James Deacon

Author's details

Name: James Deacon
Date registered: 22/10/2014

Latest posts

  1. Mildura 2016 — 08/08/2016
  2. Hp Camp at SIEC — 10/05/2016
  3. Camden Equestriad — 10/05/2016
  4. Locking ton Take 2 — 10/11/2015
  5. Kirby Park Owners required — 21/09/2015

Author's posts listings

Aug 08 2016

Mildura 2016

Mildura 2016

 

Where to start…? Been a couple of years since we have been back to Mildura and wow were we impressed. A quick walk down memory lane.. Mildura horse trials were actually starts approx. 10 years ago as a year 12 project, it was such a huge success people have been getting behind it ever since and it has done nothing but grow. When we were there in 2013 we were the only large truck in the recently raised and leveled area behind the club rooms, this year, 2016 the cars, trucks, goosenecks continued far into the distance with approx. 190 entries!!!! We are so thrilled to see the efforts of so many hard workers paying off and from the bottom of our hearts we appreciate what you guys do for us (the competitors). From our standpoint it is a great event for us to bring our Kirby Park Babies along to, Fridays dressage day, the show jumping area, the warm up areas, the ever growing CC course (with new water jump I might add) why wouldn’t you make this the first stop on the calendar for the 2nd half of the year!?

 

On board this week we had KPI Zinc, KPI Snow, KP Harrison, KPI Muskateer, KP Northern lights and a huge hole in the truck where the one, the only Horseware Pav ‘would’ have been. He was all entered, he was begging his strenuous preparation for his first event (being ridden twice before the dressage day) and in his second ride Heidi noticed he was a little off. Sure enough my Blonde bombshell of a wife was correct… again… HW Pav had a nice juicy abcess brewing in his left front foot. Our resident Bachelor heart throb of a farrier ‘Sir Bradley’ was unable to find the unwanted guest in HW Pavs foot, this meant wrapping him up and leaving him behind for him to recover and build his strength for the Mount Gambier Horse trials in a couple of weeks.

 

We set off with heavy hearts as the big man remained behind, destination Mildura. Arriving at 6pm, the truck and float were cleaned and washed out, horses stabled, bandaged, rugged and fed. We piled into the truck for dinner and a movie and awaited direction from Heidi on tomorrows schedule of dressage. Mildura Horse trials run a totally separate dressage day (championships, with champions and reserve on points in each level) on the Friday. For us it is brilliant as we can bring the babies and get them used to the atmosphere, loudspeakers, cars, and lots of horses in a warm up area.   KPI zinc, snow and KP Harrison have literally never done a dressage test or left Kirby Park in there lives!! So for these youngsters were were so happy we were able to do this.

 

They day was underway before we knew it with warm up times, ‘horse ready by’ times, lunge times, dressage times all noted and approaching fast. The day flew past for us. Zinc who has been giving Vicki (supergroom in training) somewhat of a ‘spirited ride’ in recent days managed to keep all the beans in the can and worked though his test.  Heidi Piloted Snow around the test in a lovely baby fashion and he was able to show his maturity and work ethic. Our OTT KP Harrison put in a super effort for his first non race day outing.  Northern Lights and KPI Muskateer were able to do 2 x tests each in different classes which was great for Heidi and the horses in the lead up for the actual event dressage the following day. All horses performed well (even though we did grit our teeth through some movements) Boss was happy and we were ready to bunker down for the night.

For many of you out there you are aware that I am from Victoria, in 2010 when the interstate free trade agreement took place Heidi had been keeping her eye on the different players and was deep into negotiations with my former employer/partner. Now I am not sure what the amount was that they settled on but I do know that a player with my skill, my extremely young age, my excellent bone structure (thanks mum) and the fact that I need little or no contact/maintenance to keep me performing were all aspects Heidi wanted on her team moving forward. Completely unaware I had been lined up for the job I felt like a 14 year old boy walking into an arranged marriage with some one I had never met. With the new rules of the free trade agreement stating that all players (young men) will have completely little or no say in who or where you get traded to I had no choice than to pray my future employer would be as loving and as soft on the eye as my previous… Before I know it I was plucked from the arms of my previous employer, handed a stable fork, shown the cab of a truck and told to ‘Git er Done’. All of this being said I have left behind a family asking ‘why?’ and now 6 years into my sentence hmm hmm sorry, what I meant to say was 6 years into my new contract with Heidi I had gained certain privileges. I was able to walk on grass instead of concrete floors, I was permitted 40 mins of sun light per day, I was also permitted the use of a phone (phone calls only, no internet or facebook) where I had re-established a relationship with my father Barry.

 

‘Ole Man Deacon’ (Barry) had recently travelled his long time hunting companion ‘Cooper’ to Kirby Park where he had been focused intently on getting him fit and working towards his first EA official event in some time for both Horse and rider. Nothing new for either member of this combination eventing was a passion that they both had planned jumping back into at some stag. Recent years dedicated to Polo and hunting had left Cooper in the paddock saving his strength where he would once again be piloted around a CC course. Barry and Cooper had their times, wake up, horse to be equissaged by, fed by, rider ready by etc etc. knowing the ‘MO’ of one ‘ole man Deacon’ we were awaiting the 30 minute -1 hour lateness and all hands were on Cooper making sure he was turned out perfectly. Before we new it Cooper and ‘OMD’ were plaited, tacked up, dressed and already walking around the dressage warm up!! Todays test would be a tougher for the combo so Heidi Skills were called upon to gently whisper in her sultry feminine voice to the rider in the ring. Today was totally acceptable for Barry to have a caller in his test, and call she did. Although I hear rainbows and butterflies and all things yellow when she talks, some other people (in neighbouring suburbs… such as MELBOURNE) were calling the Mildura horse trials to ask them to turn down the foghorn. I didn’t care what they said, my angel was expressing herself through the majesty of dressage test 1.2 and it sounded lovely. More to the point Barry could no.1 hear the test being called and No.2 knew where to go and what to do when he got there…..well…. most times, Heidi did forget a couple of movements and maybe add some others.. but that’s just the joy of being Heidi.. she does what she likes and any opposes will be interrogated and shot.  Cooper and Barry sailed around their first dressage test in over 10 years to finish 16/25 a very respectable position, I would go as far as saying that would be classed as a win!!!

 

With Friday under our belts Saturday was the business end, horses were plaited, sponsors saddle cloths were out and it was show time, Fridays dressage day had gotten most of the nervs out of the way for the babies (and OMD) so today should have been more focused on the job at hand. Zinc handed in a much better test landing him in 18th position after dressage, Snow also had more improvement finishing in 8th position after dressage and KP Harrison was also much more relaxed placing 3rd after dressage. KP Northern lights would also hand in an nice test, enough to place 4th after dressage, last out of the KP Cannon was KPI Muskateer.  Last but not least were the stars of the show. Barry and Cooper warmed up in perfect fashion Barry remaining calm and putting together a good test and Barry didn’t even get lost….. that’s a win!! Then it was straight into the SJ warm up,  nice and slow and controlled saw all fences jumped with confidence and control then………….. we entered the SJ arena. Most of what coach and student had just discussed had gone out the window with Cooper turning into half a lowered drift car with slicks on! Thank god for the sand arena which saw the pair remain on 4 legs. A poor approach to fence 4a on a curving line saw the stately gentleman have one down behind which would prove to be a small victory. Cooper would jump up the ranks after SJ into 15th place with his sights firmly set on tomorrows CC phase!  The babies all were very ‘interested’ in the SJ ring, super slow rounds with plenty or trotting and popping. So happy they weren’t scared or naughty, they all listed to Heidi and Vicki and a huge positive can be taken away from it all. Harrison and Snow were now out of the placing sliding down the order  due to time faults, but were were here for the experience for these youngsters.

 

The last day would see our hopes of this professional outfit laying firmly on the shoulders of elderly couple of the group. Cooper and Barry were in a position to crack the top ten but would have to wait for Heidi to set sail on the youngsters before he could let his steed loose on CC. Snow, Harrison and Zinc were all out of the gates first, Zinc and Vicki came home safe and sound (Zinc even Cantered which he is a little unsure of) to clinch 13th position Well done little Zinc and Vic. Snow was a little unsure of the water as was Harrison which saw some time incurred but great runs by both very pleased with the day. Northern Lights jumped a lovely Clear round of Show Jumping (one of his best yet) but unfortunately the thousands of natural oranges in and around the water jump was enough to throw up a flag for the black warmblood and his round ended there. Not because he wouldn’t jump in but because he got such a fright by the thousand he spun around at the drop in and literally spun Heidi off. Landing on her feet with airvest inflated around her.  Muskateer was awesome in her best SJ round to date, a recently changed bit seems to be offering more control to Heidi which the pair seem to like. CC was no different, a lovely jumping round saw Heidi and Muskateer home safe and sound and ready to load up and head home! Last but certainly not least was ‘Ole Man Deacon’ and his trusty steed Cooper. Usually this combination would be blasting across the countryside jumping fences twice this size but today we were hoping for a nice and easy introduction back intot he world of eventing. OMD had walked his course twice, had the jumps memorized in his head and was ready to warm up… or…. He could jump one warm up jump and then go out directly on course… (what ever works)…. The combination were out of the starters hands and over the tricky fence 1, on to fence 2 and out of sight. Back into view after fence 3a, b the combination looked like they were full of running, and run they did… Cooper was intent on going as fast as he could and Barry was not, some minor discussion had between horse and rider on several approaches to jumps so an overall solid round, Clear on jumping and Clear on time. Barry and Cooper placed 4th in the training 60 at the Mildura Horse trials!! Congratulations dad, was so proud of you out there, watching you together with Coop made me so happy seeing you together out there doing what you love! All the Kp crew, Megan and I are so proud and can’t wait for Mount Gambier!!!

 

So besides the highest placed MJET member having a combined horse and rider age of 147 years old, we got there and we got the job done. Was good to be back on the road and we are looking forward to Mount Gambier.

