In spite of the prolonged wet weather this Winter, we have been very busy with our riding classes and activities. The School Holidays saw people enjoying out Training Schools and the 4th Annual Marena Show. This Show give our pupils the opportunity to test the skill they have learnt in lessons over the year and to participate in fun games.
Bronte Talbot continues to have a good year in Show competition. The Talbot family moved to Wyong Creek two years ago and Karren, Bronte and Alexa commenced lessons here on our horses. As the girls improved, Mum & Dad bought a galloway, Dashing, for Bronte and a pony, Mr. Darcy for Alexa. In August Bronte did her first ever Dressage Test against strong competition from 30 riders and came first. This family has a strong commitment to the sport of riding and a determination to achieve excellence.
Facebook - We will be building Marena Stud a presence on Facebook over the next few weeks. You will be notified by Newsletter.
Whilst we were in England we helped in the preparation of Dressage to music that Murrum Park Phantom performed recently to the rousing music of "I am Australian". His entrance was to the music of Waltzing Matilda with a voice-over by Bruce Walker. There is a wonderful video of the performance with glowing references to Marena Stud by the announcer on Facebook.
Show Results - The first for the season
Penrith Show - 27th August '11
Time: 1st Novice Pony Hack, 1st Open Pony Hack
St. Ives Show - 28th August '11
Won 1st Novice Hack, Champion Led TB Mare & Champion Ridden TB , Supreme Led
ANSA, Champion Ridden ANSA
Our Fancy Dress competition was enjoyed by all
A Two Day School will be held in the October School Holidays and a Three Day School before Christmas.
Be quick if you have not booked yet so you can secure your favourite school horse. Ring Lindy.
The week before we came home, Bruce and I went with Amanda and Freddy Marfleet through the Euro Tunnel by car to visit the WW1 War Cemeteries in France and Belgium. From Calais we journeyed through the Somme valley to Villers Bretoneau and the very impressive the Australian War Memorial.
In the small town of Querrieau we found the grave of Bruce’s Uncle Bert. It was hidden away on a small block in the middle of suburban houses. It would appear that he died in a casualty station behind the lines of wounds he had received in battle.
We then went onto the British War Memorial at Thiepval; its huge arch can be seen for miles around. This was close to Mouquet farm and Poisierres – the scenes of huge battles.
On our journey we passed lots of cemeteries, it was a shock for us to realise that there were so many poor souls buried across France – all the British forces; Australian, New Zealanders, Canadian, Indian, etc. All these resting places with their rows of white headstones and gardens are immaculately maintained.
One of the Memorials that had a big impact on us was a simple plaque in front of a few grassed over mounds of dirt marked on either side by an Australian flag and a British flag. The plaque said that more Australians were killed there at the one time than any other place; that the earth was soaked with Australian blood. Some of that earth was taken to the Canberra War Memorial and sprinkled over the Unknown Soldier's Grave.
We spent that night in Arras. The next morning we set off for Formeilles and Pheasants Wood and the new Cemetery where 250 Australian and British bodies in mass graves have been recently recovered and identified. That was the most harrying of all, by this time our feelings were close to the surface.
Our next destination was in Belgium at Ypres to view the Menin Gate. This Gate, on the road to Menin, was destroyed and was rebuilt after the War as a magnificent Memorial to all the British Empire soldiers with no known graves. On the new Menin Gate, more than 54,000 names have been carved on stone panels.
We achieved our mission to find Uncle Bert's grave (at right) and felt the tragedy of his loss and all those others who fought for freedom. Wherever we went we thought of Bruce’s Dad -- David John Walker -- spending years in that hell. He came home safe to lead a good and productive life never asking any special treatment for the sacrifices he and others had made for our continued safety.
Tired and saddened we headed for home. This was a trip that we are glad we have been fortunate enough to make. Little do we know how lucky we are to live in Australia.
At the end of that week we went to Covent Garden to see the stage production of War Horse. Quite appropriate after our continental trip as the subject was Horses participation in WW1. It was a most magnificent and moving play and not to be missed if it comes to Australia. We also visited the Stand in London to see Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s “Love never Dies”, the sequel to the Phantom of the Opera.
On the last day we capped off a truly wonderful holiday by visiting Buckingham Palace to view the State rooms, see Kate’s Wedding Dress and have lunch in the Palace gardens. How’s that?”
The best part? Putting our feet on Australian soil again and looking forward to the next time.
Good Luck to you all,
Quote of the Month
“Kind hearts are the garden; kind thoughts are the roots; kind words are the blossoms; kind deeds are the fruits.”
Contact - Maureen, Bruce or Lindy
HB & M Walker
336 Yarramalong Road, Wyong NSW 2259
Phone/Fax: +61 (0)2 4352 1707