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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.