We only eat Dutch babies on birthdays and Christmas morning.  But this morning I was asked,  "Can we have them today, Mom?"

There was something in the question, something in the smile, something that reminded me that these days together will not last forever.  What am I waiting for?

 And so I said yes.

I really don't want to waste a day. And sometimes that means saying yes. I am glad today was one of those days.


Competition Horse: New Cadet

NAME: New Cadet
SEX: Gelding
HEIGHT: 16.2hh
DATE OF BIRTH: 4-23-05
SIRE: Private Terms
DAM: Couloir (by Nepal)
BREED: American Thoroughbred
BREEDER: Jimmy Hawkins
OWNER: Mrs Anne Hennesey, VT

Caddy is nothing short of what I would call a 'Raw Athelete'. I believe if we lived in medieval times, I would like to ride this horse to battle. He is bold, powerful and very tough.

I found Caddy in Atlanta Georgia, shortly after the memorial day fire. My coach, Phillip Dutton had spotted him while teaching a jumping clinic at another American Olympian's farm at Julie Richards. He came home and said to me that he had found 'your kind of horse'. I flew down there and liked him from the get go.

Anne Hennesy has been a long time supporter and friend. She has owned some fantastic horses in the past with Benwald and the late Summer Breeze. Both Anne and I were devastated in loosing Summer, and it was a tough job finding a horse to take her place. I knew when I got Caddy she would love this horse.

Even though Caddy is a failed race horse, and originally was discovered at a horse rescue facility, I believe he is the real deal. He has the movement and look for dressage, a serious jump and gallops with ease. I really enjoy training this gelding and have high hopes for him.

Author birthday extravaganza

Today is the birthday of three favorite authors:  Madeleine L'Engle, C.S. Lewis and Louisa May Alcott.  In honor of their birthday, I have listed some favorite quotes and books and one movie.

The Insistence of Chronology

During our mortal lives, however, chronos is not merely illusion. My body aging is aging according to human chronology, not nucleon or galactic chronology. My knees creak. My vision is variable. My energy span is shorter than I think it ought to be. There is nothing I can do to stop the passage of this kind of time in which we human beings are set. I can work with it rather than against it, but I cannot stop it. I do not like what it is doing to my body. If I live as long as many of my forebears, these outward diminishments will get worse, not better. But these are the outward signs of chronology, and there is an other Madeleine who is untouched by them, the part of me that lives forever in kairos and bears God's image.

from Glimpses of Grace: Daily Thoughts and Reflections of Madeleine L'Engle

But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not.  It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him. 

From Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Every few weeks she would shut herself up in her room, put on her scribbling suit, and fall into a vortex, as she expressed it, writing way at her novel with all her heart and soul, for till that was finished she could find no peace.

From Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Favorite books by these authors:


(worthy of note:  we love the movie of The Inheritance, but the book didn't do it for us.  The father in the movie is a great character, and he is fabulously quotable.)

Last year's meme post in honor of Lewis, L'Engle and Alcott.

Talented Young Horse for Sale - Bacardi!

NAME: Bacardi
DOB: April 5, 2006
SEX: Gelding
HEIGHT: 17.0 hh
(KPWN-NA 840025 200600417)
SIRE: Sir Sinclair
DAM: Rideau Hall
PLACE OF BIRTH: Pennsylvania
OWNER: Sandy Issler

Bacardi is a handsome 5 year old, 17.0hh registered Dutch Warmblood (KWPN) bay gelding who is blessed with wonderful gaits and the ability to jump. This exciting young horse is loaded with talent, has received excellent training from some of the best trainers in the country and has had a great start to his career.

Bacardi's training began with natural horsemanship where he was desensitized, learned manners, respect, and some cool tricks. As a 4 yo, Bacardi was given a wonderful start in dressage with trainer Dorie Addy-Crow. Bacardi went with Dorie to Florida for further training and for the 2010-2011 dressage show season where he competed in many top prestigious USDF/USEF shows at Training Level with scores into the 70s. Bacardi also competed in dressage shows with his amateur owner and is currently schooling first and second level movements. He also finished 12th in the country at Training Level in the USDF-KWPN-NA 2011 Final Award Standings.

As talented as this elegant fellow is for dressage, Bacardi really wants to jump. Bacardi is currently in training with Boyd Martin to develop him into an eventing horse. With his wonderful dressage background, intelligence, and athletic jumping ability, Bacardi shows great potential as an eventing horse. He has no vices. Bacardi clips, loads, has excellent feet, is good for farrier and vet and enjoys hacking in his spare time.

Please call 610-806-2381 to set up an appointment to see Bacardi!

