Our England Trip
Bruce and I left on 26th June 2007 and flew to Mauritius where our son Peter has been working for 12 months. We spent a lovely week in that Island paradise before flying onto England. The picture at right was taken at a Hindu site on the island.
We were met at Heathrow airport by Amanda Marfleet waving an Aussie flag and wearing a straw hat with corks bobbing around the brim. We stayed with the Marfleet family at their lovely old home in Kent. The oldest part of the house was built in 1451. It was amazing to live where people had lived for hundreds of years. The view from our bedroom was typical English countryside with sheep and horses grazing quietly.
Amanda took 3 horses with her from Australia, Tommy (Phantom of the Opera), Phanty (Murrim Park Phantom) and Norman, her large Russian Draught horse. Both ponies have been very successful in competitions in England keeping the spotlight on Aussie horses.
We attended many shows with them whilst we were there, including the Royal International Show at Stoneleigh and Ponies of Britain at Newark. Kate and Phanty had an incredible show winning over 50 awards and many Champions.
Kate has a lovely new horse, Captain Hastings, which was purchased from Alistair Hood. He is a lovely type, brown/bay gelding, 15.2hh. He was Supreme Champion at the Royal International last year. Kate looks very good on him, both astride and side saddle.
The English Show varies from our own show considerably. For example, the Ponies of Britain Show lasts 6 days and nights and has 12 rings going simultaneously and the Side Saddle Show mentioned above was full on 4 days and nights. There are similar classes on each day for horses and competitors, whereas in Australia there is only one class of a type at each big show. Hence it is possible to win many more ribbons with one horse in England than it is possible at our shows.
Bruce was given the great honour of closing the National Side Saddle Show at Addington. On the final night’s Spectacular he said his poem “Partners, a Tribute to the Horse”, to an enthusiastic audience. There was not a dry eye in the arena as he finished to tremendous applause.
As a result of his performance he has recorded “Partner’s” for it to be used at the Olympia Show in London in December.
Bruce also performed his poetry over the Show address system and the regional radio each day at the Ponies of Britain Show at Newark. The radio announcer introduced Bruce as “a cross between Shakespeare and Crocodile Dundee”.
The last Show we attended was a wonderful experience, a typical English country show; there were many attractions for spectators, several rings separated from each other with horse events, unlike the one big we have here. There were interesting demonstrations of trout fly fishing, horses and hounds, gun dogs, carving and all sorts of county activities. All the Shows have rows and rows of shops set up where you can buy anything from jewellery, saddlery, art work and clothing to furniture. And I am sure to be an Englishman you have to have a dog or 2 or 4 following you.
We went to visit Clayton and Lucinda Fredricks at Devizes in Wiltshire. We stayed with them for 5 weeks last year.
In May Clay was named No.1 in the World for Horse Trails. Both he and Lucinda are in line to ride for Australia at the 2008 Olympics. I spent time with Clayton and his two top horses – Binalong Time and Neville and it was very satisfying to me that I still have advice to offer him that helped him improve his performance.
We are hoping to be in Hong Kong to see them ride for Australia.
Clayton is coming home to Perth to celebrate his 40th birthday. Because there will be many overseas people there celebrations are planned for a week long! Bruce and I are off to join in the fun in November.
Sorry we have not been able to update the Website so often but son Peter is still working overseas and is not getting home as often as he did. He has finished his time in Mauritius and is now on his way to Singapore to commission a power station there.
Keep on pulling together to beat this dreadful Equine Influenza
Good Luck to you all.
Quote of the Month
“The will to change is a renewable resource.”
Contact - Maureen, Bruce or Lindy
HB & M Walker
336 Yarramalong Road, Wyong NSW 2259
Phone/Fax: +61 (0)2 4352 1707