 

As always thanks to Our home base support, thanks to our family and friends who we barely see, thank you to our sponsors, thank you to the team that keeps our horses going, James Gardiner, Anton and Brad our farriers, and Emma, your magical fingers are always welcomed. (yes James I am always happy for your magical fingers to touch me as well).

 

Until next time,

 

Peace out

Hedi, Jd, Riki and the BOB.

 

May 10 2016

Hp Camp at SIEC

High performance camp at SIEC

 

Been some time….

Maybe too long…

Have I still got what it takes?

To make you laugh?

To make you smile?

To make you think…”oh good I hope I don’t have to read any more of this for a while!”

 

After what seemed like a 20 second hiatus, all at KP were holidayed, homed, returned and ready for the season ahead. Some new faces with both 2 and 4 legs at KP this year, some familiar faces bid us farewell but the one constant still remained… Heidi was destined to become the best horsewoman ever to walk this earth. All the horses were happy and healthy after a short break between Adelaide/Camperdown Christmas, with so may of them on different programs it was decided to keep them ticking over in January as we new our season was going to require a full, fit team. We got news early in the year that there would be a High performance camp for Megan and Listed horses up at SIEC (Sydney International Equestrian Centre) in Feb and we were glad our horses were already in work and ready to go. Usually we open up the Eventing season at Lockington but this would have to wait another 3 weeks. We left Kirby Park in the early hours of Saturday morning Destination Sydney. With 6 on board we endured the 42 degree weather across the Hay plain to our overnight destination at Tarcutta. Both horses and humans were relieved to arrive and enjoy some low 30’s temperatures.. horses were all out in big yards over night which they loved after the 14 hour of travel. Day 2 would see an easier 4 hour stint land us at our lovely friend Jades property in Cattai. Well we thought it was lovely.. I loked at the truck temp and it was saying it was 36 degrees, quite bearable.. then I looked at Jade and some of her staff who were walking up to the truck and wondering why they looked like they had a bucket of water thrown at them….. then I opened the truck door and got hit with the same bucket of water… 88% humidity… holy hell!!! I died instantly on the spot.. I cant explain to you just how bad it was.. we had 2 days of the high humidity before it dropped down but wow what an experience!! We based ourselves at Jades for 3 days and commuted in and out of SIEC each day until Megans lessons and camp was completed. On Wednesday we stayed in at the venue and got the horses stabled and set up on site which I think we were all relieved to have done..

 

THURSDAY…

 

We had 5 horses to dressage 5 horses to SJ and 3 horse to CC on the 1 day. Between the 3 of us we were on bikes, horses, on foot (at the coffee van), truck all waiting for the last horse to be done and the day over.. First two horse out of the gates were our newsest recruit Kirby park Northern Lights (Kai) and Horseware Pav.. (affectionately known as “my cart horse”). Heidi and I walked out to the dressage warm up at 6:45 and began doing heaps of little circles. I never understood why they do so many circles in the warm ups… don’t you get allotted a certain amount? What if you run out of your quota whilst your doing your test… my theory is.. less Is more. I do minimal circles, most of them are squares, to be honest… I just ride in heaps of wiggly lines.. no. 1 its easier, no 2 my cart horse thinks its easier no 3. ITS EASIER…. So here I am… wiggling around the arena.. and then “JAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!? “  Heidi… she had seen my warm up and was not impressed, from the moment I heard the angelic shreak of my supermodel model wifes voice, to the point of impact of her dressage whip in the left side of my neck was literlly not even as long for my brain to compute just how much the dressage whip was going to hurt. My body must have know what was coming as I had shortened my reins and kicked my cart horse almost in harmony To Hedis over hand right back hand polo style blow to my upper torso.. Circles were ridden.. good ones to.. maybe too good. My cart horse (Horseware Pav) was loving the amount of circles we could do with out cantering… until something sounding like the 3rd Reich movement of the early 40’s Belowed across the warm up arena.. “CANTER< CANTER NOW!!!” for those of you thinking this type of behavior is harsh or demanding.. (I beg you to not think like that.. we are not permitted to think freely here at KP, so please stop it.. you will get us all in trouble), but seriously.. this was Heidis more affectionate way of politely requesting I change what I was doing (with out striking me). HW Pav was warming up beautifully, sure enough the bell rang and it was our time to show the judge what we hadn’t learned…We had to learn a new test the day prior and I was wrapped we didn’t forget it. Most of the circles were circles, no bell was rung for errors and we ‘centre line and fine’ before I new it!!! (just came up with that then.. think I like it).

Kai, Hunter, Mouse and Candy all followed in the coming hours for their own respective tests.

Candy 7th on a 53.9

Hunter 2nd on a 51.3

Mouse 1st on a 37.8

Kai 4th on a 40.20

HW PAV 19th on a 65.10

 

Was a mixed bag of results for the rest of the day. Our limited CC schooling for the young ones and HW Pav (cart horse) meant anything can and will happen on course. Pav who is clearly not built for speed struggles with some of the hills and any steam we had at the bottom of the hill is looooooong gone by the top, this would mean tires legs would not let him sail over fence 6 on the first attempt, presenting one more time saw HW pav with more breath and a pep in his step as he cruised around the rest of the course even jumping some shared pre-lim fences. Kai in his first CC track surprised as all and not only smashed the jumping efforts but was too fast!!! Heidi is very excited by this horse who is showing us on a daily basis how talented he is. Another surprise in store for us with KPI Muskateer with an uncharacteristic stop at the water, to be fair the youngster hasn’t don’t much water schooling at home and on the 2nd attempt it was if the water wasnt even there, the rest of the round was cruisy and effortless for the KP Mare as she gave Heidi that famliar feeling she gets from Candy and our past champion KPI EMPRESS. Hunter and Candy would SJ next in what we could explain to be a schooling round. Heidi had her mid week coaching on these horses and the team played around with some things, what a perfect time to try some of these changes.. unfortunately they didn’t pan out. Hunter having 2 rails early in the course, Heidi quickly adjusted things back to her riding style and jumped a lovely clear 2nd half of the round which would land Hunter 3rd overall in the combined. Candy would suffer a similar fate. 3 down would see her drop from 7th down to 11th in the combined.

 

Mouse would have 2 rails and drop her from 1st to 12th with her stop.

Kai would only have the 1 rail in his first event ever leaving him in arespectable 7th position at days end.

Then the one you have all been waiting for… HW Pav.. My cart horse warmed up well but jumped poorly, a full day of competition proving a bit much for my valiant warrior who took down just the one rail to land him in 22nd.

 

Pretty average day of results all round, lucky for MJET and HW Pav we had a day off and then got to try again..

 

A day off, what a wonderful thing.. a minor sleep in was had (8am) then some housekeeping, cleaning the truck, organizing gear, laying with fluffy russles (who by this stage of the trip had spent all of 9 minutes outside of the comfort and A/C of the truck), hacking out the horses, watching a movie and having HW pav washed, shampood, groomed and plaited by Heidi. I cant tell you how lucky I felt to have this blonde goddess getting my horse, MY HORSE ready for my competition.. I felt so blessed, as if god herself had pointed her finger down and touched Horseware Pav on the head and said “I choose you”, she then sent an Angel (Heidi) to groom him.. yep.. that is literally exactly what happened.

Before we new it bed time was upon us, Penguins of Madagascar was on the Screen, dinner was consumed and the sound of sleep deprivation were omitting from our truck.. early start again for the team. Luckily only HW pav and Kai had another full 1 day of competition and the other 3 had 2 days to break up their phases. Kai was out first again, like Thursday he showed Heidi he was only to happy to please bringing home a 38.4 which was enough to win the dressage in his class. Kai would yet again show he is enjoying his life as an eventer, in only his 2nd ever CC round he had another clear jumping round with only 3.6 time faults. An unlucky 4 penalties given to the black warmblood in SJ where he spooked and came to a stop in one of the corners of the course. Disappointing as he was clear on jumping but this would be classed as a stop. None the less he would place 3rd in his 2nd event ever and we couldn’t be happier with his efforts.

 

Hw Pav had a lovely dressage test, getting stronger in some areas and less resistant in others HW Pav would do enough in the judges eyes to get his best score yet, a 63 penalties. Having a full day to recover from the nighmare that was 3 phases in 1 day… Cart horse was fired up for CC. this time fence 6 was not the thorn in the side of this magnificent steed, nor were any of the other fences for that matter, clear on jumping and clear on time which would see him jump 7 places where he would remain. A tired Pav saw 2 lazy rails dropped behind to land in his best position yet, 25th. Well done Pav.. loving having you as my team mate as we eat up the low end of the intro places…

 

KPI Muskateer would have a better day out this weekend. Another lovely test (but with room to improve) would see a score of 41.1 going into SJ. An absolutely beautiful jumping round would see Mouse drop only 1 rail, yet another improvement on the earlier event. Unfortunately dropping her one place to 3rd. Like HW Pav Mouse wouldn’t make the same mistake twice boldly jumping through the water and home safe, clear on jumping, clear on time to retain her 3rd place. Well done Mouse!

 

Candy would place 7th again after dressing on a better test and a better score, a 49 would be enough to position her well going into CC. absolute carnage was to unfold out on course with falls, eliminations, stops and time faults all taking there toll on the field. Fortunately Heidi and her red headed supermodel Candy were able to hold it all together. Although incurring 2.8 time faults (3rd fastest on the day) Candy would go from 7th to 1st!! what a jump! SJ would prove to be exciting as there wasn’t a rail in it between 1st and 4th, everyone needed to jump clear. Jump clear they didn’t.. 4 out of the top 5 had 1 rail or more including candy with her 1. This was enough for Kirby Park Impress to open up her Winning schedule for the year and brought home the win at the Randwick Equine 3*.

