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John Crawford's blog - a.k.a John-Blog.

Houston Texas.

My trip to Houston Texas was both to visit an old friend and her husband Jim to see how two lovely Irish horses, which were sold by one Equiworld member to another, were fairing. My friend Jackie Mather trained with me at Equiworld's centre Hayfield in Aberdeen Scotland as a student instructor, qualified and worked with us at Hayfield for some eight to ten years. Now a well respected trainer in and around Houston, Jackie competes two beautiful horses called Courageous and Caprice which are owned and part owned by Dana and Chuck Farmer Jackie's sponsors when she competes on the USEA Horse Trials circuit as far afield as Kentucky. The two horses I had come to see were called Jeremy and Miss Ellie and were bred by Equiworld member Fintan Flannelly at his centre just south of Dublin in Ireland. I had recommended that Jackie buy the horses for her clients and so I wanted to see how they had acclimatized themselves to Texas weather and if they suited their riders. Big handsome horses but quiet by nature, they rode true to form and both had a super big jump in them. Miss Ellie in particular surprised me with regard to her confidence and ability when I rode her out on the cross country course on clinic day. Of course I knew that Fintan's horses are good types but Miss Ellie reminded me that horses bred over hundreds of years for the Irish hunting field are born with everything they need including a fifth leg when needed it seems!

Both Jackie and I love horses and teaching so it is hardly surprising that by day two I was coaching her on her horses and a few of her clients too. Now what I did not know is that bush telegraphy does not only exist in Africa so within days the word was out and I spent the rest of the week riding horses every morning and teaching in the afternoons. We finished off the week with a superb cross-country clinic with four groups of various levels at an excellent facility owned and run by Phil and Ruth Sawin just an hours drive out of Houston. Overall the riders I taught were great fun, fully capable and following the right tracks under Jackie's tutelage and it is great to think that Hayfield training helped somewhat in all of this. I am now booked in to return in early October of this year before I teach in South Africa but now it is time to pack up my few belongings and fly to Mexico to meet up with another Equiworld member Major Hugh Dawnay who is teaching a polo clinic at Costa Careyes.

Contacts: Irish horses or
Jackie Mather - Richmond - Houston.
Instructor Training:
Pinehills Cross Country and Show facility