Jump Off Episode 3 – Behind the Scenes & Highlights
In this week’s episode we saw the initial training of a number of the horses selected in Episode 1 and Episode 2. Back home with the riders, it was fascinating to see their various approaches to the early stages of jump training and the continued assessment of each horse’s suitability for the competition from a soundness and trainability perspective.
For Russell Johnstone, it was all about finding another couple of horses for his team. Johnstone was impressed with the toughness and soundness of recently retired and super-fit veteran Extra Zero. He was tested up to 85cm and impressed both rider and trainer- that’s one for the Johnstone/Hayes team.
Jamie Winning who will be helping her husband Jamie Kermond ride the horses started with Weissmuller, her first ride back after giving birth to their son Hudson. They both felt that this horse will require some patience to develop. Kermond rode Raposo, who struggled at first but quickly improved and it was clear that Kermond was forming a bond with him. Also very pleased with Peaceful Easy Feelin, Kermond concludes that all his horses are showing promise.
Vicki Roycroft trys out the horses on her team, calling on her significant experience with thoroughbreds to make some initial assessments. Looking for key attributes including trainability and attitude she is really happy with the horses the has selected. Havana Cooler in particular has impressed, she loves his attitude and he is taking to jumping “like a duck to water”. However, she suspects he has slight back soreness and he gets treated with a massage rug before being ridden and he will have a vet check before continuing. Inner Circle showed a good backend while lunging and Roycroft assesses him as being very brave but is a little concerned that he might not be careful enough.
After taking some time off to enjoy their wedding (and when not sneaking around to spy on their good friends Jamie Kermond and Jamie Winning) we saw Dave Cameron and his wife Tallara use their cross-country paddock to test out their horses for Jump Off. They used one of their own jumping stars (Copabella Verdi), as a lead horse to settle in the new thoroughbreds. Cameron felt that Riotman was a “natural jumper” who’s attitude has turned around more than his other three horses and that he “did everything right today”.
Lankan Rupee unfortunately has a foot abscess and following a vet assessment, it is decided that he should not be shod yet and needs some time to recover. This will set back his jump training for a couple of weeks. Their last horse selected, Stratigraphy, does well in this initial training and Cameron loves the balance in his canter and thinks he is a “brave, tough little horse”. Neutronic, although a little playful, is also adjustable in the canter a great characteristic for a jumper and they are pretty pleased with him also.
The McMahons are getting their horses ready at home for their first outing to jump club at Elysian Fields. El Divine gets a hoof abscess but this is treated and he is soon 98% right and practicing his jumping. Gotta Takes Care, for an old horse has good joints. He is “fresh and qwerky” which appeals to the McMahons – he is “an old darling” who “jumped super today”. Johnny English was quite fresh and distracted by Michelle’s dogs.
NEXT WEEK ON JUMP OFF
What happens when our riders test out some of the horses at some local competitions?
Don’t forget, if you missed Episode Three or want to see it again, replays of Jump Off also air on Racing.com (Ch 78) three times a week. Remember to check your local TV guide to confirm screening times for Episode 4 this Sunday on Seven Network.