The E.I virus is very close to Limitless Lodge with multiples of sick horses at Kulnura, Cooranbong, Morisset and Ourimbah. All horses on all our farms are fine. We are taking temperatures twice daily but so far so good. We are proceeding with business as normal, except we are unable to move horses between our farms, or to and from trainers or spelling farms. It is looking now very doubtful that we will be able to take our draft of horses to Hong Kong for the HKJC International Sale in December. The DPI and Federal Government are still resisting public pressure to vaccinate – one wonders how much more of a spread of the virus it will take before the authorities admit containment hasn’t worked.
14th September – LIMITLESS LODGE SAFE FROM EQUINE INFLUENZA
13th September – EQUITANA POSTPONED UNTIL 2008
Australia’s major Equine Industry trade exhibition, Equitana, scheduled for early November in Melbourne has been postponed until November 2008. This is a tragedy for the organizers but it just shows the enormity of the crisis. At this stage, Victorian racing is going ahead. Everyone is fearful this virus will find its way to Victoria and disrupt the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
9th September – CHRIS KING WINS BLENHEIM CCI***
In another great week of eventing action abroad, Chris King riding The Secret Weapon was able to follow up his triumph at Barbury Castle CIC *** with a hard fought win over Kristina Cook and exciting young prospect, Miner’s Frolic. “Mr Consistency” Andrew Nicholson was again in the money at 3rd with Armada. Again the showjumping was close with only 2 clear rounds all day.
8th September – RACING RETURNS TO SYDNEY
Sydney conducted its first meeting for 3 weeks following the equine influenza epidemic at Warwick farm. It was a closed meeting with only horses trained at Warwick farm able to compete. Rosehill is hoping to hold another stand alone meeting in a fortnight. Randwick horses are now starting to recover after 98% of their horses were struck with the virus. All of these horses will need to be spelled so it is hard to imagine racing returning to normal before the beginning of 2008. Several major thoroughbred sales have been cancelled and the 2008 Magic Millions Premier Sale must now be in extreme doubt.
2nd September – WILLIAM FOX PITT WINS BURGHLEY CCI **** AGAIN
William caps off a fantastic winning year by riding Phillip Adkin’s Parkmore Ed to a nail biting win over a star studded field. William held on to defeat Polly Stockton and Andrew Hoy by the barest of margins. In the showjumping phase there were only 2 clear rounds out of 45, one of which was Harry Meade who was in fact the only rider to finish on his dressage score of 59.8 (45th after dressage). In this modern sport of eventing, it is almost unheard of to jump from 45th to 8th. Clayton Fredericks riding dressage leader, Nullabor had a great weekend finishing 6th.
25th August – EQUINE INFLUENZA BRINGS AUSTRALIA TO A STANDSTILL
After the first cases were diagnosed with E.I at Australia’s Quarantine centre at Eastern Creek, the virus was then able to escape into the general horse population. Horse movements were banned immediately and all racing and competitions were suspended Australia wide indefinitely. NSW and QLD are the only 2 states affected so far. This is a sad day for our supposed rugged quarantine line of defense which has been shown to be very flimsy. The virus arrived with 3 stallions from Japan, who are in the middle of their own epidemic. Somehow, it was then able to leave the facility. The finger pointing and blame game is not important, but obviously a strategy for it not being repeated is essential. The Federal Government has opened an immediate inquiry, lets hope that it’s honest and transparent. The emphasis is already on containment (maintained by a standstill) and not at this stage vaccinating.
10th August 2007
The Hong Kong Jockey Club and the Beijing Olympic Committee play host to the test event run at CCI** level at Bees River Country Club (approximately 30 minutes north from Sha Tin) this weekend coming. With the Beijing Olympics almost exactly 12 month away this is an important lead up for all the teams experimenting with the venue and logistics, not to mention the unrelenting heat and humidity at this time of the year. This venue is expected to be fantastic as it is situated on an undulating golf course.
Mike Etherington Smith is regarded universally as the world’s best course designer and he is in charge with a terrific team working with him. Megan Jones (Winergy Fedwell) and Shane Rose (Statford Novalis) will be Australia’s representatives and will be joined by Wayne Roycroft (Coach) and Denis Goulding (Australia’s team vet). Both horses arrived safely in Hong Kong last week.
