Ok so finally the wrap up for Australia’s most prestigious event the Sydney CDI.
So we won the Grand Prix CDN. Sorry at the risk of sounding like a complete tool - ME AND TOBY WON THE GRAND PRIX CDN AT SYDNEY CDI 2016!!! That’s just sinking in still. I’m so absolutely humbled by this event in my life. The moment this little foal entered my life. How cool is this little ugly duckling? People who know me, know how many times I’ve said dont care what he does, as long as I have this bloke watching movies on the couch with me, Milo and Tim Tams at the ready, thats all I care about, but to win the GP CDN at Sydney!! H’s still such green horse at this level too, there’s plenty more to come. The really cool part of the story is that this was the first horse we ever bred here, he’s not a fancy import, I wasn't a professional rider until a year ago - having to battle my day job and ride my 4/5 horses from 6pm - 11pm every night. Plus we have trained him all the way from scratch and its heartening to see that you CAN still do this with out being a millionaire (but it certainly helps - and I’m happy to be adopted by one - is it too late?)
In other fantastic news, how great was it to see our wonderful friend the beautiful Sue Hearn win the GP and Freestyle!! One of the quiet achievers in the sport, she’s made more Nationally and Internationally competitive GP horses from scratch than I’ve had hot dinners and I’m so happy for her. Sue’s most definitely not a millionaire and all her horses have been home bred, not fancy pants imports yet she always manages to bring home the goods with her exceptional correct training. Couldn’t have happened to a better person!
Also how cool is Regardez Moi? He is the maternal GRANDDAD to my Toby and he is still going strong in the GP at 20 years old! What a campaigner, so sound in this mind and body still, so well done Heath to keep him going in the peak of health.
And while the congratulations are flowing - I'm so proud of my little best mate Caitlin Radford and how far she's come as a rider, horsewoman and simply as a human being, behaving with grace no matter what life throws at her. Caitlin has overcome more disappointments in her short life than many but nothing gets her down, she just bounces back up and fights on. Her love for her horse is apparent to everyone and the picture of harmony she and her horse XL Overtime created at Sydney was remarkable, especially considering how few times she has ridden him!
We sourced the beautiful Jay (XL Overtime) right after last years Sydney CDI from my great mate Rebecca Walsh and despite a couple setbacks early on with him taking a big break it's been a huge year of learning and developing into the perfect dance partners. We are sad to see him leave our place but very happy he will be worshipped like a king by his new mistress and he so deserves it. The love affair continues!!!
My former working pupil and current bestie Antoinette Lorimer took along her little chocolate Labrador Callum Park Radcliffe for the 6 year old class and performed brilliantly! Its such an achievement to get there and have a 6 year old doing this level of work, and Annie does it with compassion, much patience (!) and really showcases Jack’s talent and her own. Stars of the future for sure but its so nice to have a bit of success along the way ad I was most impressed with Jack’s behaviours and maturity, evening a warm up arena with the Small tour, GP and ALL of the 5 and 6 year olds in it!! Beautiful lad and a beautiful lady.
We have again stolen back our beloved Rikke Buhl-Christensen before she heads home to Denmark (hopefully to come back in a few months to stay with us for much longer!) She has been helping me with all our horses, and in no small part Toby’s success at this event is credited to her. He is so confident and happy now that all theres left to do is ride, not try to keep him in the arena and from spooking at everything and I’m glad to see that some people are taking advantage of this method, even if some others think Yeah we’ve done that - if it hasn’t worked you are not doing this I can assure you! Thanks Rikke!
Sydeny CDI had really great vibe this year with the riders bar and a friendly and inclusive feel. Thanks so much to Toni Venhaus and her team, Cathie Drury Klein, Trevor Klein, Peter Rocca, Graham lever Karen Lever, Gail Benson and all my extended family xxx
Massive thanks to all who have helped us on our journey so far, PeterandDi Jenkyn who has been instrumental in my training and took me from poxy novice rider to National Grand Prix, Equissentials my long term sponsors and mates, Hiscocks Saddleword Saddlery Queanbeyan who provide us with the game changing Carl Hester Range of PDS saddles, and the wonderful clever team at Kohnke’s Own Products who provide our horses with the best health and nutrition and keep them sound and happy.