Tax Deductible Relief Fund

The following tax deductible relief fund has been set up through our friends at SCES, a national organization based out of Southern California, who supports our sport.  This relief fund is a general fund set up to help everyone at Windurra LLC and True Prospect Farm, as well as our owners and riders who have been impacted by this tragedy.  Please help us spread the word by making a donation and then sending out the link to all of your friends & equestrian contacts.  

Once again we'd like to help everyone who has sent their best wishes and volunteered to help us during these trying times.  Samantha Lendl will be writing a formal press release from PRO and distributing that with upcoming fundraising efforts as well.  Thank you again to the entire eventing community for your support.

Working Together to Help

Thank you for all the calls & emails that we have received today.

We are working together with several organizations to set up a relief fund to help all the people & horses who have been effected by the fire.

We will have another update to you by end of day on the relief fund & thank you again for all the support.

Prayer for this week

The view from our room this week

Heavenly Father, in You we live and move and have our being. We humbly pray You so to guide and govern us by Your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget You, but may remember that we are ever walking in Your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


A Collect for Guidance
The Book of Common Prayer

Barn Fire at True Prospect Farm

As many of you have already heard thanks to excellent reporting from John Thier at and the folks at PRO, last night there was a barn fire at True Prospect Farm.

Six horses were lost in the fire: Call Me Ollie, Charla, Ariel, Phantom Pursuit, Cagney Herself, and Summer Breeze.

Currently undergoing treatment at New Bolton Center are Neville Bardos, Otis Barbotiere, Catch a Star and Ambassador's Rose.

Lillian, Caitlin and Ryan were treated and released from Jennersville Hospital.

Obviously this is a difficult time, and our deepest condolences go out to everyone connected with these horses. We are grateful for your thoughts and prayers and all of the messages and well wishes that we have been receiving from the eventing community. We will keep you updated as we receive more information.

Faith my eyes

So keep 'em coming these lines on the road

And keep me responsible be it a light or heavy load

And keep me guessing with these blessings in disguise

And I'll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes

*Lyrics from Faith My Eye's by Caedmon's Call


Australia's 2020 Goals for a Digital Economy

National Digital Economy Strategy was launched today at CeBit 2011 by  Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy. Additional investments to facilitate the strategy to be announced.

The Government defines the digital economy as a globally connected network of economic and social activities enabled by information and communications technology. The Digial Economy Strategy encompasses goals for eCommerce, eHeath and distance education. 

To measure progress in realising its vision by 2020, the government has set the following goals. Worthy goals that can clearly propel our nation as a leading digital economy.  It will now take courage and the discipline to implement these strategies to fruition by 2020. I have discussed below what I feel is however significantly lacking from the core of its strategy. The strategy to build an army of Australian firms that lead this digital world. The goals outlined will essentially make us good consumers of a digital world, my vision however is to see our nations firms playing a significant role in the creations of the digital world in helping create companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, eBay. It is important for government to drive that strategy as a core to building a digital economy. More on this after the summary below.
Australia ranks in the top five OECD countries in the portion of households that connect to broadband at home.
Australia ranks in the top five OECD countries in relation to the portion of businesses, and not for profit organisations, using online opportunities to drive productivity improvements, expand their customer base and enable jobs growth.
The majority of Australian households, businesses and other organisations will have access to smart technology to better manage their energy use.
As identified in the National E-Health Strategy endorsed by the federal, state and territory governments, 90 per cent of high priority consumers such as older Australians, mothers and babies and those with a chronic disease, or their carers, can access individual electronic health records.
By July 2015, 495 000 telehealth consultations will have been delivered providing remote access to specialists for patients in rural, remote and outer metropolitan areas, and by 2020, 25 per cent of all specialists will be participating in delivering telehealth consultations to remote patients.
Australian schools, TAFEs, universities and higher education institutions will have the connectivity to develop and collaborate on innovative and flexible educational services and resources to extend online learning resources to the home and workplace; and the facilities to offer students and learners, who cannot access courses via traditional means, the opportunity for online virtual learning.
Australia will have at least doubled its level of teleworking so that at least 12 per cent of Australian employees report having a teleworking arrangement with their employer.
Four out of five Australians will choose to engage with the government through the internet or other type of online service.
Digital divide
The gap between households and businesses in capital cities and those in regional areas will have narrowed significantly.
All noble intentions, lets hope the government has the courage and the discipline to imprlement these strategies to realise these objectives by 2020.
Still lacking as part of this core vision and the strategy is a vision to help build Australian technology firms and talent to create enterprises that will lead the world in the digital economy taking advantage of the nations significant brand equity and creative talent.   The US has done this successfully through building its IT Industrial Cluster, the Silicon Valley, that help build companies like Apple, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Adobe, YouTube, HP, etc etc... creating a trillion dollar export market.
Even Nations like India & Ireland have built huge national capabilities with strong vision. Unfortunately the ministers vision is clearly lacking on this part! Australian companies given the national focus, supported by a Industrial/IT Cluster in its true sense (Michael Porter, Competitive Advantage of Nations) can take this nations talent to achieve in new vistas, not seen before but completely within the Australian capability.

