To The Pryde's Team,
The last few weeks simply dipict our life at the moment...busy busy busy!
After returning home from Europe in August, I have been concentrating on getting my horses in shape for the run of Championships that are being held throughout September, October, November and December, completing my DVD Training Series due to launch at Equitana in November, and getting all of my loyal riders all tuned up for the year end shows.
Whilst I was away, Mel, David and Anna did an amazing job at keeping all horses in full training, allowing me to just step back on and keep things going.
Over the past weekend, we had our NSW State Championships at the world class AELEC facility in Tamworth. It was another great show organised by the backbone group of Australian dressage. During this week, I had to jet back to Sydney to work with my eventers as they had a very important event in the form of the Sydney Three Day Event, an important event on the calendar and a great event to prepare them for the Adelaide Four Star in November. So I drove the horses up on Wednesday, rode them on Thursday morning, and then flew back to SIEC to coach Thursday afternoon. Friday was then spent in the rain warming up everyone for the dressage phase of the event, which might I add was dominated in the results by NSW riders. Once this was all over and our video reviews had been done, it was back on the plane to Tamworth to continue with the State Championships.
Whilst I was away, our stable rider David McKinnon got the team off to a flying start by winning the Elementary Championship on John and Bev Healey's Bradgate Park Jatzz. The 6 yr old son of Jazz was in great form and had many people talking around the ground. Then on the Saturday, whilst I was busy in transit, David secured another championship by winning the NSW Novice Title to add to the Elementary. So as you can imagine when I arrived to the grounds, everyone was on a high, and the tone of the event had been set.
Mel was the next to go on the sensitive Ettienne. I arrived from the airport midway through the final stages of the warm up, which was being very well controlled by our wonderful mentor and supporter Carolyn Lieutenant. I was very impressed with the work Mel was getting from Ettienne but he is a very sensitive little guy and after some truly international trot work, had some hiccups in the walk and then decided to get over sensitive in the canter. Not to worry though as he is a super super horse and once he gets into a competition routine, he will be hard to beat.
On Saturday afternoon I commenced my schedule at the Championships with both DP Weltmieser (aka Rabbit) and QEB Good as Gold (aka Will), in the Advanced Freestyle. The first to go was Will who has a freestyle containing music from the movies Driving Miss Daisy and The Holiday. After a tense and nervous warm up, Will settled into the spooky competition arena and finished third overall. Last to go in the class was Rabbit, who has a U2 and Simon & Garfunkel mixed freestyle. To date, Rabbit was undefeated in the Freestyle and in Tamworth he also won the chocolates, winning the class with 74.75%.
The following day, it was an early start with Will first on in the Advanced 5B. After a long day of competition with most of Australia's best Advanced combinations present, Will had finished second in both tests whilst Rabbit had won one test and was third in the other. This was enough for Rabbit to win the overall Advanced Champion of NSW whilst Will was a very close runner up.
The owners of Rabbit, Richard and Susie Duddy (who are Tamworth residents), together with Susies parents Brian and Barbara Marheine were there to see Rabbit compete so successfully and were very pleased with his success. So overall, we had a great time and are all now looking forward to the National Championships in Sydney at the end of October.
I am now about to duck back to Europe to keep up with Lord of Loxley and his training. Thankfully with a week like last week, I should sleep all the way....!!
Brett and Melinda Parbery