Congratulations to Lindsey Taylor for Winning PRO Liz Cochran Memorial Groom's Award

Press Release from PRO

Lindsey Taylor Selected as First Honoree of the PRO Liz Cochran Memorial Groom's Award

Lindsey to be Honored at the PRO Awards Reception on December 9th

Vero Beach, FL - November 28, 2011: The Professional Riders Organization is very pleased to announce that Lindsey Taylor, head groom for Boyd Martin, has been selected as the recipient of the inaugural PRO Liz Cochran Memorial Groom's Award. Lindsey will be honored December 9, 2011 at 6:00 PM at the PRO Awards Reception at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee site of the 2011 USEA Convention. Lindsey will receive an engraved silver bowl, a $5,000 cash award, and PRO will donate $500 to a cancer charity of Lindsey's choice in memory of Liz Cochran.

The PRO Liz Cochran Memorial Groom's award will be offered annually to an outstanding groom of a professional member of PRO who has had a large influence on their rider's career and the health and well-being of the horses under their care. Nominees should epitomize the example set forth by Liz Cochran, who groomed professionally for Abigail Lufkin and sadly lost her life to cancer. The following criteria is used to evaluate the nominees: the groom always puts the horses first; immaculate turnout of horses at home and competitions regardless of level; communicates effectively with owners, riders, students and staff; rallies a positive stable atmosphere both at home and away; has an infectious, positive attitude; shares their knowledge of the job in a effort to educate others; demonstrates that no job is beneath them; is well presented in their attire and courteous in both manners and speech; and enhances their rider's career.

Karen O'Connor spearheaded the award envisioning formal recognition by fellow professionals that would not only honor the outstanding qualities of professional grooms, but also reward them with a significant cash prize. The nominees put forward by riders for the 2011 PRO Liz Cochran Memorial Groom's Award included Emma Ford (Phillip Dutton) and Nate Varcoe-Cocks (Will Faudree). Mark Hart, Chair of the PRO Awards Committee summed up what was a very challenging decision: "All of the nominees are extremely worthy of winning this award and it was very difficult to choose one winner. Given the incredibly trying circumstances that Lindsey faced this year with the fire in Boyd's barn, and the incredible way she has dealt with every situation she has been challenged with, the committee felt that this was her year to be honored in what we know will be a long career." Other members of the PRO Award Committee include: Mary Coldren, Rick Dunkerton, Faye Woolf, Joanie Morris, Evie Dutton, Laura VanderVliet and Sara Kozumplik.

In nominating Lindsey, Boyd expressively described her outstanding qualities: "I believe the events that led up to, during and after the Memorial Day barn fire separates Lindsey from the rest of the list of candidates. This lady was able to deal with the tragedy of the loss of the horses that died, also rehabilitating the injured ones that survived, whilst working out of a number of barns, and was still able to fulfill her energy of the competition horses that were unaffected, all at the same time without complaint, negativity, or fuss, which impressed me more than anything." In 2011 Boyd calculated that he had 175 eventing starts, which Lindsey groomed for, braiding 2,050 braids from the big international-three day events like Rolex, Burghley and Boekelo to horse trials like Sporting Days, Waredaca and Loch Moy. Boyd pointed out that during this time Lindsey worked nine weeks straight without a day off because "her commitment is bordering on the line of obsession."

Four reasons for blogging

Even though blogging is becoming more and more popular among scientists and researchers, I still notice some doubts and hesitation among my peers when it comes to blogging.

Some people react by saying "Who am I to speak up?", some think it is an (innocent) waste of time on the internet, others think of it as shameless self-promotion.

Over the past nine years, I've been having blogs here and there, but I never really made a solid habit out of blogging and I always ended up discontented with my own writing and deleting posts and even entire blogs - until this blog which is now a little over one year old.
Although I did not have a strong motivation to start this blog (it was initially part of my day zero project which didn't lead to much), I have found the following reasons along the way to keep writing here:  

1. A place to reflect

A main motivator for writing posts here, is self-reflection. Besides the research itself which I've been carrying out over the past years, I've come to an understanding of the broader implications of doing a PhD. Writing out what I've learned, and how I tackle certain situations, makes the entire learning process clearer to me. For example, recently I was wondering how much (or how little) my presentation style has changed after presenting at several conferences. I realized that I am not nervous anymore about presenting, and that I have found a certain routine which helps me to put a slideshow together within a relatively short amount of time. Thinking about this, and documenting what I've learned, helps me to realistically assess my development, instead of just worrying about all the work that still needs to be done before I can graduate.  

