Things were a touch hectic at Balsam Hall while Selena and Anne Marie were blogging from the Pan Am Games and Training Camp in Florida.  Emma Rafuse and I were flying by the seat of our pants day by day.  Different ‘challenges to the daily routine’ would occur, warping what was a highly tuned study in time and motion. Even if I say so myself, Team “Left Behind At Balsam Hall While Everyone Else Went to Mexico” were pretty amazing…LOL. And believe me, we had some challenges!

I am sure I will hit a nerve with all of you when I BITCH about the non-existent coverage of the equestrians at the Pan Am Games. I did my research, bought my proxy server to be able to receive US feeds plus necessary cables and wires, got someone much cleverer than me (thank you Paige) to set it all up and hook my computer up to the big screen, invited all my friends, owners, boarders and neighbours to come watch Selena and the Canadian Team ROCK on the big screen, got in the dip, the chips, the hummus, the juice, coffee on, everyone in place……  OK WHY DON’T WE ALL SIT HERE LIKE THE LOAD OF NANAS WE ARE, AND WE WATCH TWITTER AS IT CRAWLS SLOWLY ONE TWEET EVERY AGONIZING TEN MINUTES OR SO.  Even Twitter was against’ me. Emma was getting her ‘tweets’ on her phone about three minutes before they arrived via my laptop onto the big screen…..sigh….let’s all sit and watch slooooooooow tweets.

Of course a good time was had by all. We had beautiful flowers (thank you Diana), sumptuous goodies (Anju and Maureen), and a good sense of humour (all)  to ease the predicament.

Selena and Jessica were honoured at the Royal Horse Show, for their silver-medal Team effort, and Individual gold (Jessica) at the Pan Am Games.

As soon as Selena got off the plane in Syracuse late on the Thursday night, we hit the ground running. At five a.m. the following morning, the truck was being hooked up to go and pick up Woody, who was shipping home with Jessica Phoenix and the golden Pavarotti, on the Sunday. Sean Jenkins, our close Eventing neighbour at Glen Lawrence Equestrian, came and picked up four of the horses and riders to join them in their ‘radical jumper’ schooling show.  Everyone had a blast and came home loaded with ribbons.  Thank you so much Sean Jenkins Eventing for your kind hospitality and equine taxi service!

Selena on Rather Breezy.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday cruised by quietly. Selena had been too late to confirm her entry for the Royal Winter Fair, so we were only concentrating on general schooling, with only Colombo being prepared for anything serious – he was going to be ridden in the Mark Todd Clinic and Selena wanted to be sure he was supple and ready to go.  On Thursday afternoon things went into overdrive when we got a call from the Royal to say that Sinead Halpin had withdrawn and would Selena like to ride. The short answer….YES!  A quick call to Kristyn Anderson, who had offered Selena the ride on her gorgeous ‘Rather Breezy’ and Selena was entered to ride the following night in Eventing Night at the Royal.
She was up doing washing and packing half the night!


Diana Burnett on the turn, riding Shigatzi.

Friday night and Saturday night at the Royal Winter Fair were super fun. Rather Breezy was wonderful and just breathed on the last fence on both nights.  Selena had not ridden her before Friday night and the little mare tried her heart out.  Kristyn has done a lovely job of bringing her along over the last year.  They placed a very respectable fifth overall.


Penny Rowland happy with Flying Finn.

The following morning we galloped through the Royal Winter Fair to get an apple dumpling!  Between signing at her sponsors stall, Omega Alpha, and team commitments and signings for Equine Canada, Selena had not even SEEN the apple dumpling stall and she was determined to make that happen. 



Dr. Gordon Chang, Technical Advisor David O'Connor, Chef d' equipe Graeme Thom (back row) with Selena, Jessica and Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch at the Omega Alpha booth at the Royal.

Straight on to Orangeville where Colombo was luxuriating with Frankie Simpson at her lovely barn.  Load him up and drive five minutes to the clinic.  Colombo was great in the clinic and he and Selena left encouraged and knowing what they had to work on.  Mark Todd was inspiring as always, this is the first of his four Canadian clinics that I have not ridden on….and he so very kindly elucidated when I whined and complained….”Perhaps they are trying to concentrate….ahem….on the youth Morag”…..right!….nuff said.


Selena and Colombo at the Mark Todd clinic.

All the way back from the clinic Selena and I talked about the things that we can get done now that there are no shows, no ‘occasions’, no having to go anywhere or prepare a horse for the next few weeks (until the prep for Florida starts).  That is until yesterday when Selena heard that Foxwood High has won a Canadian Sporthorse award that is to be presented at the Royal Winter Fair around mid-day (I think) on Saturday….Woody does not have to be there….phew…but Selena is off again, back to Toronto and the apple dumpling stand.  I volunteered to help with the driving, as I am pretty keen on apple dumplings myself.

John Rumble and Jim Elder.