How I am loving being home in New Zealand.

I’d forgotten just how good a cold beer tasted to wash the dust down at the end of one our hot summer’s days. It is so green and beautiful here – wherever I look it’s as if someone has rolled out a big green carpet over the hills. It is a beautiful place we live in. It’s been busy since I arrived home with competitions to be done and clinics to be taught.

We did pretty well at the Richfields International Horse Trial, which included the New Zealand One Day Eventing Championships. They had made a lot of changes to the layout and the cross country, cutting out a big section of the course and adding a new bit, so it was great to try that out.

The three star one day cross country course designer Robbie McLean did a great job with the resources he had. The course was a real challenge for many, with just four clear rounds – Clifton Airtight was one of those, but we picked up 10 time faults. However, we managed to finish second, so that was awesome – he is still very green at this level and really stepped up to the challenge. We’re now sitting in third spot on the Bell tea Super League leaderboard.

Next weekend’s Puhinui International Three Day event is the last one for the year before I head off on a three week holiday to recharge the batteries in readiness for what promises to be the biggest year of my life! At this stage I’ve got four horses entered for Puhinui – Clifton Airtight who will be doing his first three star three day event, Clifton Commanchee in the one star and Clifton Encore and Clifton Dickara in the pre-novice. Puhinui is always a great event, and once that’s over I will head to Australia to spend some time with my family. It’s the annual catch-up for most of us. Dad and I have bred a couple of horses in Aussie and he gets them to a point where I can hop on them and break them in while visiting – hopefully they will become our eventing stars of the future!

While I’m away our New Zealand based horses will have a good break before their season gets back underway at the end of February. My UK horses are already back in work after a five-week holiday, so they’ll be raring to go when I get back in mid-January.

I have loved being home to see all my Kiwi mates and catching up with all the news this side of the world. It has been such an amazing year for me – team NZ is in high spirits and ready to take it up a notch or two for 2012, and the high performance crew has been so supportive.

Roll on 2012!