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The Hangover 4 – Las Vegas Kiwi-girl style

The Hangover 4 – Las Vegas Kiwi-girl style

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I can't think of a more fun place in the world to host an international dressage and jumping show than Las Vegas, Nevada. Well from a purely selfish spectator point of view anyhow. Not only can you see your favourite horses and riders in one spot, you can also party, shop, explore, do the Grand Canyon, find your soul mate, get married by Elvis and play the pokies all in one convenient location.

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Quatro Noites em Portugal

Quatro Noites em Portugal

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Well my 2014 round-the-world winter trip consisted of teaching in Canada, and the UK - I think I counted 65 lessons in the first two weeks of my "holiday". Then I flew to Portugal to make the most of four short but action packed days of Lusitano horses before heading to France for the World Equestrian Games.

So on a warm Wednesday night in August I found myself yet again flying into one of my favourite places on earth courtesy of Ryan Air. It is hard to describe the feeling I get when I step onto Portuguese soil and breathe in the balmy Lisboa air. Portugal is the antipode of New Zealand - literally the opposite side of the earth, and I feel a strange magnetism or pull to this place every year. Maybe it's a past life experience, maybe the Iberian Peninsula is somewhere back in my history, or maybe it's just the Lusitano horse pulling at my heart.

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Okete - Paradise Lost

Okete - Paradise Lost

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I really truly hate goodbyes. I'm not talking about selling a horse and waving it off - I'm ok with that. I don't mind saying goodbye to a dear friend at the airport if I know our paths will cross again soon. And I don't mind leaving a great town or city if I know I am free to return there again someday. It's the permanent farewells I struggle with. The kind of permanency that goes with saying goodbye at the graveside to a mate or family member. Or holding your horse's head in your arms one final time as the vet's car comes up the drive...

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Belmont Golden Boy - The Pearl of Them All

Belmont Golden Boy - The Pearl of Them All

Sunday, September 29, 2013

This week I laid to rest another champion stallion. A small horse with the gentlest nature and the biggest heart. He had lived 27 years on this earth - his last 17 with us at Raglan. In our 7 years competing together he won every trophy imaginable at Advanced level. And in his 10 years of retirement he spent many hours dozing as he looked out over the Raglan Harbour. This week I got to say goodbye to the horse that launched my dressage career - a horse so dear in my heart - Belmont Golden Boy.

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ISES - The best annual conference yet!

ISES - The best annual conference yet!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

For those of you who read my blog from the International Society for Equitation Science conference in Scotland last year you may well be thinking I'd give this year's conference a wide berth, but boy am I glad I didn't. I have attended five ISES conferences in the past in USA, UK, Australia, Ireland and Holland and this year it was to be hosted back in the US of A at the University of Delaware. I'd never been to Delaware and I was keen to go back to New York as my good friend Melanie had recently moved there from Auckland and I thought she could use an injection of Kiwi in her life for a week. So I tagged a USA stop onto the end of my mare buying trip to Portugal and landed at JFK to the welcoming face of dear Melanie.

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Donnerwind - a beautiful soul has gone and left us....

Donnerwind - a beautiful soul has gone and left us....

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I write this blog thru tears, both of sadness and appreciation for a wonderful wonderful stallion that has just passed on to yonder pastures. When I woke up this morning here in Portugal I checked my phone and there was a text from my wonderful vet Noel Power to say that Donnerwind had suffered a torsion colic and had to be destroyed. He was twenty two and had had a long good life, but still I feel he left me too soon and I am pained that I never got to say goodbye.

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Not-So-Intrepid Journeys - Travel Blog Rarotonga

Not-So-Intrepid Journeys - Travel Blog Rarotonga

Friday, May 17, 2013

It's not every day a full time rider such as me is offered a holiday to a destination that involves not one solitary horse to assess, ride or train. So when my generous supporters Erin and Warwick Mortimer invited me to spend a week at their luxury villa Te Manava in Rarotonga I jumped at the chance. Although I have seen much of the world, the Pacific Islands have never crossed my travel radar - so it was with great excitement I agreed to come.

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Horse of the Year Show 2013 - Part Two

Horse of the Year Show 2013 - Part Two

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Friday at the Horse of the Year show started pretty much how Thursday had ended - busy! I had requested an early draw in the Inter 1 class because Kevin Hansen (HOY organiser extraordinaire) had asked Ali Baba and I to appear in the middle of town at midday for the street parade and display in the civic square in front of the mayor. This was a new concept for the HOY show - to bring the show right to the people of Hastings. So there was a street parade with what seemed like all of the school children in Hastings attending. The parade ended in the Civic Square with Mark Todd being the guest of honour, and a good turn out from both young and old alike who were entertained by Vicki Wilson's bareback display, Harold The Horse and of course Ali Baba and I in our Portuguese costume and saddle.

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