(Summary of goals courtesy - Australian CIO Magazine 31 May 2011)

How to get a PhD by Phillips and Pugh

This book review is based on the third edition of "How to get a PhD"

"How to get a PhD" covers a wide range of aspects and is stuffed with helpful advice for starting doctoral researchers. All chapters contain an action summary at the end, which sums up to most important ideas of that chapter. Although this book is clearly written from the perspective of British universities, it can be read by anyone outside.

Here's an overview of what I found particularly useful in this book:

1. Chapter 4: How not to get a PhD

Be aware of the seven way of not getting a PhD:
- not wanting a PhD
- overestimating what is required
- underestimating what is required
- having a supervisor who des not know what is required
- losing contact with your supervisor
- not having a 'thesis' (i.e. position, argument) to maintain
- taking a new job before completing.

Most books contain great advice on how to work towards your doctoral degrees, or point out what pitfalls you might encounter. Pointing out directly which behavior will totally boycott you from getting your degree, is not so common. This books devotes an entire chapter to this topic, and it's very helpful to be aware of these danger signs.

2. Chapter 8: How to manage your supervisor

Be aware that you must accept the responsibility for managing the relationship between you and your supervisor. It is too important to be left t chance.

Great advice, which I learned over time to be true. I initially thought my supervisors would keep close track of what I am doing, and would come to me regularly asking about my progress. I noticed it's quite different.

3. Preparing for the viva

Here's a tried and tested way of revising the complete thesis and preparing for the via, both at the same time.
First you take a maximum of three sheets of feint-ruled A$ paper (try to manage ith two if you can). You draw a straight vertical line down the centre of each sheet. You now have to sets of about 35 lines, i.e. 70 half lines. Each half line represents one page of your thesis. Now you number each half line. One to 35 are the left hand half laine and 36-70 are the right hand half lines on the first sheet of paper.
Next you take your time, say about two weeks, to write on every half line the main idea contained on the corresponding page of your thesis.

Sounds like some of the best advice I've read about preparing for your defense, and I'll try to implement it when I graduate (in more than 2 years from now).

4. Chapter 11: How to supervise and examine

In connection with chapter 8, this chapter gives the reader more insight in the relationship between student and supervisor. This chapter is written from the point of view of the supervisor, and is definitely wroth reading for students too. I was inspired by this chapter in my way of supervising master's students.

A new blog from Silva: WE HAD TO LISTEN TO ASHLEA SING!!!

First of all I would like to say that Ashlea did what I was afraid of: she sang the Australian national anthem "loud and proud"! Thank God she was crying at the same time: that way she could not sing loud enough for everybody to hear.

Besides the fact that she should not ever sing unless she is all by herself, I am very very proud of her! She won her freestyle in the CDI Y at the Horse Park of New Jersey with almost 70%. I am a little embarrassed to say this, since I am supposed to be a tough German girl, but even I got goose bumps when they played the Aussie Anthem for Ashlea. Ashlea has been working very hard for this and this is a very big step towards her goal of representing Australia at the Young Rider World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany.

I would like to thank Ann Miller, who put this beautiful freestyle together for us in time for this weekend. She did an amazing job!