 

Last out of the gates was History. Ongoing journey with this horse, I dont think 2 steps forward and 1 step back is the right saying here as there simply are no steps back. History just goes from strong to stronger. His education and strength (or should I say weight loss) is increasing (and decreasing) every day. His eagerness to please is evident in everything he does and our understanding of him is growing every time we take him out. Working his warmup out has been very tricky and on going, going from 1 ride to 2, up to 3, back to one and varied lengths has been the key to getting the very best out of the Huntman in the ring. This weekend was no exception, only 2 days prior his warm up was 15 minutes longer than todays with the 15 minutes less Heidi was able to ride him more in his test and this showed in his score. Hunter winning the 2* dressage on a 46.7 well done Hunter! Last time out on Course was Adelaide where Megan wanted a nice confidence building run. Some people may see the many time faults he had as a negative but on the day hunter jumped everything in sight, he had fun and built his confidence 10 fold. Today Megan was able to take that memory and push him a little bit harder. Jumping better (not so big) which is proof that his soft run around Adelaide at a comfortable pace did nothing but benefit him, his confident stride and elevated fitness saw another lovely clear jumping round with only 7.8 time faults. Heidi indicated he had plenty left in the tank to make time but this was just another education session for him who is definitely destined for great things. After CC Hunter had dropped from 1st to 4th with his time faults. An almost perfect jumping round, having the unlucky last plank down. What an effort and what a horse. Well done Hunter, 4th in your first event of the year, we are all so excited to see what this year holds. Again huge thanks go out to Janey and Sadie Hunters Owners. We love him so much and we thank you guys as always for trusting his studdness with us..

 

Trip home was pretty un eventfull, Got out of SIEC at 4:30, drove to Tarcutta for a 7 hour rest then the 5am -4pm slog back home to the magical lamd of Festy Hair and Floyd Fluff…. Hahdnorf……

 

Going to be a big year for Mjet and as always we couldn’t do it without our supporters, Our family both Jones and Deacons.. thank you all for putting up with us, phone calls on the road, AC on when we get home, texts over the weekend, they all make us feel that little bit closer to home. Our sponsors.. not just going to thank you all but also thank you for having such amazing products. We are truly blessed to be able to have the best when it comes to everything. We just took 5 horses, travelled them 2 days to Sydney in 42 degree weather with no issues, our treatments, our feed, our gear, our medications just the best in the business. There simply is no substitute for anything we use. Equissage.. this keeps megan going personally on a daily basis, her stress fractures in her back and bulging discs make brushing her teeth an impossible task, the hand held almost elmiates the pain. KER drink up… our horses didn’t ant to drink.. 42 degrees and they don’t want water.. sache of drink up and we have a party, don’t know what is in it but it bloody works!! Promectin Plus Mini wormers no itchy bums (this is a win for both horse and human), Horseware Ireland… our fly vales and coolers were on show all week as it is all we used and the horses thank you for sure!! Barastoc how do you feed a team of horses with a range of weights from 450-800, warmblood, TB, ASX, Clydy we had everything on the truck this week and they were all taken care of with the range of feed from Barastoc, it truly makes our life so much easier, Kep.. keeping Heidis head safe and in Model contract form.. have to love this product, Gary Slack.. Bonnetts cant ride a horse with a out a saddle and saddles we have, our biggest and longest standing friend and Sponsor Megan couldn’t get the results she does with you under her, I mean under her but, I mean sitting on you.. you know what I mean.. Thank you Gary.. Also it is very hard to run a horse that isn’t sound, keep our horses sound and in the best health possible is the team at Morphetville Vet Clinic, your genuine concern for our team is truly appreciated. Holly and Warren are always on site when we need them and a sigh of relief any time we see that Black Prado coming up the driveway.

 

We have a week off to get things ready for Lockington, then over to Victoria for Tonimbuk and into the season we go..We look forward to having you all along for the ride this year. Going to be exciting as always, who knows what will be in store!!

 

Signing off for now,

Heidi, Jd (rider of cart horse) Riki and…… The Bob.

May 10 2016

Camden Equestriad

Our favourite event of the year! Camden Equestriad 2016 was here!! 7 loaded up and rad y to unload on the NSW eventing scene!!

Hunter and Candy would be in the 3* class (Hunters first 3*) Mouse in the PN, Eve and Kai in the PL and Roxy in the New Comers class.

Writing this to you from the living area of the truck whilst we are actually at Ballarat horse trials (a little belated I know) but i had written the write up of all write ups then…. technical error. lost it.. so i am about ready to throw my computer out the windows so this one will be brief and to the point as we have tests and SJ today and I still have 2 write ups to get through.

Candy and Hunter were the stand outs, both making improvements on their weak points of the dressage tests, Candy would jump another clean SJ round and would have yet another superb CC round to bring home the chocolates in the CNC 3*. the Huntman passed in another lovely Dressage test, 1 rail in the SJ and a spooky green stop (not a physical stop but more of a good look) at the sunken road which caused carnage through out the day. Hunter had done enough to bring home 4th place in his 1st 3*.

 

The babies tests were a little disapointing, Kai, Mouse and Roxy did not like the hard ground and Heidi had to do all she could to keep the horses focused on the job at hand. the rest of the event was more of a training run for the youngsters, Clear rounds and good strong confidence builders CC so we were happy with them overall.

Next week would see us move on to Reynella with the same line up..

 

 

Nov 10 2015

Locking ton Take 2

Lockington take 2.

 

Well where do I start…? It has been many moons since the last website update in which time many events have taken place. Our beautiful Black horse is back with his owners for a career in Dressage, we wish all the best to Zac, Carrol and George. Harry the hunk has began yet another new phase of his life and is trying his hand in the show ring, already with 2 wins under his belt he is definitely enjoying the variety that life has to offer. Which leads me to my next point, we are still seeking owners for 3* horses Kirby Park Invader (Freckles) and Kirby Park Impress (candy) also Kirby Park Irish Muskateer (Mouse) competing Pre-novice as we speak who is about to go 1* early in the new year. For more information on Mouse feel free to email James on loganfloats@gmail.com

 

As some of you may know I missed my first event in 5 years just recently due to a horrific mental illness ‘notspendingenoughtimewiththeboysitis’. After a small prescribed 5 days away I returned to find the operation in shambles. I am not going to describe the events that took place but I will list some points for you to formulate your own mind.

 

  1. Truck batteries were flat.
  2. Heidi fell off hunter in the 2*.
  3. I have no idea where Pedro is or how to find him.
  4. Vic (supergroom) missed the entire bank complex on ‘Pony’.
  5. There has been a sever lack of rain
  6. To much sun
  7. Hay hasn’t grown fast enough

 

When confronted by all of the issues Heidi simply shrugged her honey tanned shoulders and said in her heavily accented voice “Oh well, maybe you shouldn’t miss another event again?” as I began agreeing with her and promising to god, buddah, allah and the equine gods that as long as I was walking around on this earth I would never miss another event, EVER!!! Then as I am saying this I take note of a smug little smirk on the supermodels face, that knowing smirk when (as a man) you know your wife has subconsciously, mentally, telepathically, Jedi mind tricked you into some sort of reverse psychology .. GOD DAMN IT!! I got sucked in again.. anyway, such is life caught between a rock and Heidi..

 

As you are all aware we are only 10 days out from the Adelaide horse trials Floyd is doing well and his prep has been interrupted with travel, events, hard ground and some dressage discussions between Heidi and Horse, however it is clicking into gear at the right time. Hunter is also competing at Adelaide in the 2* class who is going from strength to strength Freckles and Candy are both competing in the Eventing Grand final and potentially Megan will also ride Candy in the dressage masterclass. Selection year for Floyd for next years Olympics so stress levels are high and sleep levels low!

 

On to the event! Lucky for us the amazing event organizers at the Lockington horse trials have decided to lace up the boots and take the public on for another event. As locals we love this event, nearby, great location good CC track and enables us to have another run for young horses or our 3* guys in preparation for the big events. We really hope you are able to run this twice a year as will be bringing a pile of horses and continue to support your event. Cant speak highly enough of the event, thank you for doing what you do in putting on this event.

 

5am we left KP with 7 on board, Floyd and Candy in the 3*, Hunter in the 2*, Mouse and Buddy in the 105, ‘pony’ in the newcomers (piloted by supergroom) and Pav (Pavarotti) my 17.3 Clydy cross buckskin or ‘the Cart horse’ as I affectionately call him. Floyd was unsettled in his warm up and although his overall test is much better Heidi wasn’t happy with his performance. Unfortunately leaving the ring knowing he had more to give. Floyd still did enough to win the class and was in 1st position going into tomorrows day of jumping. Candy did everything perfectly and tried her heart out, this mare goes from strength to strength and as her name implies continues to ‘Impress’ us at every event. Changes were getting better and still a little unbalanced in her canter work, but she did one of her best tests so far at this level and we did the 4* test as well, she did enough to take home 3rd after dressage. Hunter… where do I start with this horse.. 6 months ago he was competing in Pre-lim. And now he is winning or placing in the 2* field.. what an incredible animal. Huge thanks must go out to our friend and Hunters owner Sadie Michelle, thank you so much for trusting us with your man, his zest for life and eagerness to learn can’t help but put smiles on all of our faces at KP, thank you. Besides an error of test (another black mark against Heidis name), Hunter did a brilliant test, no mistakes, getting much more refined this combination are a tweak or two away from perfecting the art. Unfortunately the error of test dropped Hunter from a 1st to 2nd on a 48.8 only 1.1 behind the leader, still very happy and excited to see what the close competition will bring tomorrow. Next up were the babies, Mouse and Buddy, since Megan has taken over the rides of these horses they have matured both mentally and physically. Mouse with her floating trot and soft gliding canter yet again won the dressage on a 45.5 and Buddy only 10 points away in 6th. Great positions to be in for tomorrows day of jumping.

 

Now for the star attractions of today’s dressage, ‘Pony’ and supergroom . Pony was up first, Literally first out at 8.30am, her education under Vic has been a steady slope and after today’s display it is clear to see that it is all finally meshing. Few mistakes and a nice overall test which would land the combination in 8th place going into the Show jumping and show jump THEY DID. First out onto the jumping ring was pony and Vic and what a round!!! Not a tap, not a knock, not even a hesitation in a display to show the rest of the field just how to jump a clear round. The combination jumped up one place into 7th going into tomorrows cross country. Well done to both Pony and Vic for a great day at the office!