2. Documenting a journey

I've added additional pages to this blog, so I can keep track of the presentations I've given and the papers I've written so far. Also, I use this webspace to combine the links towards my slideshare presentations, as well as published papers which can be found online.  

3. Practice writing

I have the habit of writing an entire paragraph in a paper, and then simply select and delete it because I'm not satisfied with it, only to find myself staring at a blank screen again. It's a well-known advice that the more you write, the easier it becomes. Dissertation writing guides typically will tell you to make writing a daily habit. I too have experienced that writing a lot (blogging, journaling, writing small reports, scribbling notes about my literature review and all other forms of writing, have helped me to form coherent sentences. Also, I've become less harsh on myself - I can always edit afterwards if I find a mistake.

4. Say "hi" to the world

I'm not really interested in shameless self-promotion, but I simply do think that my work is interesting, and that there must be people nerdy enough out there who might be interested in my work. By making it googleable, and by showing some of my results and work, I want to wave at whoever might be interested in exchanging ideas on my research topic.

5. Not: money

Recently, I've been receiving some emails about sponsorships, but I've been declining. I'm not interested in making money from blogging. I'm doing this for fun and for myself, and I'm just not interested in earning something from this. Also, I'm a bit bothered by comments which, at first appear to add to the contents of this blog, but then also link to a sometimes completely unrelated commercial business. I am not judging or condemning anyone else whose ambition it is to make money from blogging, but I'm only stating here that it is not my motivation and that I try to keep this place ad-free and spam-free.

First Sunday of Advent

First Sunday in Advent

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.      
Book of Common Prayer,  Collect for the First Sunday in Advent.

Noir Lighting Attempts

It took me a while to actually start sketching my new painting. I was obsessing over how I'm going to design the light sources to achieve this effect, without being too unrealistic. In fact, I tried sketching the room's floor plan and tried to figure out all the light sources. I'm so OC it's annoying.

Anyways, I'm quite happy how the painting is turning out. I just had to stop because my hand is already aching. I hate it when this happens.

Detail of my new painting. I can't really tell you the title yet.

Thanksgiving Day Hunting

Thanksgiving day this year was once again a fantastic day out hunting here in Pennsylvania. The Cheshire Hounds Thanksgiving Day Fox Hunt has become a favorite day on my yearly calendar. This year I anticipated a challenging day of jumping, so I came well mounted. I pulled out the seasoned 4-star campaigner and veteran field hunter, Remington XXV to tackle the famous Cheshire country.

Gretchen Wintersteen (left) with Boyd on Remi

Since competing Remi at Boekelo in the Netherlands in late October, he had a few weeks off, then came back in to gentle work. I hunted him alongside his owners, Ron and Densey Juvonen, once a week in the second and third field for him to get the understanding of hunting again during the past month.

We had a fantastic day out, where we got to gallop and jump along with all sorts of members of the community. There were famous huntsmen, jockeys, racing trainers, land owners, businessmen and women and equine enthusiasts among the riders. Legendary race trainer Michael Dickerson chose to join the hunt on foot, a number of times overtaking me with lightning speed!

I have a new level of appreciation and respect for Stuart Malone, who took an almighty crash at a three-railer. I was expecting the hunt to call in the Medics, but Stuart chose to walk it off, re-mounting and continuing the hunt. Gladiatorial stuff!

I spent the majority of the hunt just off the pace, enjoying the action with some friends in the beautiful weather. I stayed with a fun group of riders including Katie Walker and her son Harry, (Brewster's owners), Dave Leinhauser,(fox hunter genius trainer of all time), Neville Bardos Syndicate members Ron & Densey Juvonen, Gretchen Wintersteen, race rider and former Cheshire Whip Nial Malloy and Unionville super vet Peter Blauner.

Silva watching the hounds in action

Without doubt, we are very lucky to have such wonderful open country in this area: a fantastic way to spend Thanksgiving day.


The Way I See It: Nourishment

The Thanksgiving Table 2011
Photo prompt from Molly at Close to Home.  Come join the fun:  The next prompt is Gratitude.

There is the nourishment of the food on Thanksgiving, but it is so much more than that.  The relationships, the traditions, the orchestration of the multifaceted meal, the autumn skies, the piles of dishes in the kitchen, the murmurs of gratitude around the house, the football, the annual viewing of Its A Wonderful Life...Thanksgiving is a day that nourishes my soul as well as my body.  

I love Thanksgiving.

Meet Windurra's Newest Member: Erin Lehman

We are very happy to announce the newest member of our team, Erin Lehman! Erin is from Ames, IA and will be joining Boyd's crew in Aiken, SC for the three-month winter season.

