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Winslet - Born to be a Star!

Winslet - Born to be a Star!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Having foals born is an exciting time for any breeder - wondering just what colour they will turn out to be, what sex, and with what markings. Well in January we had an extra-special delivery - our first (and only for this season) Whisper foal was born.

Because Whisper arrived with us so late in the breeding season last year we only put a few mares to him. One of these was own own three year old mare Luxor (Landioso / Wesserwolf / Haajii) who is simply a stunning mover.

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Success at the North Island Championships

Success at the North Island Championships

Monday, February 28, 2011

I decided that Whisper needs a break from competing - nothing left to prove and no oportunties to further himself in New Zealand at this stage. So I decided to drag the wonderful twenty year old Rheinlander stallion Donnerwind out of retirement to see how he would fare back in the competition ring.

After an injury back in October of 2009 I decided that Donnerwind's career was over and he deserved an easy retirement - but now I'm seriously rethinking those plans! I dropped him down a level from Grand Prix to Prix St Georges / Intermediare I level (a rule I help instigate the changing of a few year's back) and pitted him against the best horses in the the country at the North Island Dressage Champs. And he didn't disappoint.

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It's a dog's life!

It's a dog's life!

Friday, February 25, 2011

At the start of 2011 I welcomed "Bling" into my home for a month or two. She is a harrier hound pup who had joined me for a bout of "Puppy Walking" where a young pup leaves the pack to be socialised. She was tremendous fun to have around, but kept me on my toes with practicing her "speeches" at 6am every morning and constantly redistributing shoes, brushes, sponges and the like all around the farm. Bling even made an appearance at the North Island Dressage Championships - but there is a bit of a funny story to go with that!

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Christmas is a simply great time of year to be a Kiwi. We are not stuck in snow, but instead have wonderful weather and plenty of long summer nights for BBQ's with friends.

Its also a very busy time of the year for us here as it is the middle of the breeding season. This year is Whisper's first proper year at stud and we sent semen right around New Zealand from Kaitaia in the North to Invercargill in the South and just about every place in between. I don't think I will ever get sick of breeding horses - I simply love getting mares in foal - especially the "tricky" ones. Poor Sarah, our worker from Northern Ireland had to learn how to collect semen off the stallions in my absence (away teaching around the country) and package it up and send it to the airport for distribution. That is an icky and somewhat dangerous job, but she always handled it so well.

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Back in Godzone

Back in Godzone

Thursday, February 10, 2011

As much as I love traveling the world and meeting new people - spreading the equitation science message far and wide - its safe to say there's no place like home!

Getting back from the World Games and straight back into my daily chores here at Raglan was a bit of a drag, but was made easier with the arrival of a new foal whilst I was still on my way home. The best kind of foal watch is one you are not there for as far as I am concerned, and with the mare dropping earlier than expected I didn't have to endure sleepless nights on my return home.

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The World Equestrian Games - On Foot

The World Equestrian Games - On Foot

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It was sad as always to be heading out of the UK and Ireland onto the last part of my journey - homeward bound via Kentucky to watch as a spectator only at the World Equestrian Games. I was very lucky to have my accommodation sorted - staying with ex-pat kiwi's Rod and Natalie King - who live about 15 minutes from the grounds. Rod is a farrier at the huge vet practice Rood and Riddle and Nat works in the office there too.

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A Trip to Europe to Cheer one’s spirit

A Trip to Europe to Cheer one’s spirit

Thursday, November 04, 2010

As hard as it was to pick myself up from the disappointment that was America, I knew that I had to get back to work as quickly as possible. Because Whisper would need to spent five weeks in quarantine before the breeding season in NZ could commence, I decided to head up to the UK and Ireland to run some clinics and get myself back up and running again.

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Second Edition - The World’s Fastest Indian

Second Edition - The World’s Fastest Indian

Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Before leaving for the USA I had a loose plan that I wasn't planning on changing. I was due to head out of the Rancho Murieta show on the Sunday, hitching a lift for myself and Whisper back down the highway 12 hours to San Diego where I was to be based with Steffen Peters. However while I was at Murieta I met many nice people from the San Francisco area. Everyone I met was soon enthralled with the story of the girl from a surf town in New Zealand, who had flown across the globe alone, all for the chance of riding for her nation. Read more...
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