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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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Horse of the Year Show 2013 - Part One

Horse of the Year Show 2013 - Part One

Friday, May 03, 2013

Every year Kevin Hansen, his lovely wife Sue, and a huge band of helpers put on what can only be described as an incredible spectacle - the Horse of the Year Show. And every year it gets bigger and better. It's not just a horse show - it's a chance to shop-till-you-drop, to catch up with friends from around the country and indeed the world. All my sponsors are there and it's a great time to be with them and support them for the support they have given me. It's a chance to socialise, to show off your horse, and oh yeah - the little thing of actually competing.

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Nationals Blog - It's all about commitment...

Nationals Blog - It's all about commitment...

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Every three or four years the NZ National Dressage championships heads to the South Island to be hosted at the wonderful facility that is McLean's Island - I will let you in on a secret - It's not actually an Island (no passports required) but instead it's on a riverbed. Confusing!

Ever since I began competing in dressage I have supported the Nationals in Christchurch. I think it's been my 5th trip south so far. The hospitality of the Southerners is undisputable, and with my best mate Celine Filbee in charge as Event Manager I knew it would all run smoothly and be a lot of fun.

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2012 - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

2012 - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Friday, December 28, 2012

Well it's that time of the year again - time to reflect back on all that was, all that wasn't and all that might have been. Here's my personal take on 2012...

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Ali Baba - it was meant to be

Ali Baba - it was meant to be

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I still remember the first time I set eyes on Ali Baba - it was October 2011 and I had spent many months looking in Spain and Portugal for me dream horse. In fact this was my second trip over - I'd been at the Global Dressage Forum and had been once again looking in Spain, Portugal and indeed France to find him.

Sarah Warne had sent me some video footage of a young (six year old) stallion with a talent for piaffe and passage. She simply insisted I go see him and she wouldn't stop talking about him. He was younger than I wanted, but he had some good points for sure. So off we went to a fabulous stable just outside of Lisbon where Ali Baba was being kept. I liked the look of him straight away. Although he was not grey (as I THOUGHT I was looking for) he was a stunning bay - and something about him resonated within me - perhaps it was his face - the forelock and eyes reminded me of Landioso somewhat. He was very expressive and cheeky - full of the joys of life and happy to be a young stallion.

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A Lusitano for me? Could it be?!

A Lusitano for me? Could it be?!

Monday, October 29, 2012

People are, I am sure, asking why Jody Hartstone has strayed away from warmblood horses and has travelled to far off Portugal to bring back a Lusitano stallion to New Zealand. Well it all started about two years ago with a chat to my good friend Reisa Bonetti from www.DressageTraiingOnLine.com I was telling her that I wanted to invest in a new competition and breeding stallion but I was dismayed that the New Zealand warmblood stallion market is flooded with non-performance tested, non-european approved stallions who undercut those who are the "real-deal". Stallions such as Landioso, Whisper, Ramazotti and Donnerwind cost an absolute fortune and have proven their worth as both competition and breeding stallions around the globe. But when New Zealand breeders are happy to use non-approved stallions at reduced stud fees it makes the breeding industry in New Zealand somewhat of a joke compared to the high standards set in Europe.

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