Friday, April 30, 2010

National Gallery of Victoria

A detour on my way home from Toronto took me from Melbourne airport to the National Gallery of Victoria. Rod McNicol's portrait of Jack Charles was larger than life as it looked out from the side wall advertising the' Timelines' exhibition which opens on 7th May and runs until 3rd October. Its amazing how a billboard can be so striking.

It was fun running into Victorian 3 day event stewards returning from Kentucky. They will be returning to officiate at WEG. Sally Francis, EA Para Equestrian Chef d'Equipe was also on the flight having acquainted herself with Kentucky Horse Park and looked at the facilities for her horses and riders. It is the first time that Para Equestrian will be part of WEG.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event

It was interesting to see that both Philip Dutton and Boyd Martin are at the top of the score board at last weekend's Rolex Kentucky FEI 4 Star Three Day Event.

Australia has good three day event riders but it is sad for the country not only to lose two such talented riders with 'on form' horses, but to have to compete against them at WEG later in the year.

Badminton 4* is next week-end and more ex-Aussies may do well. Time will tell at Badminton and WEG.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

French bulldogs

Appreciating art was clearly very tiring for these young French bulldogs. The cat was pleased to have them home again. The dog harnesses are excellent as you can lift them up by the handle on the top of the harness. This is comfortable for the dogs and great for our backs.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Para Equestrian jumping and unromantic travel

Emily Browne, from Vancouver Island is very keen for the Para Equestrian show jumping to be established in Canada. Her gelding Chico competes in Para Equestrian dressage as well as Equine Canada eventing and show jumping. In particular it is the French Para Equestrian riders that have pushed for show jumping to be established as a sport. There are now official FEI rules and it is hoped that more riders from more countries will take part in national and international competitions. It is still early days but so many riders want 'the right to risk'. Show jumping certainly gives them this opportunity!

People often comment that my job and all the travelling is so 'romantic'. Not always! This morning I had to get out of bed at 4.15 a.m. The 6.15 flight from Victoria to Toronto left the gate more or less on time but then sat on the tarmac for two and a half hours while a mechanic was called. He was in bed and then had to travel for 40 minutes. I so needed a coffee but only water was available. Then my hire car had been given to someone else as I was a 'no show'. Then I hit Toronto in rush hour!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sea to Sea competition in Canada

Due to the huge distances across Canada, Equine Canada are running Para Equestrian monthly 'Sea to Sea' video dressage competitions. They also run 'Coast to Coast' riding competitions for unclassified riders with a disability.

Rachel Whitmore riding Alex is receiving her first prize for the February 'Sea to Sea' competition.

Friday, April 16, 2010

2nd Day of Clinic

Another busy clinic day yesterday. One of the nicest aspects of para equestrian is working as part of a team. For many years I have worked with the physiotherapist Marion Slatter-Blitstein. She is so good at analysing riders and coming up with ways of enhancing their abilities. She is with Jennifer McKenzie who is riding Sunbury Park Voodoo, recently imported from Australia.

Noni Hartvikson brought her coach Courtenay Fraser who rides at Grand Prix level, and is a new Board member of Dressage Canada. It was great fun working together, and with such a nice and talented horse.

I always enjoy the islands we pass on the ferry ride to Vancouver Island. Unfortunately it was dark this time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Para Equestrian clinic in Langley, B.C. Canada

Seriously busy day here in Langley B.C. teaching Para Equestrian riders of varying standards.
3 Paralympic riders, international riders and less experienced riders. It was great to catch up with the riders who competed in the international competition in Melbourne in December 2009. It is so much easier coaching them on their own horses and far less stressful for all of us!

I had a nice ride on Jennifer McKenzie's Valentine.
Eleanor Elstone's Wild Card is a super talented 7 year old. I am sure he will be seen in both Para Equestrian and FEI dressage in the future. He is a joy to watch. Great paces. It is such a responsibility having such a talented horse - and of course so much fun.

The riding public are beginning to realise that there is no real difference between 'able-bodied' and Para dressage. I believe that there is - the Para horses cannot get away with any impurities in the paces and particularly in the walk!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Flying Again

It is always a terrible feeling leaving home and seeing the animals lined up as you drive away. They always know the result of a suitcase coming out but they always have that tiny hope that maybe this time they will be included.

Rather hard on them this time as I only returned from presenting an RDA coach workshop in Hobart yesterday afternoon, so their excitement was short lived as a small suitcase was replaced by a bigger one.

I am so lucky as I have great people who look after my home and animals when I am away - thanks Ada, Sarah and Will.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lovely autumn weather near Huonville, Tasmania. Scott Perry is on his new horse Goodly.
Just before dusk is a great time of day when a stillness precedes nightfall - great time to be in the bush.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Senior Management reviewing Equine Canada Contract

Just signed contact as a consultant with Equine Canada after Wilma the cat had approved it. Really excited about working with the Canadians again.

The New Blogger

Hi all, this is just to let you know that Mary will be getting her first 'blogger' intro later today and so you can expect some regular inputs from tomorrow. Cheers, from Chris (Mary's technical support)