Full USA Tour Report

Full USA Tour report

Day One

Was a wonderful day, girls all had a good sleep in and have recovered from their jet-lag. Spent the day shopping and going to Universal Studios for dinner.

Day Two

An early start, and drive to Palm Beach.

12.30: Meeting with Equine feed Specialist Bob Wagner.

1.00: Meeting the owner of the Winter Equestrian Festival who has organized a tour of the facility.

1.45: Sharn Wordley FEI Grand Prix Showjumping rider

2.00: Polo Tournament (20 Goals)

3.00: Endel Ott grand prix dressage rider

5.00: Grand Prix Dressage Competition

7.30: Freestyle Dressage competition at the Global Dressage Arena

Girls are all having fun, getting along and have been wonderful.

Day Three

Girls had an amazing day today. From show jumping barns to a dressage symposium by Endel Ott. Then we were invited to a high goal polo game at the elite Palm Beach Club.

We learnt about different types of hay and feed, and how to feed performance horses.

They learnt about fitness – equine treadmills and walkers.

They got to meet Jessica Springsteen at the polo.

They were excited to see all the million dollar barns!!

We end the day with free style dressage championships.

Tomorrow is a busy day with Pan Am Games dressage rider giving us a demonstration and Elsa Swartz riding her international horse. We will go and see a polo barn, then the owner of the winter festival is going to give us a tour and we end the day with the 500,000 Grand Prix.

Girls have been awesome. And I am so glad I could do this for them. A true delight.

Day Four

Another amazing start. Was a treat to watch some of the finest dressage riders in the world demonstrate different movements for the girls.

The highlight of the day was being invited to the Palm Beach Country Club for lunch. And yes the girls were perfectly behaved!

Maddy Teague was able to ride a polo pony that played in the argentine polo open!

Now going to see the amazing 500,000 Grand Prix. (1.60m)

Goodnight from Palm Beach

Day Five

A long day. Girls were fortunate to meet Buck Davidson, No 1 ranked US event rider for the past five years. He has a stable of 80 horses and shows usually 10 to 12 at events. He invited the girls to come and work for him anytime.

We were able to get great seats at the million dollar Grand Prix a treat to watch some of the very best. Girls watched a lot of them warm up their horses too.

Early night as we have a very busy day tomorrow. From meeting world champions to top race horse trainers to rehab facilities and a demonstration from one of the best equine massage therapists.

Goodnight from Ocala.

Day Six

Today was an amazing day. We started at the KER Research farm, the girls got to watch a horse at full gallop on a high speed treadmill and heart rates were taken on a mobile App. They were also given a lecture on two studies being done.

A. How to increase bone density.

B. Ulcers in horses.

We then went to a race horse barn where Collin Niall walked through the process of starting race horses, He has 200 horses in training! We saw horses gallop and he stressed on the importance of footing, maintenance and fitness. We also met a track rider from Australia, she was an old NEGS girl!! They also saw how an aqua treadmill worked.

We then went to see two time world champion and six time Rolex Eventing winner the legend Bruce Davidson, I worked for Bruce many years ago, so it was extra special. He also stressed on fitness and what it takes to manage upper level horses.

We then went to see the most beautiful Longwood Farm the home of the US Eventing team.

The highlight of the day was being able to get a full tour of the Sanctuary, a full rehab facility. The girls got to watch horses swim, go in an aqua treadmill, ice cold leg therapy, salt water and epsom salt therapy and then a detailed explanation of the Oxygen Chamber.

Finally we went to the Owner of Cambell Soap, Chester Weber’s 7500 acre farm. Chester is world ranked driver (four in hand) He was very gracious and emphasis to the girls the importance of learning and we never stop learning. Chester is one of the best in the world and explained to the girls fitness programs and feeding schedules.

The girls were very polite asked all the right questions and kept the NEGS flag flying high.

A very educational day. We leave for Atlanta tomorrow and we have been invited by Dover Saddlery for high Tea.