Erin has an impressive background including extensive experience in Pony Club, a position as a working student for Susan Harris and a riding education with John Staples. She is currently a Senior in high school and will be graduating early, this December, to begin working towards her riding and horse management goals. She hopes to pursue a career in the horse industry, riding event horses and coaching event riders. She has demonstrated a strong work ethic and a desire to learn.

Her horse, Super Fly, will also be joining us in Aiken. Erin and Super Fly have been together for a year and have just successfully completed their third preliminary horse trials together. Erin's riding goals for 2012 include completing a one star and competing at the intermediate level by the end of the year. She also hopes to achieve her HB and B Pony Club ratings during the coming spring or summer.

We are excited to have such a dedicated, enthusiastic, and ambitious new team member joining us in Aiken this winter! Congratulations, and welcome, Erin!

-Lindsey Taylor

Note from blog administrator: Erin is a teenage girl. Considering the tone of previous comments, please think before posting and keep your comments respectful. -AMH

City's unique College partnership.

City are just buying a 1st team. Why don't City bring through youth like United? Why would any young player want to join Manchester City?

How many times have we heard those statements in recent years? I've spoke about City's youth policy time and time again on here and in conversation along with thousands of others but they never listen. It still gets mentioned on an almost daily basis by some brainless idiot who lives their lives believing everything they read in the tabloids. However the notion that City pay no attention to their Academy becomes increasingly moot as the evidence continues to mount up.

Such evidence is the reason for this post. Manchester City have publicly announced their partnership with St Bede's College, a rather distinguished local educational establishment, which began last September. "What's the big deal?" I hear you say.

Well this new and unique partnership dramatically changes the way City's Academy works for the players in the 14-16 age group. Previously, they were taken out of their schools one day a week for training with City's coaches, as well as additional training in the evenings at Platt Lane.

Now they are all at the same school receiving a quality level of education, and get to work with City's coaches on a daily basis whilst they are there. No other club in Englsih football has developed a partnership of this kind. City's head of the Academy, Mark Allen has spoken on a number of occasions about the changes being made by City at youth level and the desire to help the boys develop into well rounded individuals both on and off the pitch. 

“It's a pre-scholarship football and education programme, and we worked in partnership with St Bede's to give the boys a timetable that gave them appropriate education for their age with access to the right number of GCSEs.

"We have married that with a full time football programme that works towards our plan to create the elite players that we want at Manchester City in the future."

One way in which this programme is benefiting the players is that they are not only getting to spend more time learning about and playing football, they are also able to spend more time with their family because they are no longer having to go back out in the evening for training. It's a more stable and structured set up for the Coaches, the players, and just as importantly, their parents.

City's U14s coach Jonathan Hill, who also spoke to mcfc.co.uk, is pleased with how the boys have taken to the new set up and how they have developed.

“Integrating at the school has been good for their discipline, and that has transferred into the football.

“The boys have really got into the programme, and while daily training has been hard on them we have found that they have had very few injuries.

It’s been really positive, the boys have matured and I can already see a big difference in them.”

The fact that Hill has seen improved character and application in such a short space of time is excellent news for the club as this is almost a trial run for when City's new training complex is built. When that comes around the Academy players will be taught in-house under a similar education and training system.  

So are City only focusing on buying their 1st team? That has never been the case despite recent spending.

Why don't City bring through youth like United? They do, and the 'bring through youth' tag at United is largely a myth (as you can find in a link below).

Why would any young player want to join Manchester City? Because they putting in as much effort as, if not more for the all-round development of young players than any other club in the football league.

Other articles you might like in connection with City's Academy are;

Twitter: @MikeWalsh1880
Facebook: David Silva's Left Foot

    The Friday Clive

    "Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing; ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I have found out long ago."

    Silva and Aesthete Named to USEF Developing List

    Silva and "Stately"
    Photo courtesy Cindy Lawler

    Congratulations to Silva and Aesthete, the 6-year-old gelding owned by Faye Woolf, on being named to the USEF Developing Horse/Rider List with an average score of 8.72 (Young Horse Division).

    For the complete list please click here

    Liverpool v Manchester City

    This weekend City fans will be looking for what's described in football as 'bounce-backability' when they travel to Anfield on Sunday. Although City's European form has been very hit and miss (mainly miss), they have been powerhouses in the Premiership.

    Anfield is always a difficult place to go and pick up points, as City found out last season, however Liverpool's current form at home isn't exactly outstanding at this moment in time. Out of the 6 games played there in the league they've drawn 4 (Sunderland, Manchester United, Norwich and Swansea) and won 2 (Bolton and Wolves). Of course this means they're unbeaten at home so far but they have only picked up 10 of a possible 30 points.

