Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The month of Agnes

The year 2013 has begun in a weird fashion. Horrifiant heat and crazy rainstorms. Visitors from the other side of the world. Invasion by a jolly team of Fijian house-menders, to make good most of what the earthquakes of 2 ½ years ago did to us … and, of course, the usual unending horsey ups and downs.

2012 was not a vintage year for us horse-wise, especially following the triumphs of 2011, and 2013 began poorly too, with our two best horses on the injured list, and the glamorous baby Mr B also hailing the vet with a seedy toe.

But it began memorably nevertheless  -- or, should I say memorially – for me, with a trip to my old home town of Richmond for the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s annual January meeting, featuring the Fred and Nancy Gallas Memorial Trot. A kind of farewell to Nelson in the name of our parents by my brother and I. I don’t suppose we’ll ever return to the place where the Gänzl-Gallas tribe grew up, now that mother is no longer there.

The race itself was a cracker, ending up in what would have been, in earlier days, a triple dead-heat. However, photo finish machines are more sophisticated nowadays, and the winner, Dragon’s Den, owned by Wendy’s friend Mike Stevens, made it by 10/1000th second. Ignite, driven by Gerolsteiner driver, Jeremy Anderson, which everyone thought had won, finished second, thousandths ahead of Kevin and Marg Townley’s Sheemon. With technology like that, I’m surprised there is EVER a dead-heat!

Back to Gerolstein, to meet Max and Fabian, from Germany, our first Farmworker guests for the year…

and to get our homemade horses to the trials. And there, we got a glimmer of light! Mikie (Fifteen C) and Agnes (de Gerolstein) tripped to Motukarara and ran promisingly, and two days later Agnes went to Rangiora to run her qualifying trial. She glid quickly to the lead, ran them along at better than the required pace, and passed the line a comfortable winner, five seconds under the time needed. So now she and Mikie (who qualified last season) are readying themselves for their debuts as racehorses .. which is something else altogether…

So roll on 2013, and let’s hope the pets can give us some fun before summer ends and I return to Germany. Go! Agnes, Mikie, D’Arcy, Lucie, Fritzl, Livia and team ...

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