th in the C&D grade and Cavalli Park Annibell was 5th in the Mini Prix. We were very pleased with Bell as this was her first Mini Prix and she is only 6.
We welcomed in 2012 driving home from Bega Show in the truck! We had planned on staying and bringing in the New Year in Bega but with weather forecast predicting 35 degrees New Year’s day we decided it would be too hot to truck them home so after we finished competing we packed them up and headed home in the cool. These horses then had a week spell before preparing them for Lang Lang Ag show on the 21st and 22nd of January.
During this week we enjoyed spending time with Rachael and Hayley and their ponies. We also celebrated Paul turning 40, which was of course after we had carted our 600 square bales of hay into the shed!
Lang Lang was a good show with nice warm weather. On the Saturday Animate placed 6th in the A&B grade and 5th on Sunday. Cavalli Park Annibell was also 6th in the 1.20m championship. Rachael and Hayley also came to the show with their ponies and won a truck load of ribbons in the fun ring. They had a great time along with many other show jumping kids.
December is again very busy with shows and travelling. The first weekend was spent at Tonimbuk Equestrian Centre for their World Cup Show. We were there from Thursday night and although the weather had been pretty wet up till then we were lucky over the weekend with lovely conditions. We were really pleased, all the horses jumped well with Cera Tylo Feel the Heat jumping double clean rounds in the D grades and CP Annibell jumped well in the C grades, this was her first show for the season as she had a few months off with a minor injury. Animate placed 8th in the World Cup on Saturday night. It was a great event as usual with a fabulous atmosphere as the indoor arena was full of spectators.
A week later we headed back to Sydney to compete at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre World Cup Show. We had not been to the venue before and were very impressed with the facilities. The venue was built for the Sydney Olympics and has been maintained beautifully. The stables were magnificent all undercover and there were two huge areas with the main arena having a very large grand stand and trade stall area.
Again, all the horses jumped well but it was very tough to get a place with huge competition. Havelock Batman placed 6th in the 1.10m on Sunday. We were really pleased with Animate in the World Cup. He finished in 11th place with a really solid round.
As it was the final for the World Cup season and they had flown in international course designer Leopoldo Palacious from Europe, the course was very tough. Fourteen fences with a double and a treble. Although I only got to compete in four World Cup’s this season due to only having Animate for a few months we were really pleased to still finish in the top 20 across Australia on the final overall leader board.
We had planned on giving the horses a break over Christmas but as they were all going well and were really fit we decided to go to Bega Show at the end of December. Animate jumped double clean on the first day and finished 3rd in the 1.40m and then jumped clean and had the fastest time in the jump off for the Bega Cup but just had the vertical down coming out of the double therefor, finishing 4th.
A junior student of mine, Natasha Dickson, also travelled with us with her new horse LH Warsaw we recently found for her, previously campaigned by Wes Joyce. She had a great time jumping all double clears with just one down in the jump off of the Junior Championship. Jamie Ellis, another student placed 3rd in this class with a double clean.