Kymmy and Markie also had a good weekend and Kyymy rode very well today. This was the first time for them to compete in Fourth level test 3, which is a very hard test to ride. They finished third in a big, competitive field! Good job!

I've said it before but I have to say it again: I have the most amazing horses! I am soooo lucky!

Stately did the first qualifier for the World Breeders Young Horse Championship in Verden, Germany in August and he was amazing! Michael Barisone helped me warm up all weekend and Stately got better and better. The qualifier was judged by German judge Peter Holler and American judge Jeanne McDonald. We scored 86% and won out of 25 horses! This has to be the best score I have ever gotten - what an amazing horse!

Stateley and I are going to compete in the selection trial for 6-year-old horses for the World Championships in Germany next weekend at Morven Park. Everyone keep your fingers crossed for us!

Rosa Cha W also had a great weekend. She won Third, test 2 with 74% and Third, 3 with 73%, and scored 72% in the Young Horse class today! Rosa will also compete at the selection trial at Morven Park.

Duvent had a much better test yesterday: we did Fourth level test 3 for the first time and finished third with 63%. I am excited about him - he is going to be great!


Videos and pics will be posted soon!

6/28 & 29 Clinic at White North Stables & South Farm

Please see their website for full details!

Silva, Ashlea and Kyymy Off to a Good Start at CDI in New Jersey

Ashlea and Mintie at the Jog

This CDI Y is Ashlea's first qualifier for the Young Rider World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany. After Mintie and Ashlea passed the jog on Thursday, they had a really good test on Friday. They did the Young Rider Team Test, which is the same test as the PSG. Ashlea rode beautifully and Mintie was trying very hard to stay focused.

Ashlea and Mintie

The two international judges had her placed first and the American judge gave the American girl 5% more then the other judges, which placed her in front of Ashlea by 0.3%. That was unfortunate, but I am very proud of Ash and Mintie for placing second in an international competition.

Ashlea has another test today and the freestyle tomorrow morning.Even tho I really hope she is going to win I am a little worried! Ashlea said that if she wins the CDI Y, she is going to sing the Australian anthem "loud and proud", and I am not sure if I want to be part of that considering Ashlea is a terrible singer!!!

Kymmy and Markie had a solid test yesterday. This is only the third or fourth time that they have competed at Fourth level and each time they do better and better. They scored 63% and finished fourth - good job! Especially because there are a lot of good horses and riders at this show.

I cannot begin to express how lucky I am to be able to ride the horses that I have at the moment. It is so much fun to ride horses with this quality! I have always loved all the horses that I showed, but I have never had such fantastic horses as I do now.

Rosa Cha W, who is still such a baby, tried her heart out for me and we won third level test 2 with 74%. She has come such a long way since we did training level last year and now she is not only winning at third but winning with unbelievable scores.

Aesthete, or "Stately", of course was awesome. He is probably the best horse I ever sat on. We did our second competition at Fourth level and won with 73%. I cannot wait to ride him in Grand Prix! But I will take my time to make him the best he can be - he is still only 6 years old.

Duvent got a little excited this time but we still finished second in Fourth level test 2.

Today we have Rosa in Third 3, Stately in Fourth 2 , Duvent in Fourth
3, Markie in Fourth 2 and Mintie in the CDI again.

More updates later!



My discovery of the week is Leechblock.
Last week, I was getting on the procrastination and pointless browsing path again (because I'm worried about a though deadline I just heard about), and I decided I needed a strong hand to get this under control again.

I've used blocksite in the past, to control my random facebooking. After having facebook and other distracting websites blocked from my office computer, I started boycotting myself. I started turning off the add-on, surf around for some time, and then turn it on again. Silly, isn't it?

Now I'm experimenting with Leechblock. This software has two options:
- allow certain websites for a previously defined amount of time during a day, and then block them
- set a timeframe during which you want to block certain websites.
The great thing is that you cannot change any settings while a block is active. You simply have to sit through it.

I've used the second option yesterday during 1h40mins to make some good progress on a writing task, and I've made the first option a standard feature allowing me 20 minutes of browsing to my most distracting websites a day.

After just a few days of using this software, I would say it is a great productivity tool.