Goodnight from Ocala

Day Seven

Today was an extra special day as we were in Atlanta. I lived here for 15 years and my students came from 2hrs away to say hi. Three families opened their homes and welcomed the girls. They were all so well behaved and they enjoyed the southern hospitality. A true American experience.

Dover stop was good for the American economy. They gave the girls an ariat bag each with goodies.

Tomorrow we go to the main office of Chick Fil A and get a tour and they are putting on a lunch for the girls. Dan Cathy CEO will talk to the girls. Another real treat. Dan and his wife Rhonda were one of my sponsors.

The girls are all doing well.

Goodnight from Atlanta.

Day Eight

We got a backstage tour of the Chick Fil A, corporate office and had CEO Dan Cathy speak to the girls. They had a huge spread laid out for lunch and all the girls were given a book written by Mr Cathy, on Wealth and is it worth it.

The girls have been so well behaved so today Tara, Gloria and myself took all the girls out for a country style dinner at Cracker Barrel. We invited their hosts too. They were so impressed with our girls and were delighted to host them and spoil them.

Tomorrow we drive to Kentucky to see Double Dan Ranch.

Goodnight from Atlanta

Day Nine

A lazy start, to a huge breakfast prepared by our hosts. From cereal, eggs, bacon, fruit, cheese………

We went to the Kentucky Horse Park. It made me very nostalgic as I walked the girls around the grounds and we met the Rolex Four Star course builder Mike Costello.

We then went to the famous Ashford Stud owned by Coolmore and we were taken behind the scenes and got to a see a mare being bred and then they brought out American Triple Crown Winner, American Pharaoh who stands for $200,000 and he served 300 mares last year. So do the numbers.

We then went Pin Oak Farm. A private farm which breeds and races its own horses. So we got to see a day old foal and also some stallions worth 45 Million and their private race course and training centre. Clifford Barry a good friend who is the general manger spent a lot of time explaining the runnings of a Thoroughbred operation.

It was a good day driving around these farms and seeing all the rolling hills, while the girls sang.

Very early morning tomorrow for a surprise.

Goodnight from Kentucky

Day Ten

An early start to a very cold morning. But the surprise was to go the world famous Keenland racetrack and see this years’ Kentucky Derby favourite McCracken.

McCracken is trained by an Aussie trainer who spoke to the girls.

They were excited to see horses breeze (12 seconds a furlong/ 200 meters.)

We then had Paul Magee an Irish friend of mine take the girls around the complex. Explaining to them about the famous Keenland thoroughbred sales which usually has about 4000 horses go through the sale ring.

We ended the day back at the house for a written exam on what they have learnt this trip.

Tomorrow is our last day doing horsey stuff, so I have arranged a real treat for them as they have all been perfect. An amazing group. So proud of them.

I was able to get them passed to the famous Orange County point to point steeplechase. And then the Prestigious Piedmont Hunt, huntsman will take us around to the kennels.

Girls are busy packing all their shopping.

We start at 5.30am.

Goodnight from Kentucky

Day Eleven

The girls were up at 5.  And were ready for our adventure today. We drove to Virginia for the Orange County point to point steeplechase.
A perfect day, we were guests of Vas and Linda, who invited all the girls at their tailgate party.
Hall of fame steeplechase jockey Greg entertained the girls.
We had a great time watching the steeplechase and meeting all the who’s who of the Virginia horse community.
We then went to the most prestigious hunt kennels and the huntsman took us to see his 100 hounds and the girls played with the new born pups. One was born two days ago and he said “he would name is Millie”. As it has to start with an M. He explained to the girls all the details about the sport and working of the hounds.
We went back to our hosts house which was built in 1790 and sits at the bottom of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

We are finally in Washington. We made it.

A big thank you to Tara for the amazing job of driving through 8 lanes of traffic. A job well done.

I have to say, you all should be very proud of your daughters, they were simply amazing. Helpful, polite, well mannered, punctual, caring….. I could go on.

Mary Anne you should be proud that NEGS was well represented and all thanks to you.

Goodnight from Washington