 

Tomorrow will be our standard hectic day of SJ rounds and CC rounds. With all the horses in great positions we are in striking distance for tomorrows final day!!

 

To our family friends and sponsors, thank you for your help over the recent weeks, we have the last stint ahead of us now and then end of the season is in sight. It has been a long year and we hope to finish with some wins on the board..

 

Signing off until tomorrow.

 

Jd, Heidi, Supergroom, Riki, The Bob and Mr Chow.

Sep 21 2015

Kirby Park Owners required

As many of you would be well aware breeding horses can be a hit or miss proposition, most of it is about the mare but just how much is about he sire? Then there is the 3-4 years of waiting before you even know if it can jump, will it move, how will it handle the pressure at a 3 or 4*..?  We have taken years to get our bloodlines established and are proud to say we are well on our way with consistently producing champions. With Bloodlines going back to Kirby Park Irish Hallmark (Megans first 4* horse Paddy), Kirby Park Irish Jester (who needs to introduction) we are certain we have a winning formula. That being said we have our next stable of champions ready and waiting for new owners.. With several of our home bred horses already listed for future development teams we are excited as to what the future holds.

 

Also a big congratulations must go to Barry and Sandra Deacon who have bought our most recent edition Kirby Park Kingdom (Ziggy), thank for your patience in letting us find the right horse, we look forward to a long relationship with you as owners here at Kirby Park.

We currently have 4 horses who are in work and competing with wins and placings already under their belt,  ranging from Pre-novice, 1* and 3* these horses have shown that they do have what it takes to be ‘team’ horses. It truly is a great way to be a part of Australian Eventing at an elite level with one of Australia’s Elite riders.

Our goal here at KP is to produce champions, get horses listed and make the cut to get on teams for Trans Tasman, World Equestrian Games and Olympic games.

For more information on these 4 horses we have available for ownership please email James at loganfloats@gmail.com

 

Sep 05 2015

Camden dressage Day

  • The travelling gypsy wagon had spent the week at Shane and Niki Rose place in Werombi NSW. Was a nice slow week (well as slow as it can be with 8 horses), supergroom got it done every day and all the horses were well prepped for the upcoming event. Huge thank you to Shane, Niki, Rach and all the team at Bimbadeen park honestly guys we have never been made feel more welcome anywhere before, thanks.

     

    Horses were worked and plaited early in the day Friday and we arrived on site at Camden early afternoon. Truck and float mucked out and the mobile ‘rancho relaxo’ was ready to house, feed, rest and sleep master and commander (Heidi), Supergroom, yours truly and team Russell. Saturday would begin at 6.30am and finish at 4:45pm so a long day but relatively calm day with only 3 classes to jump between. This may sound a bit silly or arrogant to people but when we have over 7 horses in 4 or more classes (which happens quite a lot) it means Supergroom, Heidi and myself need to physically be in 2 or more places at the one time. Although Heidi has mastered the art of time travel, duplication and time portal morphing… us mere mortals have not which make things hard, that being said today (Saturday) ran very smoothly.

     

    Making the jump from Prelim to Prenovice this week were Harry and Mouse, a good solid test by Mouse which I thought was a little harshly judged as she only scored a 50.30. Now we do have to remember that we are still in Australia so we cant expect good tests to be rewarded with good scores so we would have to settle for what we get handed to us. Harry was still making the mental transition from being a race horse to being an eventer and every week he gets better and better. This week was better but the scores didn’t indicate this, a 57.5 was all he could muster in his first PN run. With the longer test and more movements etc it will be a few decent tests under his belt before we will see him back up in the placings. Buddy was also in t the Pre-Nov class handing in a pretty tidy little test which was a little tens, enough to clinch 9th position in the dressage on a 53.6.

     

    Harry taking on his first 105cm class he was a little green and had 3 rails down.

    Unlike Harry Mouse left the timber posts all where they lay when the bell rang, her first clear round under Heidi’s guidance and her first in the PN Class. Buddy had an interesting warm up, I think for a split second he thought he was stronger than the small Blonde creature up top. A quick rearrangement of the order of who’s in control and the bay gelding got his ship into shape and he two added another clear SJ round to his score card finishing the day in a respectable 5th position.

     

    Next up were the big guns, Candy Freckles and Zac in the 3* and Hunter in his 2nd 2* start. First up was captain orange himself… ‘The Freckle’. Overall we were very happy with his test, we think of just how far this horse has come, what he has overcome (and still is overcoming in his head) and we truly can’t be disappointed with him. A disappointing score of 54.4 would land him in 18th position. He did make some mistakes and had 2 frights from outside the ring noises (it still amazes me how and why there are so many cars, buggies etc are driving in and around the arenas whilst tests are going on). After the official video review (Heidi in truck, watching video of test) we were actually really wrapped with his test, over all a much better frame and with out his mistakes would have scored much better. Time in the ring for the can of fanta will fix this, thankfully he has no pressure to get to the next level as he has over 12 months to perfect his craft in the 3* ring before cutting his teeth at the Adelaide Horse trials 2016. A nice easy year of 3* ahead of him. This horse has soooo much potential and it is annoying that he just cant come out of the stable each event and just show us it all, but if it was that easy… everybody would be doing it!! Stay tuned to see what he does next.

     

    Next up…. Zac, after his win last week at Friends of Werribee we were eager to see if he could back this up with only 2 more starts until his first 4*. Zac was ‘spirited’ in his warm up as were many of the horses at Camden this weekend. Spring air, change of seasons, too much clover… who knows but many riders had their hands full this weekend. Zac performed well in his test, still with room to improve but his 3rd start back from a break we were happy with his overall place of 3rd on 44.60 beating some seasoned 4* horses. We were definitely on track for his big dance in November.

     

    Last up in the 3* class was Candy. Another ‘spirited’ warm up saw a fading Heidi line up a steed one last time and shoot it down the centre line. More pressure and more atmosphere in the big class didn’t seem to phase her and Candy did a much improved test which still wasn’t anywhere near here best which would land her in =10th on a 51.2 Overall pleased with them all and just wished it wasn’t 5 weeks until their next competition…!!

     

    Last up was the South American Line dancer himself…. RAMONE!!!! (Hunter). A less spirited warm up from the grey saw a much more controlled and balanced test in only his 2nd 2* start. Still learning and listening to Heidi he sailed through his test with no big mistakes. Work to do in the coming weeks though as his inexperience showed in some of the movements. Overall happy with the test 54.5 would land him in =6th going into tomorrows day of jumping only 6.5 behind the leader. (one judge liked it and had him leading)

     

    All in all an up and down day, we have such a talented group of horses under us at the moment who have all shown us their true talent. They have all had multiple wins in all their classes to date and it is frustrating for us not being able to win each week. This is the sport however and it only makes us hungrier for that win.

     

    From the MJET team here at Camden its chocolate, dinner time, movie, chocolate and chocolate (and yes, potentially in that order) Will keep you updated on tomorrows jumping days results. Special thanks must go out to our helpers for the day.. you all know who you are.. thankyou.

     

    Last but not least… a big happy birthday to Margy Marg!! Happy birthday young lady!!!

     

    Love Heidi, Jd, Supergroom, team Russell and the Chow.

     

     

     

Jun 04 2015

The Build Up

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Hello, Hello to all! Just a pre event update for everyone who is wanting to know the ins and outs of our journey thus far. So for those of you who get to stay home on weekends, sleep in, have late lunches, catch up with friends, have money in the bank and get to have weekends off grab a cuppa, glass of red or a cold beer and strap in because the roller coast of rubbish is about to begin.. … ..anyway.. for those that aren’t aware this weekend is our last event for the first half of the season, the Melbourne International Horse trials held at the Werribee Equestrian centre in Victoria. For us the season has been a success thus far with all of our goals reached. For Freckles and Candy it was to try on their big boy and girl pants and step up into the 3* class which they did and will continue to do for the 2nd half of the season. This weekend however the red heads will have one of their last 2* starts as Heidi gives them a nice confidence building CCI run for their resume. For Hunter his goal was to initially test the waters in the eventing sport, I would have to say the stand out success for MJET this year would have to be Hunter, clearly he has had a life before MJET which has played a huge role in him being the horse he is today. Hunter has made the journey from Pre-lim up into the 1* class in the first half of the year with wins in each class along the way. This weekend was the goal for his half year time frame with Adelaide 2* being his 12 month goal. Stay tuned for his results this weekend at Melbourne. Also on board is Burto, the Australian Stock horse X who has had the first half of the year building his strength (just like last year for Candy and Freckles) as he gets more balanced and confident in his new body. Burto has had a refreshing make over as Heidi has asked him to do so much in the last 12 months he has been out competing. We will be looking for Burto to deliver another improved run here at Melbourne going into his well deserved break.

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For the team it has been a pretty casual lead up to the M3de this year, not saying it has been a walk in the park by any means but relatively low key compared to other years. Heidi has been away teaching, we had her jumping coach and dressage coach in S.A. for lessons in the last week so all the horses have had a tune up of sorts for the big race. One of the reasons things have been going so well is our support network, our sponsors have just made life so easy for us yet again, Equissage, Bonnets, Kentucky Equine Research, Barastoc, Horseware Ireland, Promectin Plus Mini, KEP Helmets Italia, Logan Floats. All these companies who allow us to do what we do are just instrumental in our preparation and success so from a personal level thank you to all of you, we hope to make you proud this weekend. Then our amazing staff, Vick, Izz, Josie even a new member on the team Cody. We just physically couldn’t be here with out you rugging, feeding, treating, riding, lunging, mucking out, etc etc so thank you. Vick your nightmare has only just began as you have another 4 days to get through here at Melbourne! Also –pre thanks must go out to Young ‘Liv’ who is over here on loan from S.A. she doesn’t know how much this is going to suck yet but get ready for some wet, cold conditions, no sleep or food for 4 days.. for the weekend she will be known as ‘Mini Vick’. Last but not least is Marg and Peter Megan’s parents, making this all happen since 1976.. as always thank you guys for everything you do, the constant sacrifices, the thoughtfulness, the coffees, the police radar trap warnings, weather updates, the warm fires for us to come home to and all the little things that don’t go unnoticed.

