It was great to catch up with a long term friend, and one of my jumping coaches George Morris last month at Kolora Lodge. I believe George must be one of the very best jumping coaches of all time. George is very classical in his teaching with no short cuts. Horses must be trained on the flat to allow the jumping to happen, and his attention to detail on the riders position is second to none. George has trained and produced a number of the best riders in the sport world wide, and is thought of by many as a legend.
Vicki Roycroft does a wonderful job each year bringing this master of show jumping to our shores. I was very disappointed by how few of our Australian riders attended his clinics on horse and on foot. New South Wales lead the way, where the clinics are well attended with riders like Tom McDermott, Chris Chugg, Jess Brown, Andrew Inglis, Colleen Brook, our own Bellhaven riders Vicki Roycroft and Stephen Dingwall, and many more top riders. In Queensland it is a very different story, our show jumpers up here must believe they are too good to receive help from one of the worlds best (I wonder what any of these riders have achieved at international events?). The Queensland clinic was held on the beautiful property of Michelle and Peter McMahon, there were 18 in the clinic and only 5 of the riders were world cup riders. 3 of them were young riders and the rest of the clinic was made up with eventers. All these riders will go on and improve and will keep going in the right direction, where the rest of the Queensland riders will get washed down the river and never make it on an International scale – in my opinion.
I will not mention the Victorian riders as I do not want to offend any one, but some of their reasons for not attending are….too expensive (the clinic cost no more than competing in a good show), and horses are not in work. Well go along and watch and learn to improve yourself.
As soon as you start to believe you know it all is the day you stop learning.