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  • Samantha Lissington

Onwards and Upwards

There is a light at the end of the tunnel – well at least a few of the tunnels anyway!


I was glued to the livestream each morning last week as New Zealand have been playing in the Futsal World Cup qualifying tournament in New Caledonia. They were so very very close to making history and coming out on top, but alas they were pipped at the post by the Solomon Islands who ended up winning 7-6 via penalty shoot-out. As the winners, they will be the only team that goes to the World Cup in Lithuania next year. I was so nervous I felt like I was about to go around Burghley again! So it’s mixed emotions for us - but an overwhelming “whole-new-barn-of-horses” level of excitement persists on my part.

Sidenote 24: Brayden is looking for a job over here, I might be bias but I think he's probably the-best-thing-since-sliced-bread! Let us know if you think of anything ;)

Mum and Dad have had quite the adventures lately – they have put their house on BnB, sailed to New Caledonia, managed to watch some of Brayden’s games, and have sailed on to Australia where they are planning on being based for the Summer to spend some enjoyable time with family. They are so cool!

We have other good news on this side of the world in that Sooty has made excellent progress and is now entered for the 4*L at Pratoni (Italy) next week to have a crack at our Olympic qualification. He is perky, jumping well, and is fresh enough to buck in his changes so they are all good signs ;) We will continue to evaluate day-by-day but at this stage it looks like we are a go-ahead unless he tells us otherwise. Nothing like 25+ hours in a truck to catch up on the past 4 months of life eh babe?

We leave at 3am tomorrow morning! ROAD TRIP!

Ricky had a successful operation, in the end we’ve gone for a normal tie-back so she will be back in work sooner than we thought which I will enjoy!

We have attempted a couple of final events with varying success – Roxy, Chichi and Cabbage all went to Aston and had a good experience even though everyone got towed in and out of the truck park. Caroline and I drove all the way to Bicton (3.5hrs?) to do a dressage test and then turned around as the ground was just horrendous. There have been many events abandoned and we are now at the end of the eventing season which I’m sure brings a sigh of relief to organisers and riders alike.

Autumn has well and truly set in over here, and there are so many trees presenting all the beautiful colours associated – Autumn over here is so much more evident than I remember in NZ. We have started making the fire each morning here at Buttermere (probably a bit premature but hey – everyone is happier with a fire on!)

Sidenote 25: Not many roads in the UK have drains on the sides, so whenever it rains you get huge puddles to splash through. I like to think they are cleaning my car but really who am I kidding ;)

I am getting to know the Buttermere horses and the yard feels more like home now, I look forward to making progress over Winter (with a particular attempt to improve my dressage!) I also have a nickname, which is tradition for the Buttermere yard – check it out and let me know if you can work it out ;)

Sidenote 26: I don’t think I will know the true meaning of jealousy until I am sitting here in January looking at photos of people on their NZ Summer Holidays. It feels like a whole new level of resilience preparation!

Cheers, Sam

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