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So on with the not so true state of play. As you can all remember I informed you of a horrific Bikini Waxing accident to the one, the only, Pedro. I think this may have come across the wrong way, it sounded as if Pedro himself may have been injured, this was not the case… one of his many talents picked up travelling around the world as a special forces black op sniper was and still is bikini waxing. So to set the record straight Pedro is fine… with some time on his hands before rushing off to an undisclosed location to teach one of the fastest growing fads in the Adelaide hills (Naked Bikrim Yoga) Pedro washed, buffed and dried ‘Merv’ (our truck) within an inch of its life… what’s puzzling about this is Pedro didn’t even use a bucket, sponge or hose… or did he……? All we know is the silver bullet was gone down the driveway faster than it arrived, we would see him again… but when..? no one knows>

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With the truck cleaned on the outside it was time for Heidi to call the clear for the inside.. in the distance I could here ‘James!!, James!!’ She was calling me to clean the truck.. with frilly apron, rubber gloves and hair tied back in a bun I set to work cleaning her chariot. Bedding washed, bathroom cleaned, fridge, floors and surfaces wiped, I had finished in a personal best time. This allowed me to advance to the 2nd stage of my game.. supermarket shopping! $427 later, the truck was stocked with all of the items on Heidi’s Rider.. Arctic circle glacier water, cucumber cubes cut into 1.5 cm squares, tomato skins (whole with no rips or tares), a yoga mat and 47 blocks of Cadbury chocolate. We were nearing departure time which would be 2am Wednesday morning so I thought I would go and get some shut eye with 2 freshly washed, conditioned and blow dried Russles. Super groom had the horses loaded up with the endless list of gear, feed, supplements and hay loaded in my Motorcross trailer which is now the feed trailer (sigh). We turned the key and set sail for Werribee. Besides some road works encountered around the Ballarat area we had smooth sailing the whole way landing us at the Equestrian centre at approx 10:30am. We unloaded, walked and then vetted in the 4 horses, who were then Equissaged in their stable while all cosy in their Horseware Newmarket fleece rugs. The 3 day events give us a good chance to arrive and set up everything we need to get through the week. I think Vick would be the only groom that doesn’t have to muck out the truck, set up her area, disinfect the stall area, wash it out, then turn on a heater to keep her area warm then light a scented candle lit, French Vanilla this week (chosen by me of course), I do it all for Vick as it’s nice for her to come in out of the cold and have her room all set up ready for her to flop into bed.. stables were all immaculate yet again, horses all worked by Heidi, truck and trailer all set up for the madness that would follow in the coming days. Home made pizzas and a movie inside in the warmth was a nice end to the day.

 

Day 1. Trot up.. Heidi would rise early this morning and did her customary run around the bay, from Weriebe to St Kilda and back which is approx 50kms would be done before the sun would grace us with its presence. For many of us running is boring but I am sure you can appreciate a woman such as Hedi has lot going through her brain so it is a release for her. After her run and yoga session she would ride all 4 horses and try and beat the 10mm of rain which was forecast to hit at midday. In the stable one minute helping plait horses and then walking out of the truck living area about 10 seconds later… everyone was put into a slow motion glamour shot as blonde locks of long hair caught the wind, her sun kissed skin made the rest of look as if we had been living under ground for 5 years, her size 6-8 waste line whisked passed us ‘lesser folk’ as she extended a French manicured hand to receive the reigns of her first steed. The immediate area smelt of cinnamon, honey and talcum powder.. if you didn’t see her your scent receptors would alert you to the sensual aroma you were recognising .. (in the distance you could faintly hear ‘Heidi’ being whispered across the wind). Heidi approached the grand jury (who all fainted at her beauty) and presented all 3 of her 2 * horses and her 1* horse. With the heavens opening up on all of us present at the trot up (except for a ray of sunshine beaming down on Heidi) it was truly vintage Werribee weather. All of us were soaked, horses included, all 4 of horses were passed and accepted as fit and healthy to begin the event. From here.. the weather took a huge dive, the rain set in and the temperature dropped where it currently sits at 7 degrees. Forecast looked more promising for the competition days so hopefully this can get out of the way today and leave us with some better weather. From here Vick, Mini Vick and I will now go and lead the horses around the arenas for familiarization for 30 minutes in the rain.. awesome! But the horses to bed and get dinner on the stove, pumpkin and cauliflower soup tonight. From all of us at wet and miserable Werribee signing off for now..

 

Heidi, Jd, Supergroom, Riki, the Bob, Mini Vick, and the Chow.

 

p.s. Richard… GO TO SLEEP

 

 

May 18 2015

1, 2, 3 stars to MJET

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 Naracoorte Horse Trials 2015. 

For the next couple of weeks we would be hitting the road back to back for competitions. This would mean no more facials, body scrubs, mid day sleep ins, afternoons off work, late lunches with friends, JAMES WAKE UP!!!! Sorry all, for a minute there I thought I was in another place and time.. This would actually mean sleepless nights, earlier starts, keeping up to date with Heidi Via texted Lists of Jobs and days and nights of driving. But for all of the horses and humans here at KP… we were chomping at the bit (funny horse reference..) to ‘get er done’. Not only would back to back comps see our babies with more starts under their belts, but it would also bring more confidence to the redheads, Ramone the South American imported dancer and the other recent class graduates. For us it also meant our mid year bench mark, the Melbourne International Horse trials would be upon us in only 2 short weeks. We would have Kirby Park Impress who won her last two 3* starts entered in the CCI 2*, Kirby Park Invader coming off an impressive win even more impressive CC round would also be in the CCI 2*, Kirby Park Grand Impressions would be keen to show how far he has come since the Adelaide Horse trials, also in the CCI 2*, then the one we have had high hopes on.. ‘RRrrrrramone’ the south American Stage dancer in the 1* class.

So on to the entertainment.. Unfortunately we would be leaving Kirby Park With a less shinier than normal truck, due to an injury in a freak bikini waxing accident where hot wax, a golf ball, a Golf club, bucket of ice cubes, a stuffed moose head and a spray tan booth were involved, ‘Pedro’ (or Rp1 as we know him) was un able to complete his weekly duties of detailing the truck , luckily for ‘Pedro’ the injury would not affect his ‘trigger finger’ and his other alter ego RP1, (Royal Photographer 1) would be on site on CC day to snap some of the action.

Heidi, Vic and I left at the very civil hour of 7:45pm on Thursday night. With 5 of her own to ride, one of her own she was trying very hard for me not to ruin and a list of lessons to teach Heidi had another jam packed day on Friday. Typical type of behavior the day before an event though, crazy horses being calm, calm horses being crazy, swollen legs, cuts, wounds, punctures, loss of limbs and the horses were all still wrapped in their cotton wool protective clothing! I am sure you can all relate to the dreaded ‘day befores’.. lucky for us everything was A-ok and besides a super long day (especially for the supergroom) we were in the truck by 8, eating dinner and watching a movie. The warmer than normal temperature would bring absolutely perfect conditions for our day of dressage and our first steed let out of the stable was None other than the Supergroom herself, Mrs. C, The mother of the Chow, Squishy aboard Christmas Eve. The test had some good points and the under prepared Eve (due to the previous days late night not allowing a pre-ride) got through the test, her signature ‘tralk’ (trot walk) was barely evident this week. The mare had some nice transitions between paces and some good sections of trot work, unfortunately the combination would not score well on paper finishing down the order after the first phase. Next up was Kirby Park Ringmeister (Harry). Each week I know I almost defend this horse before his I write about his test but I will say this again…. Unfair expectations on the ex racer from W.A. are still sky high (in a good way I must admit) his warm up was better again, his mid week schooling on the flat and jumping was another 2 steps forward, Heidi had changed up his jumping and CC bit to get some more control of the Bay on course and thinks she may have this now dialed in. With his walk, and strength in the canter the areas selected for more improvement Harry listened to the aids and although still not perfect yet put together a fluid complete test. Enough for him to finish 10th after dressage. The First of our horses out on CC and only the 5th let out of the starters hands for the morning Ringmeister looked more balanced and controlled between fences. His overall speed has been lightly increased by the tiny ( but so god dam strong) Heidi up top. Ringmeister now learning to look at the fences then canter away. No problem at the water, ditch, banks or brushes as he had yet another clear jumping round to instill yet more confidence in him in his new discipline of Eventing. Harry would have only 1 rail down SJ in the tight and twisty track which although being frustrated with we were not disappointed. A respectable 12th position would be an improvement on last week and another step forward to his next step up to the Pre-novice class.

