The Final Countdown | An Eventful Life

The Final Countdown


The Barrel finished 6th in a really strong class at Albury 3* which I was stoked with, considering it was our first clear show jumping round at that level. The young pinto Ashmead Her Highness improved no end from her last event and finished on her dressage score of 76% to place 6th in the Introductory. Considering this was my first time competing at Albury, I really should have taken a little more time to walk the cross country courses. In the preliminary Mystery Mark was 2nd after dressage and after jumping 'clear' cross country I thought I had picked up a red ribbon and hopefully enough fuel money to get halfway home. However while showing him off for sale that same afternoon at Albury I was informed by the potential owners that I was eliminated (cue me laughing). Turns out it wasn’t an April fool’s joke but I had cantered past the second last fence, which was the third jump in a combination … Don’t ask me how I missed that one!

At Albury

Last week saw me coaching at a clinic in Mudgee, hosted at the Shawwood Estate by the very hospitable Charles Tym and his family. The other Instructors were Jenny Irvine-brown and Carlene Barton and I think it’s fair to say we all had a great week. Numbers were down slightly but that allowed us to have small groups and give really personalised lessons. All the students made lots of progress over the two days before testing what they had learnt in a dressage test riding session, a mini cross country round over the well laid out course or a show jump round, all under supervision of instructors who offered feedback regarding their rides.

Several riders continued on from the Mudgee clinic to the Nyngan one day event, which is a small event far, far away, yet well worth the drive. The event is run by a hard working local committee, headed by John Hoy and each year they continue to add new cross country fences always looking to improve the course. Unfortunately the event was without Peter Dutton, who passed away earlier in the year and while this was devastating to the community and the event’s committee, they have certainly continued his good work. Notable mentions must go to Sam Barton who won the preliminary and Anthony Stockman who completed his first ever one day event on a tiny palomino quarter horse mare Freckles Renata, helped out by the coaching at the Mudgee clinic no doubt! Also to my aunt who has been doing plenty of ‘sand dancing’ on my brother's horse Timmy Almighty at Centennial Park, which allowed us get the win in the pre novice. Thanks must go to the committee and course designer Tim Dansey who, after the 1* showjumping under lights raised the jumps to 3* height for me to practice on The Barrel. Under lights and the only rider at that height gave me a few nerves but we held it together only rolling two rails in the first round due to me under riding him a little but we manage to go clear on our second attempt. Thanks again to the Stockman and Dennis families who kept me well fed over the weekend and were great company. I know where I will be parking at the next event!

Timmy Almighty gives me a win at Nyngan one day event

With only a few days until Sydney Three Day gets underway our preparation is coming into the final stages. We had our final jump lesson today working on a few techniques to help us in the warm-up next weekend.  Tomorrow morning we will have a gallop on the track just to give him a good hit out before Saturday. Then after Uni on Monday it will be back home to make sure all the gear is in good nick and packed in the gooseneck for the strenuous 20 minute drive to SIEC.

Luckily, I have a super dressage coach in Ann Slatford who is coming out to help me warm up for my test so fingers crossed we can put in a good test. Also quite lucky that my showjumping coach Colleen Brook will be showjumping at SIEC this weekend and is able to help me warm up, so just have to get through the cross country and then we are set… I hope. Fingers crossed! Look forward to seeing everyone out there.




Yeeeaaaahhhhh charlie!

Hey Charlie, it's not the size of the dog in the fight. Didn't you see the way she eat up that Encourager track, if we hadn't been eliminated for some insignificant detail we would have beaten at least half of those kids! Seriously though I can't remenber the last time I had so much fun, thanks for all your help.
Cheers, Anthony