What do you do the day after the Taupo 3DE…? You look out in to the paddocks at all the babies and wonder which will be the favourite young ones for the winter time… and wonder if you are going to be able to stay on them during the first few rides!! hahaha

Taupo had it’s Ups and Downs for me literally, if you take Cluny and my winter swim into account!

My First horse to ride was SE Godswalk, what a sensational mare with a huge future. It was only her 2nd 2* start and she has been so consistant all season, Taupo was no different, finishing 6th in the CCI**. Then Mr Hokey Pokey… what an awesome journey this little guy is taking us on, finishing 3rd in the CCI**, 1.6 behind 2 very experienced horses in the field. Last to go in the 2* I had Cluny, who I could do nothing but feel sorry for in the dressage, the footing was well and truly gone by the time he went, and I just felt horrible for him, although to his credit he tried his massive heart out to be placed 3rd after the dressage, only to the next day unfortunately land, take a stride in the water then him and I went swimming and boy was it cold!!!!

In the 1 Star Class I had Henton First Edition at number 40 to go, and Izablu at number 48, I do wonder why we couldn’t have put the 1* class onto the sand, especially after all the rain that kept the truck park awake all night and it wasn’t like the 2* class where we had started the day prior. It did seem a little wrong to be warming up on the sand and then going into the arena and sinking into holes of water and mud in a championship class, I take my hat off to these two inexperienced horses who tried so hard to do the movements. I do think the dressage conditions had a lot of horses starting the XC with sore bodies… I’m sure looking back everyone will agree in future, moving to the sand would have been a lot more inspiring and better for our sport overall… I hope!!

Although both horses jumped amazing, it didn’t really effect the leaderboard, so I came home very excited about my two 1* horses, but with no ribbion to show, just a big grin:))

Elise and Ted however did bring a ribbion home and finish on their dressage score with an awesome clear XC and SJ round, unfortunately Roxy, who was in the truck with cabin fever while we were loading, claimed the brand new ribbion as hers and dismantled it into nothing!! Eaten by the Roxmonster… Elise she still is very sorry for that……….. :))  ooopsie! :))))


Young Event Horse, CHS Royal Genie, is soooo flash and while we didn’t have much riding in the leading up 2 weeks to the event, she was awesome on the flat, jumped cute and galloped so well, with great ground coverage.  She has an exciting future ahead of her:)) Also what is exciting about her, is she is the oldest CHS brand horses, and she has many flash siblings following…

Drumelizer had an unfortunate time at Taupo and didn’t get to strut his stuff, but is now the Godfather of Waerenga… overseer of all horses, in his Kingdom… Drum is the longest serving horse I have ever ridden, so for Tom, Gaye and I it is a bit of a sad ending to not see him competing anymore, but on the major plus side we get to see him in our front paddock everyday for a long while yet, teaching the baby’s all the new tricks :))

Awesome effort by Andie Gibberd on Sparkles, who did her first effort at Taupo 3DE in the Young Event Horse and won Best 4yr old, Best Mare and Best TB, and finished 2nd Overall. Andie has done an amazing job on Sparkles, who came to us from Louise Gorham 18months ago as a 3yr old. Louise certainly has an amazing eye for athletic horses, and Andie has certainly learnt a lot from the little mare already 🙂


Now to the winter babies… We have quite a few new ones which I’m excited to get on 🙂

Rat aka Ratmansky, 4yr old TB Chestnut gelding, sourced by Louise Gorham by Stravinsky

Rocky 4yr old, Bay TB Gelding, sourced by Event Stars by St Reim

Betty aka Betty Boo, 3yr old TB Black Mare, sourced by Louise Gorham

betty boo

Cupid by Danroad, 3yr old Bay TB, sourced by Louise Gorham, he has a giant heart on his head! 🙂

Angel aka Angel’s Share, by Cecconi 5yr old Bay TB Mare

Greenie  By Dr Green, 6yr old Black TB Gelding, Sourced by Louise (he’s taking the long way round to get here!!)

green easy

On top of these newbies, we also have; Bart ake Hit The Lign, my 4yr Old Beyond the Barriers horse, sourced by Event Stars who is quite the handful after a day off, let alone Taupo 3day week! Marty the 4yr old with all the spring in his steps, he’s a young CHS horse, from Chris and Tracy Sorrell. Siege aka Flying Seige, 3yr old TB Gelding who is very quiet!

Hence our winter is full of fun babies to play with, and also the main man BONES returning to work to keep those cold days warm for me :)))

This weekend I’m off to Oamaru then Cromwell teaching Friday-Sunday, I’ll be packing warm clothes!!!! Then Gaye McClunie, Elise and I are off for a warm tropical holiday for 10 days, with no horses/phones or alarms… very exciting!!!

Thank you so much to everyone involved in making Donna Smith Eventing function through the season, to Gaye and Tom, who cook, clean, and support almost every show, to mum and dad for holding down the fort at home and with the other horses, and also the 10min box duties, to grandad Edwards for keeping our house and parenting duties under control in our absence, to Helen Schofield for being my right hand, Hannah McLean, Andie Gibbered, Hannah Giles, Brook Robinson, and Dani for helping out at the shows and at the yards the last few weeks, and Elise who is just awesome!!! It’s been a year of re-building my team, we have come a long way, and are so excited for our future horses :))

Thank you to Chris Sorrell and Tracey Blackmore from Spurs of Counties for being my main sponsor, I appreciate all of your support and the amazing gear and products that I am privileged to be provided with. I am very lucky to have such great people as a part of my team.

Chanel Campbell, you are a huge help, an awesome student and a very cool friend:)…. Brent please come down and sort out the turkeys soon!!! 🙂

I’m glad it gets dark early now!! I’m inside… Yeay!!! Have a great winter!

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