Going up the grades in class order would land us on the always entertaining History. A recent graduate of the 1* class History was just bouncing off the walls at home as he (yes he) counted down the minutes until he could leave the next ‘start box’. Being told by his owner that his favorite things to eat in the world are Monte Carlos I had this on my list of treat to buy at the supermarket. Upon arrival at the shelf I was shocked and horrified to see the entire shelf bare, I had caramel crèmes on my right, orange crèmes on my left and absolutely no Monte Carlos.. I was gutted. It was as if a rival horses owner had recently uncovered this and as an act of sabotage gone into Woolies before me and stole them all. I clearly thought this was the case so did the rest of my shopping feeling as if I was being watched by some ‘CHC’ with binoculars.. anyway.. back to the History… a less than wild workout and warm up in his 1st and 2nd rides before his test saw the imported gelding (and surprisingly flexible dancer from South America) throw out some impressive movements outside the ring. Hoping Hedi wasn’t going to use up all the magical power of ‘Festy Hair’ she has in a small glass jar which hangs around her neck I gave her the 5 minute warning she needed to move closer to her Dressage ring. History just makes you laugh when you see him prior to his test, CC or SJ, its almost as if you could remove Heidi from his back and he would still go in and win.. he is just the ultimate professional (when there is a crowd around!!)….Like Ringmeister, History had a pretty intense week of schooling as unfortunately for him Heidi is fully aware of this horses talent and ability and we haven’t even hit 80% of it. Taking on board judges comments of weeks gone by, analyzing videos etc Heidi went out and pushed for another 1 and 2% in the areas required. With Progress only able to be made in small increments on any horse week by week this was no exception. Another solid test was performed by the pair, besides an early Halt by History which was corrected by Heidi we were wrapped with him. Unfortunately the Halt would see an error listed on the test, where in fact it was not as explained above. So History would be in 2nd position after dressage less than 2 penalties behind the leader. None of us needed to tell him what was in store for him next, CROSS COUNTRY!!!! As soon as he sees the gear come out and the Multi colored Supermodels long legs and glowing blonde locks come out of the truck door his little eyes light up and you can feel the excitement in the air…. CROSS COUNTRY!!!! His girth is tightened, gear checked by Heidi and then CROSS>>>>>>>>> COUNTRY!!! Well usually cross country.. I usually give my supermodel wife (who seems to be getting younger and hotter by the day I might add) a little hug, kiss and a tap on the toned and firm buttock (or high side of thigh for those of you under 18). By tap…. I would loosely translate this to firm pat.. like rewarding an obedient dog. (not that she is a dog for any of you out their thinking I am implying this), and by firm pat I mean… my hand hurts so much it tingles for a few seconds after I remove it. As mentioned earlier my younger than normal wife is also sharpening her reflexes and once ‘quick like tractor’ Heidi is now ‘quick like quad bike’ Heidi. With reflexes like some sort of night Ninja she wheels around and whips me about 12 times in quite the amount of locations (yes ladies and gentlemen, quite the VARIETY), a short wrestle would see me victorious as no one gets in between Heidi and her CC time slot.. So she get angry, I got scared submitted. This entire time History standing there held by Vic saying CROSS COUNTRY< CROSS COUNTRY< CROSS COUNTRY….. ??? now… it was go time. I have no comment about warm up as it looked like some sort of small whirly whirly. I had made my way to CC cooldown (with video in hand to watch HH1 (History and Heidi) smash the back out of the 1* track.) By no means was this a walk in the park for the combination, with questions everywhere, with maximum heights and distances at every fence she and he needed to be on their toes. With absolutely unbelievable going under foot Heidi had the go pedal down probably halfway to the floor, as I keep saying time for us is of no importance unless it is 100% safe for the horses or it is a major event. Hunter made the track look a hard PN and just ate it up, coming home with a basically non existent heart beat and cantering in circles for about 2 minutes wanting more fences to jump the fit and fancy galloping jelly bean would retain 2nd place going into SJ. The Fairytale would continue for pair in SJ, the class was competitive with some experience horse and rider combos, not even 2 penalties separated History from 3rd so he had to jump clear to hang onto 2nd. Jump clear he did, the sandy track suiting the imports heavier build as he powered through the course. More controlled, not to fast and really understanding on how the bigger courses need to be jumped History would jump into the lead after 2 rails were dropped by the leader. Megan Jones and history win the 1* at the Naracoorte horse trials. What a perfect preparation in their lead up to the CCI 1* at Melbourne in less then 3 short weeks!

Next up was Burto. Working so much better with a stronger body after weeks of exercises and schooling we were keen to see how he would perform. His warm up was brilliant, calm and relaxed the combination entered the ring. Unfortunately some minor lapses in concentration would lead to a few movements not being his best and although the test was better in the areas which had been worked on this would not be rewarded on the score card. Burto would finish 8th after dressage. The trail blazer in his class the impressive bay would truly show the rest of the horses just how to jump a 2* track. Burto went out on course the most cool and calm I have ever seen him. I could see this mostly by how forward Megan was riding him, now this is partly because of the absolutely magnificent going here at Naracoorte. Whilst on that note a massive hats off to the Land owner, committee and course designer, the CC was one of the best in the season, all courses were tough enough and great tests for all the riders. The going is so good here year round it is one of Heidis Favorite tracks which was easily identified by her aggressive form on course. Burto Showing why he is one of our best CC horses currently in the stable. Burto would jump up a couple of places after CC going into SJ. 2 unlucky rails for the would see Burto finish in 4th position in his lead up for Melbourne. A great jumping horse who is naturally athletic would have no problem in Melbourne on Course, a solid 2 weeks of schooling on the flat will be an excellent prep for him.

Freckles, Freckles, Freckles…. Just seeing his face looking at things such as a pot plant, a stone, a dog.. just makes you laugh. I would pay a serious amount of money to know what he sees when he looks at these things. Anyway.. on to the entertainment.. the ABSOLUTELY WILD chestnut didn’t do much of a warm up on the Friday… spent a lot of time with all 4 legs off the ground I think.. Heidi recognizing that she may not get the best out of the Freckle on Friday called a truce and turned the session into an energy burn off. The following days 1st and 2nd ride would not reflect any of the previous days behavior as Freckles was on song. Taking more steps forward than backwards over the recent months and comps Kp Invader (Freckles) is really rewarding us for persisting with him. The glimmers he showed us as an intro horse then the ups and downs of pre-lim and pre-nov have been a rollercoaster both mentally and emotionally for him and us. Finally as he matures and strengthens in both mind and body he has confirmed that his home is definitely in the starting line up of Kirby Park. Freckles went out and delivered today, no calling out, no sneezing no distraction in the perfect Naracoorte weather. With so much more room for improvement Freckles impressed us all with a solid 44 in the dressage to take home 1st in the 2* after the first phase. After Ballarats CC round in the 3* class Freckles and Heidi had the run of their lives, cutting corners, strides and lines Heidi was able to ask the most she has asked from Freckles and he gave it to her. The lower grade, the brilliant going and the confidence the combination have been growing was to prove unbeatable today as just like History and Impressions they made short work of the impressive track. Clear in jumping and time according to Heidis watch. Next up the touchy subject of SJ……… a constant battle for us has been the SJ especially in the 1 day events, both Candy and Freckles have had tired legs after CC and have just felt like they had flat tyres going into the SJ ring. As our horses are taken so slowly, mature late and aren’t even galloped until just recently their peak fitness is still in front of them. Today would be perfect jumping conditions, no wind, no rain small amount of atmosphere but just perfect…. Perfect he was and he jumps clear. Kirby Park Invader would lead the 2* class from start to finish as he notches up another win on his impressive resume and puts him in a great position for his lead up to Melbourne.

Kirby Park Impress (Candy) would be our representation in the CIC 3* this week. Heidi feeling Freckles could use the lower 2* run as a confidence builder (which worked perfectly) but Candy had the scope and the mental capacity to be moved forward in the bigger 3* class. Just like Freckles Candy has been getting stronger and stronger, softer and softer, her tests are always consistent and always impressive. Just like the other * class horses she has a lot more to offer, just like the other horses Heidi will ask it from her in small amounts. Yet again Candy would come out on fire another solid run in the 3* would see her clinch another win after dressage 2 weeks in a row. A respectable 46 penalties was a good score, but late a change would see the lower score listed down. As she gets stronger and more balanced these will all improve in the pressure of the dressage ring so we know this horse will be bring home sub 40’s in the later half of the year. The last of the KP arsenal to let loose on course was my magnificent mare, my love affair with this horse has been well documented since Early last June where a special evening was shared at the Melbourne Horse trials.. sometimes prying her affectionate neck arm and muzzle away from me is hard to do as Heidi is about to get on, but she is here to work and ‘be good for mumma’ are her nurturing words I whisper to her before any of her phases. Candy has battled her long legs, slow pace and lazy work ethic for some of the recent years, like Freckles, Heidi didn’t know if persisting would be the correct decision. As she got fitter and more confident, her work ethic grew and so did her strength and stamina. Now.. she was out on course! From fence one I could again see Heidi really attacking this track. I think this week it was to push the horses for their confidence but also for her own. There is always the temptation to win a CNC or a CIC especially when going clear XC on time would bring home the win. But with such nice horses and owners horses Heidi will just not roll the dice and risk injury (or more importantly a stop or fall putting doubt in the respective horses mind) for the small stakes. Not say she wouldn’t roll the dice at the big dance, but I am sure you know what I am saying. So today I think she was out to ride some really flash horses, have fun and go and show all of us just why she is considered one of the best in the World. One of the only people to even breed, brake, educate, train and compete her horses to 3*/4* , world champ and Olympic level Heidi kicked some serious ass today. With the babies now up to the 3* level.. the level of tears has started to well in my eyes.. emotion does take over when I see her out there, she truly loves this sport and to do it how she does it makes that one ride all worthwhile to her. Impress and Heidi home safe and 4 seconds over time to retain 1st place. After her Clear Sj round last week at Ballarat Candy had the pressure on to back it up this week. Conditions were even better than the 2* as the sun wasn’t as bright so again it was up to her to get it done. With 4 rails up her sleeve Candy only used one, a truly unlucky rain was had but it wasn’t enough to lose 1st place. Kirby Park Impress and Heidi would take home the win in the Naracoorte 3* class. It wasn’t until Heidi got off the horse and saw the rail on the ground that she new she had the rail… Candy had jumped perfectly and couldn’t have done any more. Puzzled as to why she had the rail down Heidi was just wrapped in both the redheads SJ rounds as it has overcome some serious low points in the recent months.

Megan Jones winner of:

1* class on History

2* class on Kirby Park Invader (4th on Kirby Park Grand Impressions)

3* class in Kirby Park Impress

12th on Kirby Park Ringmeister in the 95 class.

