I'd forgotten that moving house was so stressful, but was quickly reminded when we were given two weeks’ notice. Thankfully, with the help of friends, family, and our excellent removal team — Move Fast, aka, Steve Hart, former owner of Quarter Horse Rio — it was successfully completed on time. Twenty-seven years of successful breeding, shoeing, and training came to an end on the 24th February. Wye Oak Quarter Horses finally closed its doors.

Chrissie and I would like to thank you all for your custom and support. It has been a fabulous time and your successes have been our enjoyment, too. It has been fun to see students go on to become teachers, judges, and successful competitors, especially on horses that we bred or trained. Please take a bow and accept a really big “thank you.”

However, you are not getting rid of me just yet! I am still going to be doing clinics and lessons around the country and am also doing the WES judges seminar in November. Check out the details on the WES website and get it in your diary. You don't have to want to become a judge to attend the seminar — maybe just a more knowledgeable competitor. If it helps you avoid a pitfall in the show pen and gain a higher placement, then it will all have been worthwhile. There is something in this seminar for everyone riding western. The WES rule book ties in with the AQHA in-show contest rules, especially as their green series ties in with our novice rider. This seminar, therefore, is worthwhile not just to WES competitors, but those competing in AQHA, too. On the Sunday, in the reining section, it would also be of use to BR members.

The WES championship show this year will be judged by James Gerdes-Hansen. James worked for us many years ago and took the open all around at the WES championships many years ago on Enterprising Olena. He has subsequently gone on to do great things with his wife, Ditta, in Denmark. He has coached and guided the Danish youth team in the youth World Cup and has qualified as an AQHA and NRHA judge, this year judging the European Reining Futurity. Our championship will be in good hands.
By the way, James is also now an accomplished skeet clay pigeon shooter, so if he asks you to do something, best be prompt!

For now, onwards, upwards, and out of yet another cardboard box!