    'King' Kenny will be without Steven Gerrard once again but there are now other major injury concerns for him to worry about. Last season Liverpool's fortunes took a dramatic turn for the better when Dalglish took the reigns again, and they managed to reasonably recover what was potentially a disastrous campaign. The purchase of Luis Suarez turned out to be one of the buys of the season however Andy Carroll was possibly the most overpriced lump of uselessness other than Chelsea's splurge of £50m on Torres.  

    This season has been somewhat mixed with them currently sat in 6th place having won 50% of their games so far. None of their strikers have made a fantastic start to the season either. Suarez has is their top scorer with only 4 goals to his name. Carroll and Adam share 2nd place with 2 goals each. In fact when it comes to home form, Liverpool have scored fewer than each of the top 8 teams in the league on home turf as well as Norwich and Fulham also hitting the back of the net more often.

    In contrast, City's form home and away has been, well, awe inspiring. They've won 5 and drawing 1 away from home as well as scoring 23 goals in the process. 5 of those goals coming against Spurs and 6 against United. The only down side is that City have also conceded 8 goals on their travels, only keeping 1 clean sheet against Blackburn, and although the squad has raised its game when up against bigger teams in the league this will be something Mancini will be astutely aware of and looking to rectify.

    Aguero was rested during the week, only making a 9 minute appearance from the subs bench so I would suspect he will be in the starting 11. Which one of Balotelli and Dzeko makes way for the Argentine is any one's guess, although with Mario suffering from some form of illness in the Champions League it could be him. Micah Richards, Gael Clichy, Gareth Barry and Samir Nasri are all also likely to find themselves back in the squad.

    So from what I've said so far, it may look like an easy game but that is certainly not the case. I expect a tough game at Anfield and considering we lost there last season I will be willing to take a draw as an improved result.

    Thanksgiving visitors

    The wild turkeys came to visit today.  Or perhaps they came to hide.

     They ran faster past the herb plants...poultry seasoning is not a wild turkey's friend.

    They finally found each other and ran for the woods.

    Happy Thanksgiving, all!



    Table Grace
    By Garrison Keillor

    Here we sit as evening falls
    Like old horses in their stalls.
    Thank you, Father, that you bless
    Us with food and an address
    And the comfort of your hand
    In this great and blessed land.
    Look around at each dear face,
    Keep each one in your good grace.
    We think of those who went before,
    And wish we could have loved them more.
    Grant to us a cheerful heart,
    Knowing we must soon depart
    To that far land to be with them.
    And now let's eat. Praise God. Amen.  

    If you love poetry, I highly recommend signing up to receive The Writer's Almanac in your inbox each day.

    Ian Cafferky: Building a sustainable club whilst keeping core values.

    Ahead of the most recent financial report from Manchester City, chief brand and commercial officer Ian Cafferky gave an interview to SportsPro. The Full interview is to be published in the December/January edition, however they have released part of the interview and it makes for some interesting reading.

    “At a very high level we see ourselves as a media entertainment company, not just a football club. Obviously there’s 800 million people watching us on television, there’s 50,000 in the stadium so you really have to understand that mechanism: you’re not just about people turning up in the stadium any more, even if your [media] rights are owned by Sky."

    Ian was appointed as chief brand and commercial officer in October 2010 after previously serving as head of strategy. His current role puts him at the head of a complex and wide ranging operation that goes from the club's sales and services department to international marketing and brand development and quite a few things in between.

    “We’re trying to build a sustainable football club for the future. Now, within that we think along multiple axes – so what’s the infrastructure required, what’s the team, who are the people required? We run ourselves along six strategic objectives over a five-year plan period. We’re trying to double our revenues approximately by 2017."

    Last season the club's annual turnover was £153.2m, up from £128.2 the previous year which in turn was up from £87m the year before that. Despite the quite obvious big steps the club has taken since Sheikh Mansour took over, doubling the current turnover is going to be no mean feat.

    However, having said that, the 2011-12 turnover is looking to be around the £218m mark, and if reports are to be believed about a re-negotiation of Umbro's contract with City, it will increase to a basic £238m the season ending 2013. Increasing beyond that may be more difficult though. Thankfully, you know everything behind the scenes is being run with the same vigor and attention to detail as what the public are openly able to see.

    "It’s quite a tightly run machine – five-year plans, one-year plans, 90 day objectives – so it’s probably not typically what I would say most sports entities are. Most probably have an inherited way of behaving; ours has definitely been driven by best practice in business. A lot of people have been hired from outside the sector so you get a real mix of people from across sports and across media – even outside of media and sports.”

