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Team Joyce: Four Days of Amazing Jumping

 Four days of amazing jumping

Team Joyce arrived at Werribee on Tuesday morning with LH King Arthur and LH Folly. The work started from here on and did not stop until lunch time Monday 23rd September.  There were about 18 of us all volunteering to set up for the pinnacle showjumping event of the year. Atmosphere a crew hired to set up all the marquees and VIP area were working flat out to complete all the infrastructures. Our main job for the next two days before the competition started was to set up the four jumping arenas and put out all the flowers around the jumps . The Secretaries office, Silent Auction and Merchandise areas all needed to be constructed. As one would expect the sun went down and the jobs were still not completed so we all worked well into the night and with an early rise the next morning we were all at it again but this time people needed to be parked and welcomed!

The traders were all very busy setting up all the stands with great specials and promotions. The golf buggies were a massive extra to have on hand to help save ones legs because you tend to do a lot of walking and by the time you get sit down for a breather your legs feel like jelly. Tiffany arrived in her car from University and was ready to give LH Folly a quick ride before dark. Just one of Wesley’s jobs was to erect all the signs around all the arenas and my main job was to continue updating the Australian Showjumping Facebook page the music each morning , to be in the Secretaries office to help with any questions from riders and help Fiona Brennan our show Secretary with all her tasks. I loved working with all the office volunteers Annie White , Corain Wootten Fiona Brennan and Sue Smith.

King Arthyr restingFolly resting

So up by 6am on Thursday morning ready to play the wake up music and I had chosen a classic of all time, “ Good morning Vietnam”, quoted by Robin Williams and then of course the , “ I feel good nan a nan a, I feel good….it was a perfect theme to start off the day! I used this same opening every morning one hour before course walk and continued to play good up beat sing along songs to attract some jiving steps from the grooms and riders hoping to bring out smiles on many faces because it was going to be a long day every day.

The first day of competition, Thursday for Team Joyce was a good start . Tiffany and LH Folly had the Australian Young Rider Speed class starting height of 1.30m in the Equestrian Australia Arena. The pair jumped an amazing round smooth and quite quick , and had the very last rail down. So finished with 4 faults, but as per usual Tiffany’s beaming smile while riding out of the arena patting her mare said it all, Wes and I cheered and clapped with sheer delight. Tiffany said she was so puffed and really approached the last fence calling it the” HOPE FENCE”, we said what do you mean, she said “Well I hoped really hard the last fence would just come up for me because I was so tired and could see my approach coming up to close and I would get Folly to deep and well it happened just like that I placed Folly too deep and she just tapped the top rail, all I could do was 'hope‘ but she did try Dad.. she tried so hard”.

Wesley rode Tulara Baloul the grey gelding for Gavin & Sharyn Chester in the Emerald Series round 1 in the Belmark Rural Arena, he had a very good round also with just 4 faults. Wes said he felt super over the jumps and was looking forward to the next round.  The day finished at about 8pm for us and after a good feed and a shower along with a nice simple chat in our warm truck with Paul & Amanda Day and James & Sophie Elphick the bed was feeling great.



Tiffany warming up

Tiffany and Folly warming up

Tiffany on course

Tiffany and Folly on course

directions where to go

Getting directions


The second day of competition, Friday was an earlier start because we had a lot more riders to get through the day so I started the music at 6.30am for a 7.30am course walk. Wes was the only rider for today on Tulara Baloul attempting the second round of the Emerald Series which was a Speed class in the Barton Equine Arena achieving a credible 3rd place. The weather was quite chilly, windy and when the rain did come down in short bursts there was a lot of it. The Australian Speed Title class was the best entertainment for the afternoon watching 26 riders attempt to beat Vicki Roycrofts time .

The very first rider to go was Vicki and she set a cracking pace and then sat in the Throne waiting to see if somebody could go quicker but it was not to be. Vicki was crowned the Queen of Speed !! But it did not stop there because the committee had more surprises for the riders after dark. Deb Lynch provided a delicious dinner for all and then we moved into the riders tent for a live band , open bar and yes a “Chocolate Fountain “!! Everybody loved dipping the skewers filled with fruit and lollies into the melted chocolate but the hardest task was to place it quickly into their mouths without it dribbling onto their hands and clothing. It was such a thrill to see so many people happy laughing and chatting enjoying the night’s entertainment.

chocolate fountain

Yum! (Chocolate Fountain)

The third day of competition Saturday was perfect weather wise. Again the “ I feel good “music blared over the grounds, the sun was shining and the air was warm. Tiffany was to attempt her second class on LH Folly and Wesley the Emerald because the combination had qualified for the Series Final. Wesley was on before Tiffany and Tulara Baloul was on fire , they jumped a clean round there were not many of them but on the way out of the ring Wes heard every riders worst nightmare, “ Lovely clean round by Wes Joyce but with 1 time fault will not be returning for the jump off”.

Yes it’s a tough call but it’s what happens in showjumping and there is always another show next time. Wesley rode LH King Arthur in the CMV & UD Trucks Future Stars event and just had only 1 rail but he jumped very well. Compared to last year Arthur was definitely more focused and concentrated on the jumps instead of the goings on around the arena so this was an improvement. All Wesley’s concentration was now on Tiffany and LH Folly. They walked the course while I held her at the warm up area and after a fabulous warm up they went in and started off on a super canter. They came out with 3 rails down a total of 12 faults. She said she felt Folly was just a little to fresh and happy running past the sweet spot . So she stayed on and rode her around for the next 20 minutes waiting for her second attempt in the next round.

