It was a pleasure, as always, to meet up with yourself and Sharon at the National Dressage Championships. I always seem to learn something new about your feed range when I meet with you or your staff in person. As a result of your recommendation I have now commenced feeding 2 of our horses your Rebuild product. One is Remi London Belle who whilst quite a good eater can lose weight when travelled and competed regularly. She is also in a heavy training schedule as she is just starting to train towards her FEI debut next year. The other horse being fed Rebuild is a very gangly three year old warmblood who has just come home from the breakers. We expect him to mature to 17hh+ and at the moment he looks like he needs another 100 kg of weight on him. In both cases we are continuing their usual feed regime of EasiResponse but adding the Rebuild. We are already seeing results with both horses but particularly the three year old.
The Nationals were a lot of fun. I was fortunate to have lessons with the Hanoverian German trainer Andreas Schoffner, whom I had trained with only a month before. It was tremendous to have this follow up and to have Andreas warm me up for my first test. Remi London Belle performed 2 creditable tests and although nowhere near the placings I was happy with the way she handled the competition atmosphere and generally stepped up to becoming a serious dressage horse. It was a good achievement for her to even gain a start at the Nationals given that she only commenced competing at this level this year. Medium is terribly competitive with many talented horses, both imported and Australian bred, competing at this level and the Nationals had a very long reserve list. A good sign for the future of the sport.
RLB travelled home safe and sound and went out the next weekend to compete in an advanced class where she placed 2nd with 62%. Sadly this class was meant to be official but due to the Clubs inability to procure judges at this level the class was run as associate. Elite Waldo Pepper also won the official preliminary at this event.
Last weekend saw our final competition for the year - the Lockyer Equestrian group Members Championships. This was only a Club level event but these smaller events can provide a valuable opportunity to give horses quiet confidence building outings and to introduce them to a new level of tests. In the case of RLB we did 2 advanced tests (the level at which she will debut officially next year) winning both with scores over 60%. This earned her the award of advanced champion. Waldo only contested the prelimininary tests as he has a tendency to get anxious in the competition arena. This was the case at this event where his first test was disobedient due to tension but by the second test he had relaxed and easily won this with a score of 66%.
The Lockyer Equestrian Group is very proactive and this year ran a Futurity event contested at the one level over 4 different events. RLB competed in the medium tests and won 2 of these and placed 2nd in the other 2 tests and this earned her the champion award for the medium Futurity. Waldo contested the preliminary level winning 3 of his 4 tests and placing 2nd in the other. This also earned him the champion award for the preliminary futurity. So a nice finish to the year.
We await the birth of our first foal - a frozen semen baby by De Niro. We already have our first mare in foal (to Rosario by frozen semen) and the breeding season is progressing well so far.
My job over the Christmas break apart from the usual training of horses is to plan for the Qld State Young Dressage Horse Championships which I will run in July 2011 and to organize the Toowoomba Dressage Inc Young Horse Championships to be held at the end of January 2011.