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[RC] Fernvale FEI ride, part 2 - Jay Randle

The 45km training ride saw about 30 horses set off at daybreak, with Splendacrest fielding 5 of them!  Three of my new riders were doing their second qualifying training ride, and Ted Fitzgerald was roped in to ride Shardell Prince Valiant (a huge brown Anglo owned by Rod Strahan) in his very first outing.  Lisa Roosen (who has moved here from The Netherlands) rode Mt Eerwah Silver Mariner (aka Pete), Marcia Burger (who has moved here from South Africa) rode Splendacrest Zhateau, and young Steph Tulk was mounted on Splendacrest Ulysses, and all were successful in gaining their "Novice rider" qualification by completing this second training ride.  Ted also completed the course, with Prince Valiant attracting plenty of attention!
Many of you may remember a crazy German girl that used to ride for Splendacrest 5 years ago.... Clio Rauch.  During her three years with us here (while she was attending University in Australia), Clio was a regular rider and became very successful.  Then she had to go home after Uni, and we have missed her dreadfully.  Well, SHE'S BACK!  Yes, Clio has returned to Australia to take up endurance riding again, having not had the chance to do any in the past 5 years!  She arrived last Wednesday night, slept in on Thursday morning (jet lag), jumped on a horse on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, received her QERA membership card in the mail on Friday (thanks Dee!), and then travelled with us to Fernvale on Saturday, and rode my lovely stallion Splendacrest Zafire in the training ride on Sunday!  
Clio used to ride Zafire's sire, Zakah Zahara, when she was with us years ago.... in fact she completed a Quilty and an Easter Marathon on him too!
So, there she was on Sunday, grinning from ear to ear, saying 'hello' to friends she hasn't seen in years, and riding Zak's son Zafire in his second ever outing for a great completion, and gaining the "Best Presented" prize as well!!  WOW!  She hasn't stopped smiling yet!
Another new addition to the Splendacrest Team is Johan de Bruto, who has moved to Australia from South Africa, and who is an experienced endurance rider.  Johan spent the weekend with us in strapping mode, and became very envious of all those riding. He also took lots of great photos of the weekend, and seemed to enjoy his first experience of endurance in Australia.  Thanks Johan, for all your hard work over the weekend.   (Oh, and by the way, Johan also turned up on Saturday with an esky of beer.... I think he'll fit right in here!!)
We were also joined on Sunday by Bert Hartog, who some of you may know.  Bert is well known in the 'other' disciplines, especially dressage and vaulting, and is now interested in learning about endurance riding with a view to possible becoming involved in the sport.  So Bert took the time to come and crew for our team in order to learn a little about the sport, and he was a very handy and capable strapper!! Thanks Bert, for your assistance on the weekend, and I hope you learned a lot!
The team cannot survive without Shane Hopkins, who is always there to put a shoe on, or to make sandwiches, or to run to the store to get ice (and boy! did we need ice this weekend!!!), or to organise everything and anything!  Thanks Shane, for once again being an intregal part of the Splendacrest Team!
There was much comment over the weekend about the new FEI rules, and some confusion about the requirements to qualify for further FEI rides.  The added expense of FEI rides will certainly keep many people away, however I am sure that if people would just try it out they would enjoy the experience.  The weekend was well run by the Fernvale Club, and we had a great time! 

The promised rain did not happen, however Cyclone Hamish is causing some grief up north, and today it is a bit windy and overcast here.  Hope everyone else had a great weekend, whatever you were doing!

Best regards

Jay Randle

May the horse be with you.....

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