The final resting place of Champion of Champions, Sir Tristram, Cambridge Stud, Hamilton, NZ.
After making the long flight (25 hours all up) home to Brisbane, Australia, I took the time to have a quick shower, peek at the new arrival (who's tentatively called Sophie until we finalise her name) then it was straight back to Brisbane International airport for the 3 and a half hour flight to Australia's closest neighbour, and little brother, New Zealand. The trip was not a holiday, way more exciting, a shopping trip to find the next superstar to take on the US horses! And what a group we saw, all beautifully presented, talented and well performed at varying levels. It also served as a reminder of just how tough these Down Under horses are, they have a whole other set of lungs and reinforced tendons! I can tell you it would be very difficult to turn down some of these guys, all potential superstars. In particular a little black fellow by the name of Blackie that will turn up on an Australian, American or British team in the future. Without giving away too much, hopefully we'll have a Kiwi speaking horse on our team soon enough!
Whilst there I also had to great fortune of running into not one, not two but three legends of the horse world. One being Mark Todd, greatest eventer/horseman of all time. I tried out 5 horses on the same arena he was teaching. Having the great Toddy in such proximity was a massive motivation to keep my heels down and not miss into anything! Then I was fortunate enough to be a guest at the world famous Cambridge stud with my host who has a mare at the farm. There I saw the mighty Zabeel, sire of multiple group one winners incl Melbourne Cup). I also visited the grave (the farms centre piece) of the mighty Sir Tristram, sire of many, many group one winners, sires and champion producing fillies. As much as he meant to the racing community he also means to us jumpers. His bloodlines can be found in the many of the most successful jumping horses to come out of Australia and NZ. So obviously this was a huge privilege and honour for me!
I'm now back in Australia as of this morning visiting my family for Christmas and enjoying some warmer weather!!!! Whereever you are, try to keep either warm or cool, depending on the hemisphere!!
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