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Australian trip

11-December-2019
11-December-2019 13:53
in General
by Admin

Equestrian in the Park in Perth was an amazing experience and I must really thank Sam Griffiths for his responsibility in getting me invited to be there.  My trip out to Australia was pain free and as soon as I landed I found myself trying five horses ahead of the Park competition.  I was very fortunately offered three nice horses to ride and whilst the competition was only an arena event three rides was going to keep me quite busy.  

 

The next two days were spent teaching at Michael Dagostino’s tremendous facility.  There were all sorts of jumps everywhere so I was spoilt for choice, and it was very tricky fitting five or six rider sessions into an hour.  I think everyone had a very productive time and then it was off to Perth for the competition.  It was all very smoothly run by Kathryn McNee and Michael.  The venue was incredible being downtown Perth with a view out to the sea.  The competition had a real sense of occasion with all spectators dressing up as if they were at Ascot.  

 

The first class was the smaller class in which I had two rides.  Amazingly there were 70 entries and it was a very competitive field.  My two rides in this class were slightly less experienced, my first horse Pico Bam was quite a character with lots of opinions, and a refusal at the first fence was not ideal.  My second horse Alabama jumped a lovely clear round but the hopeless jockey managed to miss a fence which was a real faux pas.  The class was eventually won by the incredible horse who had not only won the Grand Prix class in Perth before but had also won the 5* in Adelaide, so he was quite a pro.

 

It was then on to the bigger class and there were plenty of questions.  My horse Max Almighty was a legend.  He jumped a lovely clear in the first round and then sadly in the jump off rolled a couple of poles which left us in a very frustrating second place.  The prize for first place was a car, so that would have been rather nice!

 

Following our exertions Sam Griffiths and I were spoilt with a wonderful day off on a boat trip to Rottnest Island.  It is a beautiful holiday island and no-one actually lives there apart from the cute kuokkas.  

 

Monday was a very early start for a trip to Melbourne for more teaching, the two great days were organised by my good friend Sharon Ridgway.  I really enjoyed getting a chance to catch up with the Ridgway household and had a couple of top class facilities to train at which was a real bonus.

 

All too quickly it was back to the UK where unbelievably horses are already coming back into work for the 2020 season.  Oratorio is a bit ahead of the game and has been working well and looking terrific.  Little Fire had just started his walking work and is now also being ridden.  The yard is quite stretched at the moment as we are in the ‘between team’ time of year.  Some staff have gone and others haven’t yet arrived, so there is quite a lot to get through.  I always plan for my top horses to start work in December and the young ones then join forces in January, so I am hoping we get a new team in place before the New Year.  Everyone will hopefully have a bit of downtime between Christmas and New Year, and before we know it it will be ‘all systems go’.

 

 

 

 

© 2013 William Fox-Pitt. Photos copyright of William Murray in partnership with Fox-Pitt Eventing. With contributions from Kit Houghton, Fiona Scott-Maxwell, Julia Shearwood, Gavin Hudspith, Ian Loveland & Adam Fanthorpe.

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