    Some have said the club sold its soul when the "oil rich Arabs" to over and we became an "Arab's play thing". When I say some, I actually mean almost every single fan of teams that either felt threatened or were jealous of the fact that City could be regularly challenging for major honours in the near future.

    In reality, this couldn't be further from the truth;

    “We’ve been very careful to look at what the DNA of the club actually is and we’re building that brand story step by step rather than jumping out to the world saying, ‘This is who we are’. We’re being very clear about what has been there for a very long time and how we hold on to it. At the core of that is that it is a community club. It has been by definition for an incredibly long time; it hasn’t been a club about trophies. It’s been about people turning up and participating. This club has been living on that since zero but particularly in the last 20 or 30 years."

    Yes that last sentence is a polite way of saying we've been crap for a while but the point remains, Manchester City has always been a community club and hopefully always will be. The award winning City in the Community (CitC) Foundation is living proof that those who now run the club have worked very hard in keeping true to the ethics of the club they inherited.

    The CitC scheme was launched in 1986 and has never been stronger than it is today in helping local Manchester businesses and organisations.  

    And of course the real soul of the club is found in its fans and the club has never worked harder to involve and envelope the fans within the club;

    “The identity of the club in the eyes of the fans – which is the brand; the brand isn’t something I announce to them, this is their perception – is tightly aligned with the idea that they are a community club. The pillar right in the centre of it that keeps kids right through to adults understanding what this club is is the fact that it is alive in the city of Manchester. A lot of the stories that people tell make up the identity of the club. Part of the identity of the club is sharing those stories and storytelling.”

    And there you have it. Not quite the club that sold its soul after all, as though any Blue honestly thought that in the first place. It just confirms again that City isn't this obscenely rich entity hell bent on ruining football, but the club is now an extremely well run, forward thinking, community based club with the opinions and feelings of the fans firmly in the foreground... hell bent on ruining the established order of an elite clique that have sat safely in their own little bubble for long enough.

    Twitter: @MikeWalsh1880
    Facebook: David Silva's Left Foot


    Superboy #2 and #3 - Pages

    The end of the world, apparently.

    The sky is falling, the apocalypse draws near, the end is nigh, blah blah blah. The papers were waiting for us to slip up in an important game and must have been rubbing their grubby little phone tapping hands together with glee at the thought of City not qualifying for the knock out stages. City still do have a chance of qualifying of course, but it means City must beat Bayern at the Etihad and Villarreal need at least a draw when Napoli visit.

    That oracle of insight the Daily Star even hinted at Mancini facing the sack with their headline! Absolutely laughable after the record breaking start to the Premier League season City have enjoyed. It's not as though we were played off the park either as City had more chances and the lion's share of possession. Here are the match stats.

    • Corners: Napoli 3 - 5 City
    • Shots: Napoli: 13 - 17 City
    • On Target: Napoli 5 - 8 City
    • Fouls: Napoli 10 - 11 City
    • Offsides: Napoli 1 - 2 City
    • Possession: Napoli 30% - 70% City

    We weren't exactly run off the park were we? Both sides could have scored more, but both keepers did well to keep the scores down as much as they did.

    So it wasn't our night, along with a few other nights in Europe this season, hardly an incident of apocalyptic proportions. Yes mistakes were made by a few players and many will question the team selection but what is done is done. Whether Mancini got it right or wrong, he's the one being paid to make those decisions and after what he's delivered so far I think he's earned a little slack from the media and over-excitable fans. But looking at those match stats it doesn't appear he got anything all that wrong.

    So what if City don't qualify for the knock out stages? Well I'll be disappointed, as will the squad and everyone else at the club, but I wont be decrying the team a failure and demanding the resignation of the manager in the morning.

    Lets have a little perspective here, we didn't get rinsed by some unheard of backwater team from the middle of nowhere comprised of players that make their main earnings from being butchers and plumbers. I hate to mention 'them' but look at United's group, and have they qualified yet? The self professed "World's greatest club" have struggled to get a foot hold in the easiest group in the whole competition and could still fail to qualify if they don't get a result against those Swiss 'giants' Basel, who they only managed to draw against at the swamp.

    Although the Champions League is important it is not the be all and end all. Winning it was never the priority this season. Ok we might fall short of projected achievements but so what? That's happened before and we've come back stronger and more hungry to succeed the next time.

    Keep calm and carry on.

    Twitter: @MikeWalsh1880
    Facebook: David Silva's Left Foot

    Position Available: Working Student for Boyd Martin

    The Farm in Aiken

    Want to spend the winter in Aiken, South Carolina
    in the heart of the high-performance eventing scene?
    Boyd has an opening for a working student!

