Republic Cup Winners 2018

Well I have arrived back in England after a whirlwind tour to Zimbabwe to prepare horses for the Republic Cup race meeting. It was an intensive week and a half of treating runners, but it was incredible to be reunited with the Team.

For those who don't know, I worked with The Swanson Team for three years before coming to England and we have always just missed the Big Three Races. With the expense of flying me out, I guess you could say there was even more pressure on us to succeed.

We had two big runners, Amsterdam and Heir Line, and there was a lot of prep and attention to detail in the months, weeks and for me, days, leading up to the race! I normally have much "feeling" going into meetings but I have to admit, felt a little numb going into this one, probably in part due to tiredness, but also just with the high emotion of the trip.

Heir Line came to the front early on and just like that, it was no one else's race. Together with super Jock Keagan De Melo who rode the "Supa Win" for this Syndicate documented in my Blog "That Magic moment", we experienced some long overdue Euphoria together with the Gorringe, Gorringe, Carter, Ward, Patel Syndicate.

It was a special win for some of The Swanson's longest standing supporters, and we have seen many highs and lows with them. I still say that "Magic Moment" win rivaled this day, but it was special nonetheless. With so much turmoil surrounding Zimbabwe's future and Racing itself, it was a day of high emotions, particularly for me as I came away feeling enormous regret at leaving a life filled with blood pumping moments and satisfaction in search for something more. To be on course with my parents and friends once again, living those moments with them, it was just too special, it was just home!

I can't describe the feeling of winning a race with this Team, they have welcomed me, loved me and taught me so much about the sport of horseracing and life itself. In some ways this has ruined it for me too, because I'm not sure there is a Team on Earth that has this passion and sincerity when it comes to their horses! It meant so much to us all, for the things we have lost, the sacrifices we have made, and more than that, the friendships that have endured

As usual there are ups and downs, and we were very disappointed with Amsterdam's run, particularly as his owners had come up from The Cape to watch his race. It was however, not in vain as The winner Heir Line is by the popular Sire Dynasty, who stands at their Stud Farm, Highlands in The Western Cape. As is practice with this Team, they are back to the drawing board to overcome adversity. This horse is a happy horse, he is well and well loved, he deserves his day again and he will likely have it <3

I will be watching from afar in the coming meeting when he will contest a shorter distance, and in my short time getting to know this horse, I know that those big bright eyes will tell us when he is done. Just like a person, you meet for the first time and know you will be friends, this horse made an impression on me! I'll be in your corner Big A

While I have a rest day in England to come off the emotional high, I can't help but wish I was home for the final meeting of the season. We (my parents and I) have a minuscule share in lovely horse called "Three to Tango" who will have his first start at Borrowdale Park, sporting the family colours (with thanks to our 90% shareholding partner). I'm sure I'll be on course for one of his runs in the future, and can't wait to see how he fares.

My Dad always says "life is not a dress rehearsal" and with that in mind, we will be looking at the rest of the year with a different set of glasses on. I'm a big believer in learning from my mistakes, going on gut feeling and living an massively fulfilled life. What a tragedy it would be to miss out on an opportunity that makes you come alive in the hope that something better may come along.

We've learnt so much from our time in England, we have made some incredible friends and have some super clients, and now we have an unsuspecting card on the table, and that is one that may take us home, but we have a few months to make that call, who knows where life will lead. We have some big goals that we share with our Team on the ground here, and we will be supporting them in the upcoming months with everything that we have to give <3 That is our way ~ That is our life ~ What else is there

To People and Horses - May you know great love for both of them

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   Kylie Bonthrone - Equine Physio and Rider Sports Therapist

          BSc (Hons) Equine Science, PGDip VPhys, SMT, NKTP, MIAAT           

     Craig Bonthrone - Strength and Conditioning Coach

       MSc Coaching Science, NSCA accredited,  BSc (Hons) S and C,  FdSc. 

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