8th August 2007
Phantom Pursuit, Tim’s leading horse for the past 2 seasons has been sold to an American young rider, Abbie Golden. She is a client of Phillip Dutton’s and is based in Texas. Spider has been a terrific horse with many wins and great results in Australia. He finished 2nd at Adelaide CCI** twice in 2004 and 2005 as well as winning Sydney CIC*** and Camden CIC*** in 2005. We wish Abbie all the best with him and will keep you up to date with his progress.
6th August 2007
England’s Premier CIC*** was held this weekend and drew together a star studded field. Over the last 6 weeks there have been so many cancellations because of the constant rain, but Gatcombe was bathed in sunshine and spectators appreciated the quality riding in (sweltering) 25° temperatures. In a thrilling contest the very experienced Mary King (47) and Call Again Cavalier defeated William Fox Pitt ( Moon Man) and Andrew Nicholson riding Lord Killinghurst. The best for the Australians was newly married Sam Griffiths riding Connigar Bay into 12th place closely followed by last year’s champion – World Championship Silver Medalist Clayton Fredericks riding Nullabor. For full results Click Here.
30th July 2007
Just like England, Australia has just emerged from its wettest winter in 50 years which has forced many cancelled events. Camden played host to a good weekend of eventing with fulled fields of riders desperate to compete after so long without a start. The courses were virtually the same as earlier in the season.
The CIC*** produced a thrilling result with Australia’s two best horses fighting it out in a great show jumping finale. Shane Rose and All Luck prevailed over Kirby Park Irish Jester ridden by Megan Jones. Both of these riders now head to Hong Kong on other horses for the Olympic Test Event. Tim rode 3 horses and all preformed well. Coney Island had his first pre novice start and came 3rd. Military Road came 6th in his pre novice section. Grand Armee, at his first run back since throat surgery in May was 2nd after the dressage with 68.8% and had a shock stop at the water and show jumped well. He will run again at Silver Hills in late August. For full results Click Here..
30th July 2007
Limitless Lodge is now back fully operational after the devastating June floods. The track has been restored to new and all the damaged fencing has been replaced. Despite fears we had lost several horses, we in fact only lost one which is still unaccounted for, Foaled Gold, trained by David Payne and owned by Carl Holt. Our sincere sympathies for all concerned. My staff was absolutely fantastic as were numerous friends who helped in our time of need. Of course others were affected much worse than us so we were actually very lucky.
Below - some photos from Saturday June 9, 2007
20th May 2007
Taupo Trans Tasman CCI *** is won by New Zealand yet again. Amazingly even though Australia is blessed with much more strength in quality and numbers we have managed to surrender the Trans Tasman trophy. Australia failed to produce a team score with Claudia Graham unable to trot up her horse, Blazing Chief and Georgia Clifford's horse It's Monty getting eliminated on the cross country. Individually, Sonja Johnson and Jaguar were the winners. Third went to Australian individual Emily Anker and seventh went to Stuart Tinney and Vettori.
18th May 2007
Grand Armee has surgery on his throat to correct his wind. Tim noticed at Scone that Grandee's breathing had deteriorated to an extent that was no longer acceptable if he had any future in this sport. It was indeed the reason he stopped racing last season. As normally happens under duress the problem gets worse and needs to be corrected surgically. Jonathon Lumsden from Randwick Equine Centre performed the surgery and all went smoothly. We expect him back competing in September. Grand Armee is considered by Tim to be a serious event horse in the making.
13th May 2007
Chatsworth CIC W *** hosts England's most beautiful horse trials. Blessed with massive entries following the disappointing Badminton the week before Chatsworth drew together a quality field with the most picturesque backdrop of Chatsworth House. Mary King was the eventual winner with her latest star Call Again Cavalier. Second went to Britain's new young gun Oli Townend riding Flint Curtis. The highest placed Australian rider was Marie Ryan riding Penny Royal.
13th May 2007
Quirindi Horse Trials hosts a new event on the NSW eventing calendar. In a year where the calendar looks particularly bare, Quirindi Equestrian Club built a new cross country at a fabulous venue and were rewarded with huge entries in all classes. This year the competition only ran up to prenovice but I'm sure once word gets out about this wonderful event it will only grow. Kim Steineger and her very good horse Cool Concept won the prenovice from a strong field.
Tim's working pupils continue to do well on their new horses.