    This is a temporary position, beginning January 1, 2012 and ending March 25, 2012, with the possibility of an extension for the right individual. The ideal candidate for must be enthusiastic about working extremely long hours, six to seven days per week. The work is hard, and consists of stall cleaning, grooming horses, tacking and untacking horses, and general barn and farm clean-up. However, the hardworking individual will have unlimited opportunities for learning horsemanship and riding of the highest quality from Boyd and his crew.

    Boyd trains out of Ilene Boorman's beautiful farm in Aiken, SC, which is part of the prestigious Bridle Creek equestrian development. The farm provides the perfect setting for intense training of horse and rider by boasting amenities such as a brand new jump field, a large riding ring with excellent footing for flat work and nearby cross-country schooling obstacles. The barn is gorgeous and the spacious turn-out fields are second to none. The surrounding development has endless trails for hacking and fitness work.

    Barn Interior

    The candidate for this position may bring one or two horses at a cost of $35 per day, per horse. Shared housing is available at an affordable cost.

    In exchange for hard work, the working student will receive training in the form of dressage lessons from Caitlin Silliman and Boyd Martin and jumping lessons from Boyd Martin. The candidate will also gain valuable knowledge about the highest levels of horsemanship by working day-to-day alongside Boyd and his staff in the barn.

    Interested individuals should contact Lindsey Taylor at lindseyktaylor@yahoo.com. Please send a resume or description of previous work and/or riding experience.

    Boyd has Three Horses on the USEF High Performance Training Lists

    The USEF Eventing High Performance Training Lists have been revised for the upcoming 2012 season and Boyd is thrilled to own half the A list, with Otis and Neville, and to be part of the B list with Ying Yang Yo.

    I spoke with Boyd this morning and all of the upper-level horses are currently back in work, and Remington will be getting back to his roots when he joins the Cheshire Fox Hounds in Unionville, PA for their Thanksgiving Hunt this week. Eventing fans fear not, however: Remi and his talented stable buddy Cold Harbor will both be back in action with the listed horses to show the eventing world what they've got in 2012.

    Regarding the training list, according to the USEF, "Athlete/Horse combinations will be invited to participate in training sessions this winter with U.S. Chef d'Equipe and Technical Advisor Capt. Mark Phillips. Preparation for and success at the 2012 Olympic Games were the Eventing Selectors and the High Performance Committee's highest priorities in developing these lists."

    A List

    Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) and Bruce Duchossois' Mighty Nice
    Mighty Nice is a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

    Sinead Halpin (Oldwick, NJ) and Carriag LLC's Manoir de Carnville
    Manoir de Carnville is an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding

    Boyd Martin (West Grove, PA) and the Neville Bardos Syndicate's Neville Bardos
    Neville Bardos is a 12-year-old Australian Thoroughbred gelding

    Boyd Martin (West Grove, PA) and the Otis Barbotiere Syndicate's Otis Barbotiere
    Otis Barbotiere is a 9-year-old Selle Francais gelding

    B List
    Hannah Sue Burnett (The Plains, VA) and Jacqueline Mars' Harbour Pilot
    Harbour Pilot is an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

    Jan Byyny (Purcellville, VA) and her own and Jo and Richard Byyny's Inmidair
    Inmidair is a 12-year-old New Zealand Thoroughbred gelding

    Will Coleman (Gordonsville, VA) and Jim Wildasin's Twizzel
    Twizzel is a 15-year-old Westphalian gelding

    Tiana Coudray (Ojai, CA) and Jatial Inc.'s Ringwood Magister
    Ringwood Magister is a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

    Buck Davidson (Ocala, FL) and Sharon Will's Absolute Liberty
    Absolute Liberty an 8-year-old Thoroughbred x Oldenburg Mare

    Buck Davidson (Ocala, FL) and Carl and Cassandra Segal's BallyNoe Castle RM
    BallyNoe Castle RM is an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

    Buck Davidson (Ocala, FL) and Sherrie Martin's The Apprentice
    The Apprentice is a 7-year-old Oldenburg gelding

    Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) and Nina and Tim Gardner's William Penn
    William Penn is a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

    Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) and Team Rebecca LLC's Ben
    Ben is a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding

    Will Faudree (Hoffman, NC) and Jennifer Mosing's Pawlow
    Pawlow is a 12-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding

    Will Faudree (Hoffman, NC) and Jennifer Mosing's Fernhill Gloster Rebel
    Fernhill Gloster Rebel is a 10-year-old Irish Thoroughbred Gelding

    Becky Holder (Palmetto, GA) and Melissa and Phil Town, and Tom Holder's Can't Fire Me
    Can't Fire Me is a 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding

