Updated: Aug 26, 2020
A few weeks ago I had to make a very quick dash to the UK to be with my mum who sadly passed away after a long battle with cancer.
With the current COVID restrictions impacting people trying to return home to Australia, my flight home was suddenly cancelled and a very long few extra weeks were tagged onto my already very sad trip.
Missing my children, loved ones and of course the farm, the wait seemed impossible. However, between myself and Linda (who will struggle to visit any of her horses OS this year) an OSO UK tour visiting her much loved horses plus a few extra studs looking at potential new genetics was hatched! And of course, I will be sharing every step with our OSO family & fans!!
With my diary now full I hope the time passes quickly!
DAY 1 - 'Stride Ahead' Whitcombe, Dorset UK
Nikki Malcolm and Nathan Sweeney run a small but very professional stables in the stunning rolling countryside close to the Dorset coastline.
These much-admired trainers have been partnering with OSO for over four years now when we decided OSO EDITH was going to remain in the UK. Today, they compete and train OSO SPIRALLING WIND for us, and in 2019 they pretty much cleaned up over here winning the following titles:
Southern Champion - National
Senior Grand Prix - National (1/5000)
Winner The Red Dragon & BC
Highest Points FEI horse Wessex
Overal highest point score Wessex - FEI & National
Spiral looked an absolute picture of health and is most definitely benefitting from the fabulous facilities and training grounds.
The stables are housed in two adjoining courtyards with the biggest airy stables and with Nikki and Nathan’s flat over the top of the stables, means they are close by at all times. The yards, paddocks, tack room, feed room are all immaculate and you get a feel for the pride they have in their work and much-loved horses.
Whilst on the visit, forever looking for something different, I got to view 3 other magnificent and rare horses these being:
HAMDAANY ZAID ALMAHA a very rare Bahrain stallion bred by the King of Bahrain 🇧🇭 who is pure Asil War Horse. This strain was apparently bred for battle and the stallion was the preferred mount, however it had to be very quiet and sensible to enable surprise attacks!
It took centuries to evolve and “Hammy” ticks these boxes showing that these traits are beneficial in Endurance. After his first ride his cool head and super super low heart rate I’m sure will be a winning formula.
MARBON MASTARPIECE is the most adorable striking pure Arabian 100% Crabbet. After a very successful showing career, his owner has entrusted him in the capable hands of the Stride Ahead team to start his endurance career. This beautifully bred horse shows all the qualities of a Crabbet stallion with a super temperament and the most adorable head!
Last but not least I had the opportunity to look at a wonderful Spanish Andalusian gelding who was with them for breaking in. This huge 3 year old much as the polar opposite to our Arabs caught my eye with his magnificent nobel head and inquisitive nature. With a huge appreciation for all breeds, I’m sure my trip will be filled with many wonderful horses.
Huge thanks to the Stride Ahead team for taking time out of their busy day to show me around. Even a quick whizz to the seaside!!
Next stop is Hampshire with visits to both The Worth Stud and Binley Stud!!