6th May 2007
Scone Horse Trials played host to an international 3DE catering for all levels from 3*** to introductory. Field sizes were very small due to the continued drought and hard ground as well as the very expensive entry fees. Let us hope next year that both of these restraints are removed and we return to the big fields that Scone is used to hosting. The 3*** was ridiculously under subscribed with only 2 riders and the winner was Marcia Williamson and her faithful Kalason. The 2** was won by Erin Pitt and No Objection and the 1* was won by former Adelaide CCI **** winner Nat Blundell on her new prospect, Algebra.
6th May 2007
Badminton CCI **** is won by Australian Lucinda Fredericks ridingHeadley Brittania. In a teriffic performance Lucinda on her 15.2 h mare was able to lead from the start with a wonderful dressage test (34.8) that was uncatchable for the whole week. This was especially impressive as it followed on from her win at Britain's other major CCI **** in the spring, Burghley. It was a good week for the Frederick household because Lucinda's husband was able to win Kentucky CCI **** the previous weekend.
The ground at Badminton, while not as hard as Scone, obviously, caused more than half the field to withdraw before cross country robbing the crowds of seeing the stars battling it out. Second went to Andreas Dibowski and Serve Well representing Germany finishing on their dressage score of 41.6. Third went to Kim Severson and the wonderful triple Kentucky CCI **** winner Winsome Adante who uncharacteristically had 2 rails down which cost her the win. Australia's triple gold medallist Matt Ryan was fourth on Bonza Katoomba. Australian selectors are overwhelmed with the quality of horse flesh on offer to represent Australia.
24 March 2007
GRAND ARMEE'S NEW EVENTING CAREER A SUCCESS. Grand Armee having now had 3 eventing starts and being thoroughly professional every time looks like he will become the new star of my team. He has a terrific temperament, lovely paces, is easy to teach, is brave, is a very good jumper and certainly hasn't forgotten how to gallop. Thanks to his very supportive owners, Alan and Cheryle Bell, who follow his new career closely.
23 March 2007
MACARTHUR HORSE TRIALS HAS RUN THEIR LAST EVENT. Macarthur Horse Trials, organised by the very popular Debby and Phillip Courtney, regretfully announces that they have run their last event at the current venue. It has always been a terrific event attended by riders from all over NSW and beyond. The lease has expired on the property and Debby and Phillip have chosen to move closer to Canberra where they will be running a new event. Details of this event will be published here as soon as they are ready to go. Debby and Phillip will continue their work as tireless organisers of many events including Sydney CCI and Scone CCI.
22 March 2007
ALBURY HORSE TRIALS HAS DRAWN TOGETHER A HIGH CLASS FIELD TO CONTEST THEIR ANNUAL CIC ***. Albury Horse Trials, will be hosting their annual CIC *** this weekend and has drawn together a very competitive field including Megan Jones, Wendy Schaeffer, Claudia Graham and Heath Ryan who would be riding the leading horses in Australia at the moment. On the Saturday night there is also a giant fundraiser to aid Heath Ryan and his horse Flame in his quest for glory at Kentucky CCI **** in late April. Heath has been such a generous mentor and supporter of Australia's teams and aspiring young riders that it is only fitting that the eventing community gets behind this event.
10 March 2007
CAMDEN ODE RESULTS AND REPORT. Camden ODE has been run and won on the most perfect footing ever seen in NSW. With close to four inches of rain in the two weeks preceding the event and glorious sunshine in the two days before and during the event the turf cushion was a joy to ride on. The CNC *** drew together a very good field and Claudia Graham riding her dual Lakes and Craters CCI *** winner, Blazing Chief, was able to beat Heath Ryan and the Kentucky bound Flame in a terrifically close finish where the showjumping was especially influential. John Vallance has been building the courses at Camden for the last three runnings and combined with his state of the art equipment the showjumping has been a real feature rather than a formality as it is at most events with old heavy gear. It was a good first pre novice start for my favourite young horse, Military Road, who was second after the dressage, with 73% and went clear cross country and one unfortunate rail down ended in him being place fourth. This is very encouraging for such a young, green horse.
3 March 2007
SYDNEY ODE RESULTS AND REPORT. Sydney ODE has held their dual horse trials for summer with a midweek competition followed by a weekend repeat. These events were very well attended and very competitive over courses, designed by Sue Gunn, that were very appropriate for a first event of the season. The CNC ** was won by Shane Rose riding his Adelaide CCI ** winner, Cledau Bobby Dazzler. It was a good weekend for me as Phantom Pursuit was second in the CNC **, Military Road was first in a prelim and Coney Island was second in another prelim section. Grand Armee had his first start and was able to finish second which is a fantastic result, in an introductory section.