It’s been a quiet few months for me on the competition front and I'm so looking forward to heading to Florida right after Christmas. Christmas is a lovely time of the year, a time for families to be together and support one another. This year will be our first Christmas without my mum so that will be a little different but we are lucky to have her watching over us.
I think I have found some of the best horses that I've ever had in my career (Meet The Stars here). It's tough when you have to constantly find the balance between business, sport and family life in equal measure. This year I feel I gave a lot of attention to the first and the latter and for several reasons did not excel in the sport sense to my usual high standard. But as a good friend of mine told me recently, I have time on my side in relation to the sport, while the success in my business dealings and a positive family life will be the foundation of the next 50 years !!
Sourcing, producing and selling elite horses have become something that I specialize in but like others in the same boat we become victims of our own success. If you sell the flagship it's obviously a positive from a monetary point of view, but it's next to impossible to have the next Grand Prix horse waiting in the wings.
I've been very fortunate over the years to have some great owners who supported me with top horses and this is an area that I must continue to develop in order to stay at the top of the sport. I want more medals and therefore I know now that I need to work even harder than I did 10 years ago because the demands are more and it’s vital to keep the skill level up.
Last month I found what I think is one of the best horses I've ever sat on - an 8 yr old stallion called Good Luck. I am so grateful to Nikki Walker and her family for their support in securing this superstar and I have also built a nice team of horses to go along with him. It doesn't happen overnight. Last time with Blue Loyd I got him just 7 months before the Olympics and now we have 18 months to Rio 2016!! Planning is everything. Of course, all plans don't come off but they have no chance if they don't exist!
In 2015 I will be focusing on having a top class group of international horses to ride and I’m always looking for new additions. I will coach my students and continue to develop young horses for the international market together with Ross Mulholland, who competes for me at Karlswood. We will be rebranding our logo and colours which you can see now on the site and I'm expecting my new Roelofsen horse truck in March 2015 - also in our new colours. We are getting closer to developing an equestrian facility to be named Karlswood Farm with plans being currently developed.
I really feel blessed to have a great team of people working for me at Karlswood. They all play their part and are so important to our success.
This year coming we have a number of staff changes and I'm very grateful to those who have put in so much work over the past 12 months and I'm genuinely excited about my team as we all will be striving for a vibrant and positive working atmosphere in 2015, which will hopefully yield further success.
I will keep you posted with pictures and videos from Florida through this website and my Facebook page. Please like my page - I want to reach 100k likes by this time next year!
I better go before I set any more goals!!
Season’s greetings- good health and happiness to you all for 2015!