Well we are starting to become much more acclimatised to winter now. Chanel (my website manager & designer) has been asking me to write a blog for a good couple of months now. It’s a cold, muddy and rainy day outside so I thought it was a perfect time to write this one in wrapped up in front of the heater! 😉

I have to start by thanking the incredible team that supports me;

from Elise who organises clinics, farriers, vets, my life in general and making sure everyone & everything is ok.

Chanel from designed by CCC who spends hours on the computer with updating our website and facebook. Kelley Barrington our vet from Equine Sport Medicine & Rehabilitation Centre and George Hunt our farrier from LG Forge for keeping our horses comfortable and in the best possible condition to compete in. Chris Sorrell from Spurs for keeping us in the best gear and clothing possible (I realise I go through saddles and riding boots faster than most!). Hygain, Fiber Fresh, Platinum and Dynavyte for helping our horses keep top condition and also feeling fantastic.

Gaye and Tom McClunie for keeping us and our kids fed at shows. Mum, Dad and Grandad 8 toes for looking after the ponies and animals fed at home while we are away! The rest of our owners who check in at every show even when their horses are not running to see how we went/wish us good luck, and drop off goodies, THANK YOU!!!

Then there is our amazing team of Kids; Hailey Gahan, Cameron Boon and Jasmyne Speake, the fact they arrive and leave every day with a massive smile on their faces, and work in some very wet conditions this season and always made light of the situation, thank you!!! Because of the people above I was able to have a very successful season in so many ways.



Our season had its ups and downs as far as events go, mainly due to bad weather causing a few events to be cancelled. However we completed the season at the 3DE in Taupo with 10 horses to jog on the Sunday morning (that’s a bittersweet thing though as it’s a lot of horses to have ready by 8am! Hahaha). Cam, Jaz and Andie all completed their respective classes with more mileage and confidence. Elise completed her first CCI** on the jumping machine DSE Mendoza. My team all completed putting their best hooves forward with a placing in every class, making it a very successful 3day for us 🙂

Yogi (DSE Mr Hokey Pokey) secured the 3* Super League Series for 2017, so we are super excited to go and accept that title tonight at the awards dinner. He’s tough, athletic and growing every event in confidence.  He’s so consistent and deserves this award fully as he placed in the top 3 at every event 🙂

It has been amazing to have Bones (DSE Tangolooma) back, and every event feels like we are getting back our mojo together 🙂 Cluny (DSE Cluny) had a fantastic season and its very exciting that “he just needs time” is paying off for us, so gotta love his knees!!! Talking of KNEES, Lewis (DSE Mendoza)…wow!! Winnie (CHS Royal Genie) and I have got into the swing of things, I make a suggestion, she genuinely makes the final call and we go! Gary (DSE Sunset Pass), is becoming very consistent and reliable, he actually should have won his first 1* on his dressage score in a super quality field though I might have ridden right past the compulsory passage – ooops! Spec (Our Airfare of Renton) has been going great guns for Elise, and Mo (Sweet Escape) is now a seasoned Pre Novice horse.  Last but definitely not least Elvis (DSE Presley)  is now a Pre Novice horse and an eventer all at his first start!!!

I had a wee accident right before Kihikihi whilst teaching, running backwards I tripped into a bull hole, and unbeknown to me, broke my foot. Stubbornness, ice and strapping (thanks Elise) got me through the last 10 weeks. A massive thank you to my horses that did their very best and did their job for me while I was limited with only one leg operating fully. I have never pulled out so much mane going XC and SJ trying to keep my balance as I did in the last 6 weeks of the season! However three months down the track and I’m cured, and ready for the Spring season 🙂

Our full team of horses are back in work now and we are aiming them at their respective goals this coming season, always exciting!!! We have a large team of young horses (like always). They make us appreciate the experienced horses in the x-ties when they are fidgeting and scrapping their hooves on the concrete! The next 6 weeks is going to be bouncing around a few little events getting the babies out and about. One of the babies ‘Fero’ goes between the name Fero and Feral depending on how he behaves on the day, but he is taking to mustering the bulls pretty well. Alfie is our reliable musterer, that you can guarantee will be useful to Poppa Smith! Tomilo has gone to the extreme of not wanting to muster, actually he doesn’t even stay in the same paddock if the bulls come near him hahaha! Andie Gibberd did such a great job with Ronnie that he is very useful in the hills! So our days on the babies are eventful!!!

Hailey has gone home for a couple of months. She had her first event back in Canada last weekend and WON! Woohoo!!! We are looking forward to having her back in the Spring 😉 Cam has his young horse up here with us, which is very cute, and getting ready for next season… And Jaz, well she lost a bet.. Here’s her acknowledgment for her recent month… lol!! 🙂


“Since Donna almost got 9 strides in the 5 stride combination on Rat, I’m publically announcing, until the end of the month I will accept that Roxy is no longer a dog, but in fact a little person. I will not say or do anything to her, but in fact treat her like a human being, with respect and dignity”.

Funniest text I have ever received!!! hahahahahaha

Bye for now, enjoy the rest of winter and good luck for the coming season, see you all out there  🙂 Donna


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