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Well it's been an age since I last wrote a blog - and I must say this is not one I ever expected to have to write. My good friend and mentor Mic Fryatt decided to leave this world earlier in the month. I was both shocked and saddened to learn that mental illness had suffocated him so badly in his last month or two that he could see only one way out. I write this blog as a tribute to the man we knew and loved, and as a lasting reminder to his gorgeous wife Sandy and two amazing children Max and Georgie. Most of the following was taken from the Eulogy that Quentin Haines and I were honoured to read at his funeral. Some of the words are Quentin's and some are mine. We both shared so much admiration for the man, the legend, Mic Fryatt.
I can't think of a more fun place in the world to host an international dressage and jumping show than Las Vegas, Nevada. Well from a purely selfish spectator point of view anyhow. Not only can you see your favourite horses and riders in one spot, you can also party, shop, explore, do the Grand Canyon, find your soul mate, get married by Elvis and play the pokies all in one convenient location.
Well my 2014 round-the-world winter trip consisted of teaching in Canada, and the UK - I think I counted 65 lessons in the first two weeks of my "holiday". Then I flew to Portugal to make the most of four short but action packed days of Lusitano horses before heading to France for the World Equestrian Games.
So on a warm Wednesday night in August I found myself yet again flying into one of my favourite places on earth courtesy of Ryan Air. It is hard to describe the feeling I get when I step onto Portuguese soil and breathe in the balmy Lisboa air. Portugal is the antipode of New Zealand - literally the opposite side of the earth, and I feel a strange magnetism or pull to this place every year. Maybe it's a past life experience, maybe the Iberian Peninsula is somewhere back in my history, or maybe it's just the Lusitano horse pulling at my heart.