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Reed Kessler: I'm so happy that I came here!

Thursday, 05 March 2015
Sunshine Tour 2015

Reed blog 1

Hi there everyone, very happy to be blogging for WOSJ again, I seem to always have a very exciting week every time I've been guest blogger so can't wait to see what's in store for the week. It was absolutely freezing the last day of Gothenburg and so I was very happy to arrive back in Vejer at the Sunshine Tour to perfect sunny 72 degree weather!

This is my first year doing the tour here as I am normally in Wellington this time of year, and I'm so happy that I came here. Everyone has said that the last few years the organizers have made so many improvements to the show and it is very apparent. There are around 6 grass arenas and 2 big sand show arenas. The grass footing is immaculate, I can only really compare it to the standard of Calgary. All the rings, even the back rings for smaller classes have perfect footing that is manicured constantly. Even all of the sand rings for show, warm up, or just flatwork all have lovely sand footing mixed with fiber that never gets too hard nor deep. There really isn't a corner that has been cut anywhere. There's 2 big covered rings to ride under and a covered lunging area. The majority of the stabling is permanent and there's smaller rooms for storage and tack. There's also a huge trail through the woods to hack out the horses in easy days and a massive grass ring everyone can flat on every day. It's a very big facility with a lot of horses but it doesn't feel too busy because there are so many places to ride. The main arena is super to ride in with great footing and interesting jumps that aren't the same as the horses are used to jumping every single week. The courses have been very inviting, especially for the youngster classes. All in all, I have really just nice things to say about the show!

I have a new future star in my stable now named Up des Chaînes and he has jumped clear round after clear round in the 7 year old classes here. He arrived at my stables and I brought him straight down here and he has learned so much in 3 weeks it's really incredible. He is quite a big horse and looking at him you might not immediately think he would be so light and athletic but when he jumps he gives the most amazing feeling. Mostly I love his character - he is very green but really trying to do his best all the time even if he doesn't quite know how. In my opinion, this is the most important trait a horse can have in our sport - if they have a lot of heart and really want to do what you are asking, they can make up for a lot of other flaws. In a lot of ways he reminds me of Cylana - I think he will be one to watch over the next few years!

Cosi has been fantastic since he came back outdoors. He was quite tense the last shows inside, and I never had this feeling with him when I was showing outside. So looking at my schedule and seeing the weeks I had free, he is mostly the reason I came back outdoors to do Sunshine Tour. He was 9th in the Grand Prix the first week and 2nd in the Grand Prix the week after. He has been very relaxed, happy, and jumping great since he is back outside so I think I'll have to keep that in mind for the future! He was clear again with a nice quick round in today's 1.50 speed qualifying us for the Grand Prix. Tomorrow he is in the big class, Stakki does the 1.45, and Up is finished for the week since the youngsters go Tuesday-Thursday!

And now I can hardly keep my eyes open and it is time for bed! It was Chloe's last night here and we all had a bit of dinner and dancing- it was such a fun night but I have to say I'm ready to catch up on some of the sleep I missed!


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