Sam Lyle: May/15
Following our first event of the year at Wallaby Hill we moved on to Sydney where I had a win in the 105cm class riding Cleddau von Zipper. He is a really serious horse that I have high hopes for.
I then went down to Canberra where I had an excellent weekend placing 1st, 3rd and 4th in the One Star class with all three horses finishing on their dressage scores. I really believe in the horses I am riding so it was nice to have that belief justified.
We then had Camden event. The committee here does a fantastic job of running the event and even though the going on the XC course was very wet they were actually very lucky with the weather. It was heavy rain on the Thursday and Friday morning before the event and the following week was one of the wettest weeks ever in Sydney but the weather over the weekend was fairly sunny. I decided to go slow on the XC due to the wet going but when the results came out I was shocked at just how slow I went compared to some of the other riders so I was well out of the placings.
A couple of weeks later was the Sydney Weekend of World Cups event. Once again it is another great event that was unfortunately really wet. By now everyone was getting pretty sick of the rain. After realising how slow I went at Camden I was determined not to be so slow again. I had Satch Hill and Cleddau von Zipper in the CIC One Star class and Jimmy having his first Two Star competition. All the horses did reasonable dressage tests for their ability and show jumped clear so I set off XC thinking I would let the horses travel and see how they felt on the going. As it turned out my one star horses were the two fastest rounds in the class and I finished first and third. It was a good result and both horses will go two star at their next start but the ride I was most pleased with was Jimmy having his first two star competition. He finished out of the placings but gave me a great ride XC. The going was really bad by time he went XC and it was by far the hardest course he had ever done and he just tried his heart out. That is one of the things I like most in our sport - the feeling of riding a horse you know has given his all to do a good job for you, knowing that when things got tough they kept trying really hard.
As always I have been busy coaching with clinics most weekends that I don't have an event on. This year I have been going up to the NEGS School in Armidale once a month. They are running a strong equestrian program up there and it has been great to get a chance to work on a semi regular basis with the students there and a few really keen local adult riders. My coaching highlight has been going to New Zealand as one of the coaches for the Australian senior and young rider teams. It is a long week going away but was worth it with an individual and team win in the seniors. The XC country was really tough in the young rider class and caused a few problems but it was great to see them in action and it was a really beneficial trip for them.
There is now a lull in events for us until the end of July but I have several clinics coming up throughout June and early July. With up to 20 horses in work, Nicky and I both turning forty in the next month, Immie (our youngest) now walking and being very mischievous as well as continual property improvements we are busy as always but really excited about everything that is happening in our lives.