New Training Video Review: Breaking Down the Coffin

Horse Junkies United, presented by our sponsor Ecogold, have posted their latest review from our training video series. Click the link to check it out! -Boyd and Silva

The Friday Clive

"Humans live in time...therefore...attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself and to...the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches it alone freedom and actuality are offered."

Thank You Cindy Lawler!

While I was on course at Rolex, I sat by some women who were taking pictures at the Head of the Lake.  Since I had to hoof it across the course to another set of fences, I handed my business card to one of the ladies & asked if she would be kind enough to get some pictures at the water complex.  Needless to say, I didn't know what a talented photographer & had recruited.

Interestingly enough, Cindy revealed (after some prodding) that she had an interesting past at Rolex.  I asked her for a little bio and discovered that her love for horses had actually brought her to Rolex for the 1983 pony club rally nationals, where she won the jumper division. She also groomed for Lisa Anderson in 1985 who rode in the Intermediate  Prelim divisions (winning one), and in turn Cindy received the top groom's award for her efforts!

Cindy is from McHenry Illinois and works in Mobile Alabama as a Catastrophe Adjuster.  She is also a Certified Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor and enjoys photography as a past time, and I think she shows some serious talent!!  Thanks again to Cindy for these fabulous photos. 
iPhoto Gallery Link

Debate: One last time

It's hard to remember that summer is fast approaching as I reach for another sweater and see raindrops pouring off the patio umbrella.  I do live in California, don't I?

The signs of summer begin to wash ashore, though.  And the bridge between the school year and summer is a debate grand finale.  Rex will debate with and against his good friends for the last time in his high school career.  I will get to visit with some of my closest friends, and through it all we will get way too little sleep.

I guarantee that more than once I will wonder why we do this crazy, expensive, exhausting life.  And then I will listen to a student deliver an interpretive speech on The Elephant Man that makes me cry, and it will begin to make sense.  As a fifteen-year-old girl talks about her love of Africa and her heart for the poor, I will be grateful to be challenged by a younger (and wiser) woman.  I will watch Rex debate and think, "There is a lot going right in this world."  And as I am tempted to fall asleep during the award ceremony, my body unable to handle being awake for one more minute, I will no longer be asking why.  The answer will be in the faces of the students filling the rows of seats, ordinary kids who have chosen to do extraordinary work. 

Speech and's a good place to be.

Clinic July 12th & 13th at CS&W Farm!!

Boyd Martin
CS&W Farm
July 12 and 13, 2011
October 18 and 19, 2011
Clinic with the 2010 Horseman of the Year
Boyd is a 4 star eventing competitor that finished 7th overall on the USEA Rider of the year leader board in 2007. He was shortlisted for the Australian Olympic team on two horses, Yin Yang Yo and Neville Bardos. Since becoming a US citizen, Boyd has had great success competitively. He was named Rider of the year by the Chronicle of the Horse and in 2011  is ranked number one on the Nutrena leader board. For more information go to
Boyd Martin is one of the best clinician I have ridden with in a long time. People who ride with him feel they and their horses were challenged mentally and physically without being overfaced. Your confidence reaches a new level. He demonstrates imagination in the exercises he teaches. He explains techniques for both stadium and cross country clearly and logically. Both my horses excelled during the class and I have used many suggestions afterwards. This is someone you don’t want to miss riding with.  
Semi privates - $225.00 per day
Groups of 4 - $165.00 per day
Tuesday - Flatwork/Gymnastics
Wednesday  -  Cross Country 
Our XC includes Water/Ditches/Banks for levels BN-Prelim
2011 new sunken road complex and additional new jumps
Registration must be received with payments in full prior to clinic to reserve your spot.  Any questions call Claudia Winter @ 518-537-4417 or email
Visit us on the web at

Napa: Phase Three (The foodie details)

The French Laundry, Yountville, California

No, we didn't eat at the French Laundry.  But we did wander around the incredible gardens across the street, and we did some lurking and snooping to see if we could make a Thomas Keller sighting at the afternoon event in the courtyard.  Some say we were unsuccessful, but I think the guy in the blue shirt might have been him.

