Sunday, July 6, 2014

What Goes Down Must Come Up

Silva and I had a truly testing start to the new year. After great success early in the winter we both found ourselves challenged with the task of recovering from injury after I snapped my leg in half and Silva sustained a head injury. Both of these are obviously huge setbacks, especially in the thick of the season.

When you’re injured it’s an awful feeling because you feel like you’re never going to come back, and you’re watching your competitors get stronger around you. I’m proud to say both Silva and I are starting to get our tails up as we are both coming back to being 100%.

Silva is now sitting on a couple of horses a day, which I think has really re-invigorated her spirits. She’s carefully selected some of the quieter, straightforward horses to get going again. I think that in a short period of time we will see Silva go strength to strength and get back to her best.

I myself have been back to riding for some time now, and while I am still a little bit stiff and sore, I’m at least to a point where I’m full operational and competing all the horses again.

I was thrilled to have Shamwari 4 and Trading Aces - with Phillip Dutton  - put on the WEG team. Both of these horses were specifically purchased with this goal in mind and I feel with great performances at Kentucky and Luhmuehlen they deserve their places on the team. Now that the selection is out of the way both Phillip and I are throwing 110% at keeping the horses as fit as we can, and going as well as we can, to do battle at Normandy in a couple of months.

As we prepare for the WEG, I gave Shamwari ten days off after Luhmuehlen and then put him back to work. He did his first gallop yesterday and Phillip’s had Trading Aces humming along for a fair bit longer and has galloped him a number of times since he’s had more time since now and Rolex. David O’Connor made a trip up to Unionville last week and actually rode both horses and seemed impressed with their current form. I think the way it works is he’ll be going from farm to farm on a weekly basis, helping everyone train.

We’ve some class horses in work here at the farm and I’m thrilled that Mackenna Shea, a three-star rider from Washington, has come to join the team in the goal to get her horse ready for Fair Hill. She was ninth at Bromont and she’s got a really good horse under her in Landioso 12-year-old Bavarian Warmblood (Legendaer I—Aspen, Pilotek) . I’m always a believer in having good riders training around you lifts the bar throughout the barn, and with McKenna and Caitlin here it sets a high standard of riding for our farm.

As usual I’m always on the lookout for really good horses and new supporters to join in on this adventure. I was really impressed with the horseflesh at Luhmuehlen and it was a good reminder that we always have to be on the lookout for top horses in order to stay competitive on a global level.


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