How did your horses go at Reonet? Which horse impressed you the most?
All of my horses jumped superbly. Nissan Coester was clear in the 1.45 GP and I think I might have him ready for the GP at Nissan Easter Festival. Companeiro will be ready for the 1.40 at the Festival: he was placed twice at Reonet Summer Cup. Cody Island was good in the 1.35 and I will use him in the speed classes at Nissan Easter Festival.
Which horse did you feel needs more work before the Festival. What work specifically will you do and in what way do you hope that the work will result in a better show?
Coester is a big jumper with good rideability but lacks technical training, so I will work on getting his gears better (forward and back) and increasing the consistency of his jump as well as how he uses his body over the jump.
What are the main things that you will work on with your pupils leading up to NEF?
I will work on more open distances as the arenas are bigger than they are used to. I will also work on lots of S lines as I think the course designer is going to use them. Oh and of course, practice water jumps.
Which horse are you most excited to compete on at NEF and why?
Coester and Companeiro in the 1.50 and 1.40. With these two, I have two good horses to be competitive on. I have spent two years developing a team of horses and now it’s time to start winning some classes.
Tell us about Counter – how he has come back from injury; what grade you will jump him at NEFand what you want to achieve?
Counter is on the comeback. He doesn’t jump fantastically on grass so we going to miss NEF, and save him for the World Cup Series starting in May.
You were recently overseas – why did you go; where; with whom; what did you achieve?.
I went to Spain to my favourite old haunt the Sunshine Tour. Then I went to England, Belgium and Holland, mainly on a buying trip for some of my clients. We are in the process of vetting so until we know I don’t want to pre-empt anything… but watch the press!
Which horse and rider combinations do you think have a good chance of winning the SA outdoor GP this year? And why them?
I feel that there is very strong competition this year. There are all the regular contenders like Nicole Horwood etc, but also some new ones like Govett Triggol, his son Tom, Ray Korber and then hopefully one of us from Team Nissan such as Lor, Liam or myself!
How is Lorette’s season going and what are you working on with her?
Lor’s string is coming together. She has two top 1.40 horses – Callaho Sampras and Centos Boy. She has taken over Nissan Equistro from me but he has had an operation, so only will be back at Nissan Easter Festival in the 1.30, but she is hoping to do the 6 bar with him and then the World Cup Series too.
What do you love so much about NEF?
I just love the family atmosphere where everyone from lead rein to Grand Prix level can compete. And, of course, Nissan’s total commitment to an international level show – it really is a class show!