Only the Team riders and clear rounds were asked to come back for the second round . The course was raised again to probably around 1.35m-1.40m and in they went for the second attempt and it was dynamite. They had just come together perfectly it was so smooth and so classical to watch. My skin was crawling with excitement as she cleared each fence, I looked across to Wes when she was approaching the last and we looked back and they cleared it, Oh my gosh we cheered clapped and a few tears welled up the elation was massive for us. Because yes you hope for clean rounds and you take the faults when you get them but a clean round here at the Australian Showjumping Championships and our Tiffany on LH Folly the hugs were long and the emotions ran high!! No she did not place but who cares we won, we were winners in our circle of 4!

Wes, Tiffany and myself and even Sarah in Wagga Wagga watching the Live Stream provided by Equestrian Life. Sarah was texting me through the whole ordeal keeping up with the results and then we had a FACE TIME session on the iphone altogether in the truck. Tonight’s sleep was a well-deserved one.

Wes and I looking after our Tiffany before she went in Victorian Teams round

Wes and I looking after our Tiffany before the teams jump off

a very happy moment

Well done Tiff!

On the last day of competition, Sunday only the Qualified 30 Juniors, 26 Young Riders and approximately 20 Seniors would return in the Equestrian Australia Arena. The Barton Equine Arena held the Ruby Series Final & Quest Apartments Open 1.35m / Senior Consolation. The Belmrak rural Arena , Price Performance Horses Emerald Consolation and Lever Equestrian Young Rider Consolation. The EV Trust Arena had an 85cm Championship. So every ring was busy in the morning but by 2pm only the Equestrian Australia Arena was in full swing for the Australian Senior Champion. Tiffany was feeling good and thought her Folly was relaxed and ready she had drawn number two in the draw. The course was big about 1.35m-1.40m and a long distance as well. Jumping fitness would now play a part. In they went Wes and I were very chuffed to see our young lady out there having a good go. Each jump was heart thumping , landing and taking off, approaching the next fence we tried to stay calm. To watch them only have 1 rail in a combination over the whole course I have to say I could not hold back but to grab Tiffany and tell her she was amazing, she deserved the results. They ranked 26 going in and at the end they we ranked 7th before the jump off.

We calmly discussed a plan of how to tackle the next round because we have decided Folly gave it her all out there in that round and going by Tiffany’s feelings she was not absolutely definite on being jumping fit enough to know the next round would be faultless. You make decisions on what you want to achieve, and we want a safe happy horse and rider in the end, so we decided no more pressure was going to be applied. Just go out Tiffany for your next round and do what you can, look after her and see how you go. Jumping another 12 fences set at around 1.40m was going to be a big ask.

Yes we could have taken a whip and spurs to place more pressure but it was not going to be what we chose to do. If we had been jumping these heights for a few months in the lead up and been jumping fit yes one would apply more pressure but we have not been and Folly has only been to 7 competitions before here after being out for 2 years being a broodmare. In they went and had 4 down not a terrible crashing round by any means just getting too deep and not having enough fitness to go all the way. That certainly does not mean disappointment, no not in our Team Joyce camp. We went back to the truck we chat we even listen to a certain tune on the iphone to feel even better about our win!  We will now place LH Folly up for sale and hope we can give another up and coming rider the accolades and enjoyment she has given us for the past 10 years. It was always the plan to sell her after this competition. Tiffany felt satisfied she has achieved more than she hoped or dreamed of here at the Australian Showjumping Championships and will now start riding a young gelding LH Johnny , Folly’s 4 year old sibling starting off at the very bottom.

I did it I won with myself

Feeling proud (and with good reason!!)

The Throne was also a massive success at the event, the winners from certain classes were asked to sit in it and have a photo with the sponsors. It was a definite highlight to see so many people having a go in the Throne and soaking up the moment of being a King or Queen. Team Joyce shall definitely be back next year and volunteer our time as for which classes on which horses who knows? Stay tuned.

Tiffany had her turn ion the Throne

All photos courtesy of Mr John Lynch.




Team Joyce is very proud to announce the LH Performance horse results at the Australian Showjumping Championships 2013

Thrusday  – Equestrian Australia Arena

Australian Junior Title Speed class ( 100 riders in class )

~ LH Warsaw - Natasha Dixon – 4 faults 

~ LH Annie-Elka - Kate Hinschen   6th

EV Trust Arena

~ LH Brittany - Mirrin Mc Kay   5th – Open 1m

~Sanskrit Park Arlo ( LH Arlo ) Chris Smith 4 faults – 85cm

Friday  - Equestrian Australia Arena

Australian Junior Title Round 2

~ LH Warsaw - Natasha Dixon – 4 faults 

~ LH Annie-Elka - Kate Hinschen  2nd

EV Trust Arena

~ LH Adelia - Sophie Elphick   7th-  85cm 

~ LH Brittany- Mirrin Mc Kay 2nd  – 1m 

Saturday – EV Trust Arena

~ LH Brittany - Mirrin Mc Kay  5th – Open 90cm

~ LH Brittany- Mirrin Mc Kay 7th  – Junior  1.04m

~Sanskrit Park Arlo ( LH Arlo ) Chris Smith 4 faults – Open 1.04m

Sunday – Equestrian Australia Arena

Australian Junior Champion Overall

~ LH Annie-Elka - Kate Hinschen – 3rd Overall Australian Junior Champion

EV Trust Arena

~ LH Adelia – Sophie Elphick 9th – Final Championship 85cm

 For more on Team Joyce please visit http://lalshaven.com.au
Team Joyce but there are really 4 (2)
3 out of the 4 members of team Joyce


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