It is, of course, sad to think that Laddie's competitive career is over because we have no group to train with and therefore no way to work on steadiness in an event-like context.
However, it does have a silver lining. If not for the steadiness issue, I would be tempted to run Laddie in many of the continuous string of Qualifying stakes being run over the next few months in our region. After all, his vocalizing hasn't actually cost us, as far as I know, in any event, and it might have taken more discipline than I had to forego competition, and a reasonable chance of Laddie getting QAA, with all those opportunities available.
However, it probably would not have been good for Laddie's vocalizing, which then might have become a more serious issue in All-Age stakes.
This way, we can work on the vocalizing issue, and any related issues of nerves, without any temptation to run in competitions as well.
Perhaps someday we'll find an opportunity to train regularly with a group, work on steadiness with flyers in an event-like context, and be able to compete once again. To be honest, I don't actually feel hopeful about this, I think it's more likely we'll never compete again. But it's at least theoretically possible.