Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The West Coast Season Begins by James Alliston

It has been an action packed month since my last blog. The season started for me in mid-February at Ram Tap Horse Trials in Fresno. This was a really fun season opener and everyone performed really well despite the wet conditions. Peggy Moore’s lovely young horse Boston jumped particularly well and made a winning debut at the Prelim level which I was delighted with. I was also a proud owner at this event with partner India McEvoy skillfully piloting my own Mojo to a successful first Preliminary.

Next up was Twin Rivers two weeks later which is Califoirnia’s first Advanced event of the year. It attracted a classy field and was blessed with near perfect conditions. India McEvoy’s divine Jumbo’s Jake went very well for 2nd place whilst Parker jumped a great double clear for 9th to make up for a very forgettable dressage display. Before the next event Parker and I will do some homework in the dressage arena we have set up with a less exuberant performance in the first phase in mind. A special mention to my star student of the weekend Peggy Moore for conquering her dressage demons with a personal best score in the Senior Novice division.

Right now is one of the busiest times of the year at my base, Graceland Equestrian Center. We have foals on the way by our lovely stallion Libero Star which is causing great excitement but also means some late nights on foal watch. Breeding may be an expensive and time-consuming operation but the thrill and pleasure of producing horses from the very beginning is always something that has appealed to me - and the babies are very cute too.

Away from horses my main activity is tennis and my local team, the Bay Trees Warriors, play our first match in a few weeks. I love to be able to go and whack a few balls on the courts after work; I think it is great for mind and body. Elsewhere, India and I got a little dog. His name is Archie and he splits his time between Graceland with me (which he prefers) and UC Davis with India.

Next on the agenda is Galway Downs in Temecula at the end of March. This is a beautiful event and one of the jewels of the California calendar. Hosting all the levels from novice to CIC3* it is something we are all looking forward to and well worth the lengthy drive for us.

Photo of Mojo provided by James Alliston

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