Truly amazing weekend these doesn’t come around a great deal. Would have loved to have mentioned all our ‘KP kids’ this week but the length of this epistle has meant I better wrap it up.. to the crew that helped out thank you yet again. All the small stuff is what makes the big machine keep turning. It also makes supergrooms job that little bit easier. Vic, Vic, Vic… OMG I just don’t know where you came from (maybe the nightclub scene from NSW..?) but wherever it was your not going back. Massive weekend yet again my friend. I know you strive for perfection (which is physically impossible in the world of Heidi), but if I was judging… this weekend you were spot on. From day one your smiling face, your work ethic and professionalism is clearly evident. Usually we see grooms turn up, early starts, late nights, no lunch, work in the rain, all the small stuff done, and the horses are always number 1. But with this young lady from Northern NSW she turns it up every day, the music from the stable, the laughter, the thoughtfulness, the smiles, the personal jokes, the voices of horses and characters we make up are just awesome… Vic I have said it before and the reason I say it on these posts for thousands of people to read is because I want to give back a little that you give us. You are one in a million and a true shining light here at KP and also out of KP as our friend. Thank you, can’t wait to see what the future holds in the h short term for our run at Melbourne and Adelaide this year. Then our bigger picture of taking over the world!!! (insert evil laughter)

Once more.. thanks must go out to our ever increasing amount of fans and supporters. Our sponsors and our amazing owners, thank you. We hope we are doing as much as we can for you all and hope to make it happen in a few weeks in Melbourne. To a close friends and family who we actually never see… we love you and thanks for all the msgs and phone calls whilst on the road each week.

Signing off for now, Heidi, jd, Ricki ‘The Bob’, Supergroom/vic/Mrs C/Squishy/mother of the chow.

 

 

 

 

 

May 13 2015

not so many rails!!

Ballarat Jumping

After a semi successful Dressage day we were keen to pick up where we left off. First up was Henry in the 1* Sj. Earlier that morning we were woken by rain, rain and more rain on the roof of the truck, usually this is one of our favorite things to listen to. On the couch on a Monday, fire on, blankets, pillows, fluffy clean Russles.. but knowing we were in a truck, about to go outside in the elements for then next 10 hours… not such a favorite thing. We were greeted by 10 degrees of Ballarats finest, rain coming in from every angle possible, mud, wet mad horses and 5 CC rounds and 4 SJ rounds to get through. First up was Henry in his first 1* SJ, totally saturated, Heidi walked her course, I walked Henry around in circles for an eternity before Heidi and Henry united for their warm up. The Warm up ring was nearly all underwater which followed suit into the SJ ring. My comments on Henry’s SJ may be a hard one to get correct, so much water it was hard to focus on jumps as they were reflecting in the massive puddles that were in front and behind the fences, so the 1* debutant did have 3 rails down but…… jumped very well and showed he will be able to handle the larger track moving forward. Some unlucky fences and wet conditions may have just been a little too much for Henry as he slid rapidly down the order going into CC. The rain hadn’t stopped for most of the morning as Henry flew out on course, after some good strong results and great confidence building rounds in Pre Novice we were eager to see how he handled the more technical track and bigger fences. The chestnut gelding made short work of the course and was clear on jumping to come home safe with the expected time associated with a wet muddy track. Although his score may not have reflected his usual performance we were thrilled with his first 1* and took away no negatives from the weekend.

Next up was Hunter, H-Bomb, ‘Rrrramone’ the South American dancer.. dragged away from his new man friend ‘Freckles’ Hunter EXPLODED out into the warm up ring. For those of you here witnessing the tiny little Heidi aboard the impressive wild warmblood it may look like a fight between the two, this is not the case. Every time Heidi gets on Hunt he just wants to go, he wants to look, see, jump, canter, gallop, trot. He loves life so much and just wants to go. His show jump warm up was one of the longer ones I have witnessed, I think I also witnessed the highest jump over a cross fence ever recorded. Hunter was going to jump clear if he had anything to do with it and off into the ring the pair went. Some nice shapes were made, distances were met and combinations were sailed above. Hunter truly showing the rest of the class how to jump a clear round. With Heidi up top calling the shots what a classy combination these two are. Hunter clear in absolutely horrible conditions perhaps better suited to the larger stronger horse. Finally, the moment Hunter had been waiting for CROSS COUNTRY!!! This thing wanted to go and Heidi let him, at fence 1 he made an attempt at galloping at the fence, running out on both sides, jumping the 3* element, doing a cartwheel and a star jump all at the same time…. While spooking at the roof over the middle part of the jump e didn’t have to jump!! If there was an equine equivalent of giving a small child too much sugar then Hunt on CC was it!! I was standing on top of the mound by the water jump videoing and I didn’t need to zoom in very much as he was easily identified from a distant, his strong, proud bold gallop just ate up the meters at Ballarat, the mud, the wet the rain was non existent in Hunts eyes as his form showed. With ears pricked and receptors awaiting instruction from the tiny (but strong) Heidi up top the pair seriously made it look like a training run. What an absolutely amazing story, from the show ring to 1* in 4 months.. watch this space guys as this is going to be a success story like no other. Hunters prep is well on track for his CCI debut in the 1* at the Melbourne Horse trials. Hunter home safe with some time to finish 7th in his first 1*. Well done my friend, it is an honor to have such a quality horse in our team..

Harry was next out on course, the muddy conditions had already seen many stops, refusals and run outs in his class. Harry in his 3rd 95 class is getting stronger and more confident each event, this being his first muddy track since being a racehorse only 9 months ago would be another training run for the Bay gelding. Clear through all jumping efforts, even the ditch that claimed his 20 penalty scalp last weekend. Nice, slow and controlled for another huge confidence builder for Harry. Horse has a lot of promise as I keep saying and I cant wait for him to reach his full potential, for now jump, jump and more jump, canter, canter and more canter. It is amazing how a galloper (race horse) being so strong as a racehorses can start a new career path and do very similar things but be so weak and unbalanced. Teaching him to balance himself, strengthen his muscles with exercises and to teach him to go slow first, then get faster…. very interesting how things can be done the right way, or the wrong way. In his class we saw so many riders galloping flat out at fences then jumping on the brakes, then galloping again to find at the end of the course there times were only marginally faster than the nice and steady Harry. Another finish under his belt in 18th position, huge step forward in all phases for Harry. Looking ahead to Naracoorte next weekend to see what he is going to surprise us with next.

Next up were the red heads, if you have been watching the progress of our two home bred and trained KP youngsters you would be well aware of their ups, downs, rails and test results. This weekend they would be SJ before CC which was really good for us to see how they would jump the 3* course on fresh legs. Yes these horses have been competing for years now and yes they are getting stronger but, you also know Heidi takes our guys verrrry slowly and will never push them. This weekend there was no excuses as they would be jumping first. Candy went out first and the mare didn’t disappoint her drifting was almost non existent as it almost looked like she preferred the larger course to jump. She looked like she belonged in the air over the 3* fences and we were really proud of her, home clear with 2 time faults. Freckles would not be able to match his sister flawless round as 2 rails fell victim to the Chestnuts feet. As much as I hate saying this… he did have 2 down but…. He jumped beautifully, shapes were made, he looked at all the fences and was concentrating on the job at hand. A huge step forward from this same time frame 12 months ago where trade stands, tents, the sand under his feet and the small heard of unicorns would be all it would take to throw his concentration. Although it was annoying he had knocked 2 down Heidi was happy and has potentially finally worked out a bit, bridle, ring, whip, spur, aid, bonnet combination for him.

Last on our list for the day were the 3* CC, only a small field would go out on course as the conditions had brought on a few scratchings over all the classes. It was actually deceiving, although being wet and disgusting conditions the going was actually really good, if we were in England they would have described it as perfect conditions. For some riders in other classes they didn’t seem to understand that wet and muddy conditions means Slippery potentially dangerous conditions. This would be the perfect opportunity to maybe SLOW DOWN!!!! Going for time in an intro, prelim even 3* etc isn’t the most important thing in the world at the Ballarat horse trials. Not meaning to talk down the event as this is NOT my intention as it is a cracker, but some people flog their horse around a wet slippery muddy track, fall, slip, slide, have run outs or injure their horse and they wonder why..?? was great to see Anker, Enzinger, Lloyd and Jones all display why they are all professionals as they took their rides around safely and steadily not risking their horses or their own wellbeing. So back to the CC, Candy would be out first and I was quietly nervous about this one, not for any other reason besides she’s my favorite out of the pair (Heidi and her that is). A horse which once couldn’t even gallop between fences without trotting was now at a steady fence to fence pace in her first 3* comp. Heidi and Candy were an absolute pleasure to watch. One of the reasons Megan gets what she gets out of our horses is the bond she has between them, it is a huge ask to get an animal to trust you with its life and for Candy, Freckles and the rest of the team this Is a question they need not ask. They know she will look after them and they will do the same for her. This was clearly evident in the huge jump into the water, Candy couldn’t have her ears any more pricked, her trust in Heidi was clear to see as she made the water combination look like a newcomers log on the ground. With 3 simple efforts the combination were clear through the water and full of running around the rest of the track. A simply breathtaking run cementing the fact that she will be a serious contender for the upcoming competitions and team selections of the future. Kirby Park Impress and Megan Jones would win the 3* class by 10 points. Now this may not be on record after the event.. another ‘Heidi’ moment here at KP.. Both of our red heads didn’t have their FEI passports completed for the weekend, they were at the event but not completed so Although Candy won it wouldn’t be on record, she actually competed in a CNC class with Freckles instead.

Heidi had come back to the cool down with the biggest smile I have seen for a while after CC, she was just wrapped with the mare. I am pretty certain the quote was “it doesn’t get any better than that, I don’t even want to go out on Freckles as that was just too good!” Well lucky for Heidi she did go out on Freckles, after witnessing his Sis perform so well he was not going to be shown up! The more naturally athletic Horse Freckles is still learning to keep a steady consistent pace from fence to fence. The previous events have seen him be slower that candy purely because of the ‘stop, go’ motion which sucks the seconds. Today he would calm himself a little more and take it all in his sprung stride. Although it appeared to be not as silky smooth as Candy’s Round it was still an absolute pleasure to watch. These are the first two 3* rounds of Heidi’s I have watched for over 3 years, nerves and emotion get the better of me and I am quite happy to find a quiet corner in cool down somewhere and wait to see her come home to me. Watching the woman you love blast around doing the thing she loves so much is a truly great emotion to feel, especially on two home bred, home trained horses. Can only imagine what she must be feeling. Congrats Wifey, all the minutes, the hours, days and weeks are all paying off. I hope they take you all the way to the top as they bring on yet another successful chapter here at KP.

