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Vikki’s Blog 24th March 2013

Frost glistening on the branches on the trees on the laneWell snow has rather put a spanner in the works and finances are somewhat wrecked due to all the cancellations! No lessons again this weekend, due to the heavy snowfall, not to mention the extreme cold horses and humans alike are having to out up with. Enough of my moaning, there have been some positives over the last few weeks….a couple of superb lessons with Stephen Clark, courtesy of the ABRS Jeffres Trust Bursary, which I was so fortunate and honoured to be awarded last year.  Pedro (Markham Sultan) seems to be finally free of his cracked heels, they have been so sore, it’s been heartbreaking seeing him struggle, but there’s a definite improvement and I’m sure his ‘silver boots’ have helped! Our next hurdle is to make sure that we stay well out if the way of this Equine Herpes Virus, and for that reason, we’ve pulled out of the PSG PetPlan Championships at Hartpury, with the outbreak just a short distance away from Hartpury, I felt I didn’t want to risk it! It’s very disappointing, but hopefully we will be there next year.

Judging is in full swing, I’ve been asked to judge in Jersey which is very flattering and something I shall look forward to as I’ve never been to Jersey before.

Lincoln Horse Trials stood up well to the snow and rain, it was cold sitting in the car for 30+ tests, but we had a very enjoyable morning and superb lunch, with good company! Oasby Horse Trials was challenging, especially as the wheel on my car got cracked and Les and I had to swap vehicles! Much to my amazement and to everyone else’s, the Merc battled through the inches high mud and snow and never got stuck once! We did have an hour’s wait to get out though, as all the lorries had to be towed in and out and various vehicles got stuck, blocking the road.  It was fun and games for the several tractor drivers who were kept very busy throughout the day!

I spent an excellent day at Jenny Ward’s centre at Brampton.  David Hunt was teaching, there were some super combinations and as usual, Jenny excelled herself on the hospitality front, with Easter cakes and heaps of chocolate biscuits.

Last Wednesday was the Judges Convention at Bury Farm, again a very informative and interesting day, just the travelling that was difficult with the weather! Snow storms accompanied us all the way down! Hopefully the Regional Reps meeting at Stoneleigh this week won’t be too affected by the weather and will go ahead as planned.

Future events…….Withcote Horse Trials 6th and 7th of April.  I’m really looking forward to this as I’m judging on the Saturday and then I’ve been asked to be the BE Trainer again for the event on the Sunday, it was glorious weather last year and I was concerned I was going to get sun stroke! I wonder what this year will bring, melting temperatures or snow blizzards? Who knows! I’m also looking forward to judging at Chatsworth Horse Trials on the 11th May, the area dressage qualifiers at Sheepgate in June and the BYRDS Inter-Regional Squad Competition at Keysoe, on Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 June.

At home it’s all been happening, Emma and Richard are back from South Africa, so its been lovely to catch up again and remember with them our fabulous time as their guests at their wonderful farm, though I think like me, they must be missing the glorious South African sunshine!

Aimee, my niece, is getting married in May, so we’ve had Aimee’s hen do.
We’ve had the police waking us up at 7am in the morning as a car had skidded and come through the hedge! The poor ponies were a bit traumatised and we had to get the fence repaired pretty quickly, but fortunately the driver was unhurt!

Elvis, the canary, has been being hunted by a Sparrow Hawk, who seemed unaware of the presence of the glass in the conservatory! Actually, come to think of it, Elvis didn’t seem to realise that there was glass there to protect him either! He was very shaken and all of a flutter! He seems much happier now though, Matthew bought me a canary hen for Mother’s Day and we introduced them to one another yesterday.  It was love at first sight and yes, you’ve guessed it, her name is Priscilla!

Matt is about to publish his book ‘Witch Angel and Warrior King’ it will be a real treat if you read it and available in the next few days on Amazon in Kindle form, so look out for it folks.
One of the bigger frozen lakes at the wildlife sanctuary
I am very happy to say that I managed to complete my 50km run for Children in Need, thanks to my very generous friends who sponsored me, I should say us, as Joe and Winnie did it with me, we managed to raise £166.00, which with Gift Aid, added up to a marvellous £205.00, £105.00 over my target, so I was thrilled and quite overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity! You know who you are and I can’t thank you enough.

It’s certainly been a busy few weeks, but despite the weather, a productive few weeks too.

Vikki

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College Farm Equestrian Centre
West Markham
Tuxford
Newark
NG22 0GT
Tel: 01777 870 886