Sunday, February 20, 2011
We have a VERY exciting announcement to make....we want you to meet Playtime! Affectionately referred to as "Smarty," (and sometimes not so affectionately as he is circling around us in the paddock not getting caught), this handsome guy just got down to Aiken after taking a world tour from his native land of New Zealand! Smarty is an officially 9 year old Selle Francais, sticks about 16.1, and has all the flash and bling a girl could ask for. Congratulations to the Ellis family on purchasing such an amazing creature. He was the 6 year old show jumper of the year down in NZL, and did a jumping tour in Australia as well, when Ross Smith from NZHorses.com found him and sold him to 3* event rider Lizzie Brown. Needless to say, he is an incredible jumper and has the most powerful jump that just feels effortless at the same time. Eventing since last April, Smarty took to his new career like he had been born for it. Let's just say, he certainly deserves his barn name. If anything, I think he feels that this eventing thing so far has been too easy and too much fun, completing a CCI* in December and taking home a ribbon to boot. A million "thank you's" to Joanne Bridgeman of Quality NZ Horses for making this whole thing happen. Lizzie is off to England with her 3* horses and Smarty is in Aiken getting ready for a fun spring season here with us!
I don't want to do too much with the little darling after such a trip, but there have been a few rides and some good fact finding missions. He moves with such expression off of the ground, I want him to have a chat with Morris about how easy and elegant this dressage stuff can be lol. I haven't done too much in the way of lateral work yet, but yesterday was playing around with some counter canter and I had a whole new gear when I went back across the diagonal. What fun! We are going to do some show jumping today, actually, to get me warmed up before taking Morris over to jump at Paradise (he is currently sitting 7th, by the way, and a clean jumping round today should solidify a ribbon for us). Paradise has their cross country open tomorrow, and since it is just 5 minutes down the street from our winter facility at Hatchaway Bridge Farms, I think Mr. Smarty Pants is on the trailer tomorrow and we will have a little cross country school. Lara is going armed with all of our cameras, so stay tuned! I hope to get his official page up soon on the website, and we are looking for some mid-late March shows for a United States debut for Smarty. Probably the March Full Gallop and then Southern Pines II. The CCI* at Bromont I think is the spring goal, and the CCI2* at Fair Hill sure is looking good on the calendar! There, I said it out loud!!