    Shannon Lilley (Gilroy, CA) and The Lilley Group's Ballingowan Pizazz
    Ballingowan Pizazz is an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

    Marilyn Little-Meredith (Frederick, MD) and Raylyn Farm Inc.'s RF Rovano Rex
    RF Rovano Rex is a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding

    Boyd Martin (West Grove, PA) and Boyd Martin and Faye Woolfe's Ying Yang Yo
    Ying Yang Yo is a 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding

    Clark Montgomery (Fairburn, GA) and Holly Becker, Kathryn Kraft and Jessica Montgomery's Loughan Glen
    Loughan Glen is an 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding

    Karen O'Connor (The Plains, VA) and The O'Connor Equestrian Syndicate's Mr Medicott
    Mr Medicott is a 12-year-old Irish Sport horse gelding

    Julian Stiller (Thatcham, Berkshire UK) and her own and Jules Delvecchio's Chapel Amble
    Chapel Amble is a 14-year-old Hanoverian mare

    Jolie Wentworth (Martinez, CA) and Tracy Bowman's Good Knight
    Good Knight is a 9-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding

    It is anticipated that training sessions will be held in California, Florida, and South Carolina; dates will be finalized and published in December. Training sessions will be open to the public. Auditors are welcome and asked to please be respectful of lessons and the property on which they will be held.

    Boyd and Silva will be heading to Aiken, SC in January, 2012 to train and compete on the winter eventing and dressage circuits, respectively.


    First Ever Book Illustration Project

    I just finished the last plate for my first book illustration project. Hopefully we get to launch the book this December.
    By the way, this is just a preview. :)

    City Stats: Manchester City v Newcaslte United

    Joe Hart
    • Distribution: 13/24 - 54%
    • Saves: 3/4 - 75%
    • Minutes: 90

    Micah Richards:
    • Shots: 1/1 - 1 goal - 100%
    • Passes: 47/56 - 84%
    • Interceptions: 2
    • Tackles: 3/4 - 75%
    • Minutes: 90

    Vincent Kompany
    • Shots: 0
    • Passes: 45/50 - 90%
    • Interceptions: 1
    • Tackles: 4/4 - 100%
    • Minutes: 90

    Joleon Lescott:
    • Shots: 0
    • Passes: 47/55 - 85%
    • Interceptions: 5
    • Tackles: 2/4 - 50%
    • Minutes: 90

    Gael Clichy
    • Shots: 0
    • Passes: 76/84 - 90%
    • Interceptions: 6
    • Tackles: 4/6 - 66%
    • Minutes: 90

    Nigel De Jong
    • Shots: 0/1 - 1 blocked
    • Passes: 66/70 - 94%
    • Interceptions: 3
    • Tackles: 4/5 - 80%
    • Minutes: 90

    Yaya Toure
    • Shots: 0/1
    • Passes: 60/68 - 88%
    • Interceptions: 0
    • Tackles: 4/4 - 100%
    • Minutes: 85

    Samir Nasri
    • Shots: 0/2 - 2 blocked
    • Passes: 58/66 - 88%
    • Interceptions: 1
    • Tackles: 2/2 - 100%
    • Minutes: 90

    Sergio Aguero
    • Shots: 2/3 - 1 goal - 66% - 33% goals/shots
    • Passes: 31/37 - 83%
    • Interceptions: 1
    • Tackles: 2/3 - 66%
    • Minutes: 76

    Mario Balotelli
    • Shots: 2/4 - 2 blocked - 1 goal - 50% - 25% goals/shots
    • Passes: 19/25 - 76
    • Interceptions: 1
    • Tackles: 4/7 - 57
    • Minutes: 69

    David Silva
    • Shots: 0
    • Passes: 22/25 - 88
    • Interceptions: 0
    • Tackles: 0
    • Minutes: 21

    Adam Johnson
    • Shots: 0
    • Passes: 9/11 - 81%
    • Interceptions: 1
    • Tackles: 2/3 - 66%
    • Minutes: 14

    Gareth Barry
    • Shots: 0
    • Passes: 10/11 - 91%
    • Interceptions: 0
    • Tackles: 1/1 - 1--%
    • Minutes: 5

    Team Stats
    • Shots: 5/14 - 7 blocked - 3 goals - 35% - 21% goals/shots
    • Passes: 564/658 - 85%
    • Interceptions: 23
    • Tackles: 34/49 - 69%
    • Possession: 64%
    • Fouls: 11
    • Corners: 4

    Twitter: @MikeWalsh1880
    Facebook: David Silva's Left Foot