We head home, fill the fuel tank, shop, wash, stain, do some work, empty the muck trailer then lace up and head out on court again for the 2015 Naracoorte Horse trials this weekend. Special mention must got out to V. Wilkinson, again and again she surprises us by being so amazing. Vic is a true perfectionist and no one is harder on her than herself. A weekend with 6 horses in 10 degree weather, saturated is no picnic, but to do it with a smile on her face whilst making others around her smile is a true gift. You are an amazing person Vic, I hope you know how much you mean to Megan and I, we love having you here with us at KP and look forward to what the future holds!

For now, its bed time!! So until next week we shall sign off.

Heidi, Jd, Riki, ‘The Bob’, Vic (supergroom), Mr Chow and we all cant forget that Swede could we..

We hope your feeling better Izzy after digging a trench with your face at the Grand Cru Horse trials, pretty sure the council workers have backfilled this now so we can compete there later in the year.

 

May 10 2015

Ballarat Horse trials turn it on again!

PMJ_4028

Click here for more photos…

Another Steller Event at Ballarat Horse trials.

Firstly, I must say for those of you who haven’t attended the Ballarat horse trials to compete or to spectate.. do yourself a favor and lock it in for next year!! This event goes from strength to strength and this year was no different. Brilliant facilities, variety of food vans (including Dim sims Hamish), one of the better club run canteens, nice hot showers, excellent yards, water supply that would rival the Iguazu falls, toilets everywhere, several warm up arenas, excellent sand arenas for dressage and SJ and a U.K. reminiscent Cross Country course. Even the intro class has excellent, creative, tough enough fences which follows suit up the classes. Most importantly the amount of volunteers holy moly… from the time you approach the front gate you are looked after, shown your yards, if you haven’t been here before you are shown where everything is, each ring, area or class Is manned with someone with a clipboard, and they can actually think on their own two feet… SJ runs smoothly because if your ready and no one else is… you can go and jump… really well ran, well thought out event. Everything ran ahead of time which made the riders look like the ones who had no idea what they were doing (down to the fact that everything ran ahead of time not that the riders were late). Can not speak any higher of the anyone and everyone involved in this event, we cant wait to come back next year!!

Ok so on with the truth, little less truth and some absolute fabrication of the truth… We had 6 on board and my Motocross trailer in tow full of feed (you may remember the story about this trailer from last year which I have surrendered with my manhood when I got married to the love of my life, Heidi). We left 11pm Thursday night and arrived in the early hours of Friday to be greeted by the freezing Ballarat weather. Heidi rode all her 5 and lunged a little bit of the Crazy out of Floyd for me as I would be competing in the intro class this weekend. Not having slept in a day or so and having a small mechanical disaster I was dealing with put me in an angry non focused mood for my test. I thought this was a good thing as usually I get that nervous before my dressage test not even a shelf worth of sanitary pads can absorb my nervous wees whilst off or on my steed. I think my warm up went well (as I didn’t fall off), Megan sent me out a few minutes ahead of her so she could go back to the safety of her truck and pray to all things Jester that I didn’t embarrass her, also to get a solid 1.4 minutes of laughter out before coming to warm me up. Unfortunately the laughter wasn’t all gone and some brief coaching in the warm up ring wasn’t enough for the princess moment I was about to have. Happy with my warm up Megan sent me in to my biggest fear.. dressage.. jumping I have done since I have been a youngster thanks to my families involvement in hunting and riding etc. hunting I was good at as I could jump a fence (eventually) then over 1-2kms of gallop (yes gallop) I could eventually gain control or point the horse at something to jump again. But the silly circle bouncy stuff which is performed in front of 1 person watching you the entire time.. freaks me out (hence the sanitary pads..).. anyway, so I go around the ring, around the judge blay didy blah blah.. seen this specific horse do this 100 times, and from where I sat I think I made it look good, if not just a little bit better the Heidi. Clearly Floyd and I will have a bond that Heidi will never understand (both of us being geldings and all).. so the judge takes what seems like 2 weeks to be ready to judge a one off phenomena which was about to take place. Then I was so worried she had already started to judge me I totally forgot my test.. Now… being around all of you CHC’s for long enough now I have seen it all, Boyfriends being yelled at, husbands, mothers, being yelled at, phones being scrolled through to remember test movements, tears, red faced flat out yelling.. Me.. I’ve left my fighting days behind me in my adolescence and I am more of a lover, so instead of yelling at Heidi who can obviously instill in herself the memory of an elephant, she was unable to do this for me (which I was hurt by).. so I do what I do best, I take all of my toys… and I throw them our of the pram, go silent and then commence sulking… (bottom lip protruding optional).. I sulk down the long side, I sulk around Heidi who is frantically trying to calmly give me a run down of my test as I run Floyd in Circles around her working him up into some sort of CC start box stooper. Luckily in the truck at Horsham I drank 450 mils of Scotch so my ‘bravery gravy’ took over.. I thought, stuff it, she wants to judge me… ME.. then here I come baby and in I went. I don’t think you could have had a straighter entrance down the centre line (obviously my observation whilst I crossed left and right over the centre line.. I got into the first corner (which I remembered to turn right into) and the test just flowed, half way through I could hear soft violins and piano being played in the back ground of a male and female British commentator as I gracefully broke every vertebrae in Floyds once supple back. Before I know it the crowd (mum dad and Heidi) were all on their feet (never sat down anyway) and I was done. Dressage complete and on to the fun stuff. I must say a serious thank you to my best friend, my partner in crime, my little low to the ground buddy Heidi, thanks baby girl, you have no idea how it makes me feel riding him, I ride him and I think of all of the times you have ridden him, where, when and the bond you have with him and now I can feel a little of that through him. I know it’s only the Intro class but thank you, it is appreciated. On a not so serious note, thank you for mentally and emotionally breaking me down so I would not be disappointed with the public’s reaction of laughter. You laughing at me consistently, your supportive comments of ‘oh god’, ‘sorry Floyd’, ‘he’s bucking’ and ‘siggggggh’ have prepared me well for my career in the spotlight..

So on to the to the rest of the team. Big week this week for MJET as we have some graduations in class. Hunter and Henry would both be stepping up to the 1* class and Candy and Freckles would be making their official debut into the 3* class. By no means is Ballarat an easy track so this would be a very good test for all 4 horses. Also on board was Harry (KP ringmeister) in his 3rd 95 event, a horse which is progressing every week, I think I mention how it is a little unfair as we have so much expectation on him, but he doesn’t disappoint. His test was better again this week, we are working on our halts which are now getting consistently square each week, his extended walk is extended and his canter work is more collected as he gets stronger. An 8th position after dressage would be another top 10 for the OTT TB. Harry would seem to still have some concentration issues to deal with, he shows us so much promise so we expect him to go and jump clear rounds every week, a distracted Harry (looking at everything but the jumps) would see the joker themed filler fence fall. A slow and controlled round though with no rushing at fences, so although he had a rail and some time jumped better and more controlled which would leave him in 15th position going into tomorrows CC.
Henry would be next out in his first 1* test. Ultimately any gelding Heidi enters into a submissive relationship with (me included) will lose 100% of the time, our teenage equivalent Henry always has a pretty good crack of asking questions, coming in late, not putting the rubbish out and bringing friends home with out asking. This is closely followed by Heidi serving up the equivalent of extra chores, being grounded or light little smack on the bot bot.. His Warm up today was good and overall the extra pressure and new movements he was handling it all ok. His naturally elastic movement always scores well and Henry was in and out with a really good little test. A 50 would se him finish in 11th position going into his favorite phases of CC and SJ.

The other eagerly anticipated graduate was Hunter. Like Henry he has gone from the EA 105 class up into the first of the star classes, 1*. Unfortunately for Heidi Hunters warm up was to bring the first of the forecast rain to the Ballarat Horse trials. Then out of nowhere…. a beam of light lit up the imported grey gelding like God himself was selecting the combination to go on and do great things on this land. A slight delay in the dressage ring saw a longer warm up which Heidi was thankful for (phew… I thought I would be reprimanded for this), then we were on! Hunter and Heidi (H2) entered the ring. The natural frame and precise movement of Hunter is a true blessing and a curse as he is so perfect in so many things he does.. when it isn’t perfect, even 1% off, it is almost like it is highlighted more (hopefully that makes sense) I am not saying the test wasn’t a good one, as it was. Hunter did brilliantly in his first 1* test finishing on a very respectable 43.5 only .4 behind the leader.

Next up were the redheads. Candy and Freckles in their first 3*. We expect big things from these two, they have delivered some seriously impressive results over the last couple of years across all phases , in addition we have had dummy spits, rails and run outs, but… overall Heidi knows that these two have what it takes to be the very best. Both Horses had a very ‘spirited warm up’ hens the reason for the word ‘warm up’, they both went through the movements and in they went. I’m pretty sure I hold my breath for Freckles test every time as our little can of Fanta can explode in many different forms. But in his defense he kept it all in, only one call out which was contained very well. A solid test for KP Invader which would find him clinching 3rd place after dressage. The mare as you all know is quite close to my heart and as her name suggests she Impresses me every time she goes out. Unfortunately for me I could only get glimpses of the mares test as I was warming up one wild Allofasudden for my xc round.. It looked like a nice test and a nice square halt to finish on. Then ding ding ding ding… Heidi had forgotten an entire movement on the mare incurring 2 penalties for error of test. Luckily enough her test had been good enough (even with the error) to win the dressage on a 49.8.

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