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  • Samantha Lissington

Tis the season

The leaves are now well and truly golden, and no amount of sweeping seems to keep anything tidy for more than a few hours!

We have been keeping busy with our final target for the year – our inaugural showcase event which we hosted at the yard yesterday. Jules and Annabelle (Quantas’s part owners who joined us in June) helped us to put together a fabulous day, hosting about 25 people with an interest in horse ownership.

Mulled wine, mince pies, and a touch of sparkle helped to add to the festive feel. The Pure Feed horse treats made it feel a little like a petting zoo, which all the ponies loved!

We rode Rafa, Cookie and Charlie on the arena, all of whom did us proud and enjoyed showing off to the crowd. Many of the new faces live quite local to us, so it was nice to get to know our community a bit better!

Special thanks to Fran and Kaitlyn for all their hard work on the final preparations this week. We are thrilled they are staying with us next year and enjoyed sending them off for a well earnt break earlier this month – I hope they absorbed enough sun to last the Winter!

Speaking of holidays Quantas is the last horse to come in from his break having just had 5 weeks off post his Le Lion trip to France. He has already caused mischief and is using up plenty of Fran’s patience in the process! The rest of the kids have all had about the same amount of time off, and have all enjoyed a few weeks hacking before starting their Winter conditioning work. It has actually been nice turning them out whilst the weather has still been pleasant! We have enjoyed lots of sunshine which has been a treat.

We have been lorry-less for the past 5 months (since our back wheels literally fell off on the way back from Ireland in June!) and have been borrowing Fran’s trusty blue lorry since (called Reggie - without which we would have been very stuck, so another thank you to Fran!)

So this month we have been busy scouting with a bit of extra time on our hands, we are very thankful to have Sussex Asset Finance helping us to put together a loan (we feel like nervous first home buyers!). Will keep you posted with how we get on (fingers crossed!)

On another note, we have been doing some more ‘human’ things - last week I had my first ever spa day (along with Ginny, Muzi and Megan!) – thank you so much to Pip and Sharon for buying us the vouchers, and also to Whatley Manor for honoring them as we got them some time ago amongst the Covid shenanigans! I am not sure we have ever felt more pampered or less horsey! We have also been to Cardiff to watch the rugby (NZ vs Wales – seems to be becoming an annual occasion!)

On Monday Brayden and I begin our trip back to NZ, flights this year have been very expensive so it is a rather long journey with a couple of stopovers along the way. Our main reason for justifying the trip this year is that (after many years of hassling) our best friends (Ginny and Mitch) are finally getting married. We are looking forward to celebrating, getting our own good dose of sunshine, and seeing all our family and friends. We land back in the UK on the 12th of Jan, (just after Maddy and James’s wedding in Blenheim) by which point I will have itchy feet to get on a horse again I am sure!

While we are away we have an Australian rider coming to visit/house-sit/dog-sit and help out, we are looking forward to welcoming J’Amie Mallon to the UK tomorrow (she is in the air at the moment). It will be great peace of mind to have an extra pair of hands looking after the place which will make leaving a little easier – thank you J’Amie!

There is plenty to look forward to in 2023, the first of which is that we are very excited to be taking a truckload of horses down to the Sunshine Tour in Spain for a three-week-stint in February. This much-talked-about show jumping event has become an early preparation step for many of the top UK based eventers. We look forward to going for our first time and seeing what all the fuss is about ;)

One thing we have really noticed this year is that even through all the ups and downs that life has thrown at us, the UK is feeling more and more like home. We love it here and we can’t wait to tackle another eventing season on British soil.

We eagerly await the release of the 2023 British Eventing calendar to put together some more concrete plans for the year ahead.

We better get a lorry before then!




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