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08 December 2008 – Olympia

Having finally managed to sort out transport to Olympia with World Classic (Willi), we were on the road again for a week's festivities and fun! Olympia is always so Christmassy, I was really looking forward to denting the bank balance a bit more and doing lots of shopping, watching some of the top riders in the World Cup and, of course the Show jumping

01 December 2008 – America!

Again on a plane, this time en route to Las Vegas. We had both been looking forward to this part of our holiday most, so I was really hoping Vegas would be as big and lit up as I imagined. We arrived and were most definitely not disappointed! The Belllagio where we stayed (and also where Oceans Eleven was filmed) was lovely and I was amazed to find all the casinos linked with shopping malls. Only one intention I think in Vegas - 'hook you in to gamble, ply you with free drink so you bet more and then when you do move on, encourage you to shop in the huge malls to spend more money'! We won a bit some nights and lost (a lot) on other nights but think we about broke even in the end!

There were loads of different shows on while we were there but we chose to see two Cirque de Soleil acts, one was a Beatles tribute called Love and the other was the classic 'O'. Both acrobatic shows were awesome! We also saw the Rat Pack tribute which was dinner and then some of the greats singing songs and an appearance from 'Marilyn Monroe' who sang Happy Birthday to one lucky audience member. One thing we couldn't leave Vegas without doing was the Helicopter ride into the Grand Canyon. This involved flying over the Hover Dam and then landing in the Grand Canyon by the river for a picnic and champagne. We flew back over the strip at night and saw Vegas lit up by night!

Coming home seemed to take forever but when we eventually made it, I was glad to be back and looking forward to getting in the saddle, feeling refreshed and ready for action!

27 November 2008 – America

After a great time in Los Angeles, we drove down to San Diego, taking the scenic route (for once on purpose!) down the coast. We drove through Orange County (a must see for any OC fans out there - it looks just the same as on the program!) and Long Beach. It took us nearly three hours to get into the San Diego area and another three hours to find the Hotel! Parts of the route, I would never EVER want to go back to including some very scary moments near the Mexican Border! Finally back on track finding out we had gone WAY too far south, we found the lovely main centre and hotel. The first thing I did was ask the doorman if the area was safe and got a reply of 'well maaaan, there's a lot of bums about but there all pretty harmless y'know. They hang about down here 'cos it's always warm'. I was left still feeling unsure?

We visited the Zoo, half of the animals in it I didn't even know existed! I had begun to think the only animals on this planet besides us were horses and dogs! A trip to Sea World where the Penguins were definitely my favorite and then a much needed day of relaxing (and more shopping) before the next leg of our adventure.

23 November 2008 – America

After a long flight to Chicago and a worrying start to the second flight to Los Angeles, where on our way down the runway at full speed to take off, an oddly behaved woman decided to stand up and take her belongings out of the overhead locker! Take off was aborted and the captain came over the loudspeaker to say we would now have to wait until a space became available to take off again due to somebody standing up. A collective sigh from the whole plane yet this woman remained completely oblivious! With only some slight navigation issues en route to the hotel, Dave and I finally arrived!

We had great fun exploring Hollywood, visiting the Walk of Fame and Chinese theatre, The Wax museum honoring many of the greats, my favorite was the ones of Will Smith and Tommy Lee-Evans in Men In Black, and the Guinness Book of records museum. I have to admit I had to be dragged away from the Jonny Depp look a likes, I'd have happily stayed there all day! Then onto Universal Studios for some fun rides and a studio tour around some of the television sets - we even got to see Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives!

21 November 2008 – America!

I have had a manic week with mum being away and trying to get myself organized for going on my holiday! I've been scooting about working the horses in the morning and then had a bit of an MOT on myself too! What with optician, dentist and doctor's appointments and, of course, hair and nails for going away, it all just seems to have come up at once! As you know, my head groom has left but the girls on the yard, Charlotte, Kirsty and our Riding School Head Girl, Corrine, have all pulled together brilliantly to help me out. Thanks guys! Mum is back tomorrow and will be exercising for me while I'm away, but for now I'm about to jump in the car and say 'good day y'all' as I head off to America, hopefully leaving the sleet that froze us on the yard this morning well behind for a couple of weeks

16 November 2008 – World Class Results

Mum and Dad are off on holiday for a weeks? well deserved relaxation in the sun! After saying bye to them I set off to Addington Manor for the British Dressage National Convention. I was to receive the Elizabeth Woodward trophy for the best under 21 in the senior small tour and a trophy from the selectors for improved rider in last year of young riders. It was a lovely day to catch up with everyone and watch some brilliant training, picking up lots of tips and methods. The icing on the cake is that I have been reselected onto the World Class programme and can't wait to get my teeth into next season!

09 November 2008 – World Class Selection

We travelled Aristo over early from Emile's to the trials and all in all I was very happy with the way we performed! We showed ourselves to the best we could and I came away almost looking forward to the next days selection! I then scooted back to Emile's to exercise Feine Dame and Sunny and then crashed out watching the X factor in Mum and Dad's hotel room.

On the second day of selection trials we had a training session then interview. Again I did my best to present us in the best light possible. I came away happy but still nervous about the result of the weekend. It was a long round trip to collect the other two horses from Emile's and then to head home to a nice hot bath!

07 November 2008 – Training

The horses all are coming on well in their training and today I had my last sessions before selection tomorrow. We have been working on getting Aristo to lift his back and belly more and to be more active behind. I feel totally prepared with him and feel like tomorrow I have to go and show off my fabulous horse to the selectors! Dad came down this afternoon so we went out and had a lovely dinner before an early night. Mum and Dad retired to a luxury hotel room and I had the lorry and an over excited Betty the puppy!

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Latest results

  • Feine Dame: 1st / 69.45
  • Divine: 1st / 72%
  • Aristo: 4th, 6th, 4th / 70.4% (music Final)
  • Aristo: 2nd overall / 72.9 + 70%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 68.92%
  • Feine Dame: 1st / 68.88%
  • Feine Dame: 1st / 72.07%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 71.47%
  • Aristo: 1st / 70.38%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 72.8%

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