HOLME GROVE GOLDCARD - Fully approved by South African Warmblood Society

E-mail received from John, Sue and Helen Olsson 28th October 2003

Hi all, Here is the latest news on Goldcard.

Goldcard was put forward for his full grading with the S.A. Warmblood Society at the beginning of September. The stallions were assessed by a panel of 5 inspectors and have to meet certain criteria e.g. height, age, etc. and must achieve a mark over 75%. Of the seven stallions put forward, 1 failed outright, 2 were put on the prospective register and 4 passed, 3 getting over 80%. GC and Maud looked really spectacular and he got 80.83% which is really great. Co-incidently Fantasia was graded the week before and one of the inspectors was Judith Moxon who has HG Dynasty at her stud in the Cape. You can see his photos from his inspection on the website www.sawarmbloodhorses.com

After the inspection Maud prepared him for the big competition, the FEI World Challenge. The international judges were from Canada and Denmark.He was the first horse to ride on the first day and it was nearly a disaster. There was a building site right next door to the arena (welcome to Africa!!!) and as he started his test a large caterpillar truck appeared suddenly over the canvas screen fence. He was absolutely terrified! Thanks to Maude’s exceptional ridding skill not only stayed on him but managed to restart the test and eventually won it on 70%. Three horses had to retire due to fright.

The next day he rode the 2nd qualifier which was his very first elementary test in competition. He was understandably tense and although still very green at the level, got 65% and came 8th against some really good horses from all over S.A. The officials had to work out who would go forward into the international competition on the Saturday and our boy made it, only 8 were in his class which was the FEI Novice Competition but they ride at Elementary Level. He had his vet inspection on Friday and competed on Saturday. Again he made “baby” mistakes but still got an average of 64% from the 2 judges and came overall 5th. We were thrilled with him as this was his biggest competition ever. The comments from the judges were that he was green at this level but “elegant” and “promising for the future”.

The best thing was that the international judges held a seminar were they discussed the videoed tests and then gave a clinic to horse and riders who wanted to on the Sunday. Maud and GC were worked quite hard but there was a tremendous improvement and Maud thoroughly enjoyed it.

After all this excitement he has now had his horse sickness vaccination and will have to take it easy for the next 6 weeks which will do him good. He has achieved a lot in his first competitive year.

His fan club continues to grow and we keep getting asked when he is going to stand at stud, so his first season could be interesting. We will try to put some video clips together and then you can see for yourself how beautiful he is.

That seems to be the news to date, will be in touch and pictures attached.

Love

Sue, John, Helen, GC and Maud