Hello all,

I have promised so many people that I will update blogs more regularly. So this is the start!!!!.... If I don’t put something up at least once a month then give me a stern reminder on Facebook!

Obviously a lot has happened since I last wrote. I am glad that the Olympics are over & am not reflecting on my disappointment in being team reserve. Bella felt very good, very relaxed & very fit during the warm up class & trot up. I felt very well prepared & confident that he & I would have jumped well…however at the end of the trot up all horses were declared fit so I remained as reserve. It was exciting to experience the Olympics from an “inside” perspective. Probably the aspect I noticed the most is that I must be almost “European” by now because I know & compete regularly at shows with many of the riders who were at the Olympics.….. the “star struck awe factor ” that I used to get when I first came to Europe has been replaced with the fact that many of these riders are now my friends & fellow competitors on a regular basis.

I cannot describe how wonderful it was to spend such a big period of time with my family. To have some time off with my sister Katy, her husband Drew, niece Raven & nephew Riot was amazing…… also I knew that Poppy John was coming over & loved spending time with him…he hasn’t changed a bit & it is a real buzz to have such a fit & adventurous 84 yo grandfather. I think he met every person in every pub in Greenwich during his stay in London. Another buzz was to spend time with mums cousin Sandy Harbison whom many would know as a great equine vet from Gawler.

 

After the Olympics!

31 August 2012

I certainly noticed how much more knowledgeable I am in my discussions with Sandy about my horses maintenance & preparation programs. We integrate a high standard of care to all of the horses every day as normal practice in Europe. This is because the horses are nearly always boxed & we also want them to have very long careers. Also the expectations of purchasers for a very thorough vet check means that a horse is managed very carefully from a young age. So it was good to talk to Sandy about my stable management practices & get some hints……. The big “visitor” surprise was when I saw Nanna get off the train…I was so pleased to see her & we had great fun together….. tradition has always been that Nanna takes the grand daughters shopping in Adelaide at least once each year…. Adelaide was a bit too far away to we settled for Paris instead!!!!….. we had a great time even if we didn’t buy much…I think getting Nanna to Europe without me knowing it is the only time I have ever been caught out…my family are not good at keeping secrets.

Even though it was disappointing for me to have family at London & me not riding, I was very proud to jump 4 clear rounds with Bella for Nanna at Valkenswaard the weekend after London. It was great to see Nanna watching, especially when we had 2 presentation gallops!

It was a sad day when all the family left Europe for Australia but I am extra busy for a number of reasons. I am not sure how a person’s brain works but it seems that the busier I get the harder it is to fall asleep as I keep thinking of all the things I need to do. Hints on switching myself off at night would be appreciated!

Marian, Nicu & Carmen needed to visit family in Romania as Marians mother is very ill. This makes the daily work load much heavier as the horses must still be worked, walked, groomed & boxes cleaned. Also we must move stables again!!! I was so lucky to be based at Stanny Van Paaschens in the lead up to London. Having a person with his Olympic & World Championship experience is a huge plus for me. However Stanny hasn’t got enough stables for all his own horses in winter so the deal always was that I needed to move on Sept 1st. Given that it is now August 27th & we still havnt found a place I am panicking a bit. In preparation I am starting to pack up the house so at least I am semi prepared when I find something….. With mum & dad we spent some time looking in both Netherlands & Belgium. We are really trying to find a long term facility. I am starting to feel that I need a place to call home…..this next move will be my 9th since leaving Australia & I am sure that once we find a more permanent place I may even make some non horsey friends!

I have needed a bit of time to “re group” since the team for London was announced as the “momentum” suddenly seemed to stop. I also really needed to think about what I could do next. Bella is at a stage in his career where he is very “ready” for the big GP,s. After some thought I have decided to extend his time off now to be a proper break & then target the indoor season especially the Western Europe World Cup season. Getting entries into 4 & 5 * shows is very difficult in Europe & even more so in the winter where numbers are even more restricted. However at this stage I have requested either FEI or Organising Committee Wild Card entries into a number of the CSI-W5* Indoor shows.

The ones I have requested are: Oslo NORWAY, Helsinki FINLAND, Lyon FRANCE, Verona ITALY, Geneva SWITZERLAND and Mechelen BELGIUM. Fingers crossed I will get these invitations.

I will keep you in touch with progress.

 

Amy

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