The next night we made our way back to Yountville, no thanks to the bizarre road construction stops ("No more than fifteen minute wait") at several seemingly random locations on the back roads.  Thanks to clever changing techniques in the back seat, we arrived only ten minutes late for our much-anticipated culinary treat at

- for temporary relief of hunger -

Thomas Keller's family style restaurant is at the other end of Washington Street.  I can't imagine creating the masterpieces that are served so perfectly at The French Laundry, but the food at ad hoc is incredible AND home menu worthy. Highly recommended:  Ad Hoc at Home.  The melted onions are worth the price of the tome.

It was good to have a food enthusiast friend with me.  John loves food, don't get me wrong.  Fortunately for me he considers a timely delivered grilled cheese sandwich to be heaven sent, but the subtleties of pixie mandarins and carnaroli risotto are a little lost on him (although, if the word "garlic" is included, his ears perk up.)   

A four course meal, ad hoc style:

First course:  Salad.

Really tasty roasted garlic (John:  "Garlic?") vinaigrette, and the toasted almonds were perfect.  I wish I knew what was different about them. A piece of tuna (yum!)  There were anchovies.  I ate one.  For the first time in my life (and maybe the last.)  I thought they looked like lizards.  This is not a compliment.  The dressing and the almonds made this a win.

Second course:  Main dish.

Veal with carnaroli risotto, peas and carrots.  Risotto is on my short list of things to learn to cook well.

An extra main dish:  Pork Belly.  The mustardy sauce and pine nuts, combined with such flavorful meat, were the best. 

Third course:  The cheese course.

Leonora ("From the dry, arid hills northwest of Madrid comes this large brick of soft, cakey goat’s milk cheese that will dazzle your palate with bright grass and lemon flavors. The crusty, natural rind makes a beautiful contrast with the pure white interior.")  Served with with cherry compote and crostini, but also with honey that we drizzled on the cheese.

If you are at my next dinner party, expect a cheese course.  It was lovely.

Fourth course:  Dessert.

Slices of chocolate cake and scoops of cinnamon walnut ice cream.  I'm not a great fan of cake or ice cream, but they were good.

An espresso for the driving home garlic lover, and the long-awaited meal was over.  It was a generous gift from dear friends, it was a night to remember.

Lessons learned:
Napa Valley Casual = wear whatever you want.
Anchovies = no thanks.
Cheese course = as often as possible.
ad hoc = temporary relief of hunger and so much more.

"When we eat together, when we set out to do so deliberately, life is better, no matter your circumstances.  Whether it's a sad or difficult time, whether it's an ordinary-seeming day, or whether it's a time of celebration, our lives are enriched when we share meals together."                                                       Thomas Keller, from ad hoc at home

Festa de Comemoração 40 Anos da Escola

No dia 21 de maio foi realizado um jantar dançante no centro comunitário do bairro Arco Íris em comemoração aos 40 Anos da EMEF Presidente Costa e Silva. O Coral Vozes do Arco Íris cantou o Hino da Escola e as Ex-Diretoras foram homenageadas. Tambpem foi realizado o sorteio da Rifa Ação Entre Amigos.

Our lab on TV


That's our lab in which they are interviewing! And I'm briefly showing up at 1:29, in between the talks for the parents of the students.

Napa: Phase Two

There's no longer any doubt in my mind about the beauty of Napa in the spring.  The vines are bright green, straight and endless and everywhere.  The stone buildings, the dark wood barn doors, the roses lined up at the edge of the fields, the mounds of blooming is one gasp of beauty after another.

Wineries are beautiful places, too.  Comfortable seating, gorgeous landscape, friendly smiles and good wine. 

Little did we know when we arrived in Yountville on Thursday that our first stop would be the highlight, the standard to meet, the "you won the lottery" winery of the trip.  Hope and Grace lived up to its name:  Matthew was a gifted tasting guru, the cafe table in the courtyard provided us with seating for long conversation and a selection of unbelievably good wine.  We even enjoyed the companionship of a beautiful winery dog:  Romeo.

 Romeo, waiting for Juliet?

We walked, we sat, we solved problems, we told stories, we commiserated, we rejoiced, we wondered, and we laughed a lot. 

And that is the best kind of beautiful.

We savored the fellowship, down to the very last drop.